Turning ideas into assets

EPO

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The Danish Patent and Trademark Office is represented in all the European Patent Offices (EPO) committees, namely the Administrative Council, the Budget and Finance Committee, the Technical and Operational Committee and the Patent Law Committee.

 

General Danish EPO Policy

Denmark believes that a strong EPO with focus on its core task, namely handling European patent applications, is a prerequisite for a successful European patent system. The EPO member states have verbalized this strategy objective in the EPO document CA/94/05, which Denmark actively participated in drafting. Denmark recognises the European patent system as a fundamental part of the European innovation infrastructure and developing the system in a positive direction is an integrated part of the policy of Danish Patent and Trademark Office. To achieve this goal, we are an active player in the different EPO committees.

Danish views on the EPO strategy debate

Denmark fully supports a strong EPO as the European Patent Granting Authority. However, there are a number of challenges facing the European patent system - e.g. quality, closeness to users, efficiency and duplication of work. These challenges were at the heart of the so-called "EPO strategy debate".

The Danish views on these challenges can be found in the document Danish Views on the EPO Strategy Debate. To sum up these views, the ultimate objective of the European patent system should be to support innovation in Europe and improve Europe's competitiveness in a global market in accordance with the Lisbon agreement. Since innovation takes place in the contracting states and requires support from local IP competence centres, the innovation will not be enhanced by a simple streamlining of the existing geographically centralized system. A streamlined and efficient system offering high quality is necessary, but it is also necessary to give much more attention to bringing the system closer to the users and those it in fact affects.

A very significant result in the strategy debate was achieved at the Council meeting in June 2006. Here the Council decided to create a European Patent Network consisting of the EPO and all the national patent offices. Important elements of the Network are:

  • EPO’s re-utilization of the work carried out by national offices in connection with national first filings
  • Establishment of a common European quality system for all European patent offices including the EPO
  • Strong focus on development of common European electronic tools for processing patent applications
  • Board of the Administrative Council shall cooperate closely with the EPO on finding a way of handling the workload

The issues and goals above have been handled in special working groups which had the task of implementing The European Patent Network. With the objective of creating a better, more coherent and quality oriented European patent system, Danish Patent and Trademark Office has participated in all these working groups.

Following work in the working groups the Administrative Council of the EPO adopted the establishment of a common European quality system for all European patent offices and re-utilization of work carried out by national patent offices.