| Europäisches Patentamt

SACEPO discusses digital transformation at EPO

The annual meeting of the Standing Advisory Committee before
the EPO took place online for the second year running, on 8 and 9 June 2021.
The 53rd meeting of SACEPO presented the opportunity for
EPO President Antonio Campinos to welcome all
newly appointed members in their new term of office which started in January
and will last until December 2023. Membership of SACEPO has been
greatly extended this year with representatives from European and international
IP associations such as AIPPI, FEMIPI, FICPI, UNION-IP as well as members from
national patent attorney and industry associations from the IP5 countries.

In his welcome address, President Campinos
paid tribute to the capacity of inventors and companies to innovate and
overcome challenges in the past year, stressing that this has been „the result
of previous decisions made over the years: likewise, whatever the next great
challenge is, and whenever it arrives, it’s the discussions we have today – and
the decisions we take now – that will affect how we are able to meet those
challenges in the future“. The President also reported on the work
carried out by the Office within the framework of the Strategic Plan 2023. A
lively Q&A session followed with members providing their views on the
proposed plans of the Office for orienteering towards a „New Normal“.

User representatives were
provided with an opportunity to make suggestions and comment on the pilot on
oral proceedings by ViCo, as well as on the various programmes and projects
under Goals 2 & 3 of the Strategic Plan (Simplify and
modernise EPO IT Systems
and Deliver high-quality
products and services efficiently
) and on the Office’s digital
transformation. Several associations praised the Office for recent achievements
in the area of international cooperation, stressing the relevance of
cooperation programmes aimed at streamlining global prosecution of patent
applications for start-ups and small entities relying on IP to attract