Wednesday, November 21, 2018

EPO online consultation on increased flexibility in the timing of the examination process (until 11 January 2019)

[Cited, with some adaptations, from the EPO News webpage at link]

Send your feedback to the EPO: online consultation on increased flexibility in the timing of the examination process

19 November 2018

The EPO has launched an online user consultation on the need for more flexibility in the timing of the examination process by giving applicants the possibility of postponing the examination of European patent applications. 
In recent years the EPO has introduced a number of measures to speed up the patent grant procedure through its Early Certainty initiative, and this has been welcomed by applicants and the public as it provides information about the scope of patent protection at an earlier stage. As a result, nowadays 99% of published patent applications are accompanied by their search report including a written opinion on their patentability (it was 90% in 2012).
At the same time it has also been argued that in some instances applicants might need more time before the grant of a patent as it would better suit with the development and innovation cycle of their products. This is why the Office looked for ways to inject some more flexibility in the examination phase, in order to address the various needs of the users. Discussions on the possibility to postpone the examination started with multiple stakeholders and user associations in 2017.
The EPO is now inviting all stakeholders to provide their views on the introduction of a postponed examination scheme in the European patent grant procedure, and on other possible measures to increase flexibility in the examination process.
User feedback plays a key role in helping us to enhance the quality and effectiveness of our processes and services. We welcome your input.
The user consultation runs until 11 January 2019.

Further information

Revised draft of the Rules of Procedure of the Boards of Appeal for the User consultation conference on 5 December 2018

[from EPO Board of Appeal webpage at link news message and link conference; see also revised draft RPBA,

Revised draft of the Rules of Procedure of the Boards of Appeal


The revised draft of the Rules of Procedure of the Boards of Appeal (RPBA) agreed upon by Boards of Appeal Committee (BOAC) and the President of the Boards of Appeal is now available in English.
This revised draft of the RPBA will provide the basis for the User consultation conference on 5 December 2018. At the conference, users of the European patent system will have the opportunity to hear presentations by members of the Boards of Appeal on the revised draft, followed by panel discussions by members of the Boards of Appeal Committee, the Boards of Appeal and representatives of user associations.

User consultation conference on the Rules of Procedure of the Boards of Appeal

5 December 2018
Munich, Germany
RPBA conference poster
The revision of the Rules of Procedure of the Boards of Appeal (RPBA) is a key measure for increasing the efficiency and predictability of appeal proceedings before the Boards of Appeal of the EPO.
The first public draft of the RPBA was subject to an online user consultation procedure. In light of the responses received, a second version was drafted, including newly introduced provisions on case management.
At the "User consultation conference", users of the system will have the opportunity to hear presentations and panel discussions by members of the Boards of Appeal Committee, the Boards of Appeal and representatives of user associations on the revised public draft of the RPBA.
Users are invited to attend the conference to discuss the proposed changes to the RPBA.

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