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Exclusive: EPO to meet in-house critics to discuss quality


Members of the Industry Patent Quality Charter had criticised the office for failing to engage with their concerns over patent quality

The EPO has agreed to meet with a group of in-house counsel at major corporations to discuss concerns over the quality of patents granted by the office, Managing IP can confirm.

An EPO spokesperson said yesterday, January 10, that the office would meet with members of the Industry Patent Quality Charter (IPQC) to discuss specific examples of where quality did not meet their expectations.

Counsel at companies including Bayer, Siemens, Nokia, Ericsson, and Volvo set up the group last year and pledged to focus on quality over quantity in their own patent filings.

The EPO spokesperson said: “We hope to receive these examples soon and will arrange a meeting in the coming weeks at which any examples can be discussed.”

Members of the IPQC held a roundtable last month to discuss patent quality standards at the EPO. They concluded that the quality of patents had been sacrificed in favour of quick processing targets.

Members of the Industry Patent Quality Charter have been critical of the EPO for not engaging properly with their concerns. The office did not send a representative to last month’s roundtable.

The office had previously contacted signatories to the charter individually, but until now has not agreed to a joint meeting.

The EPO spokesperson told Managing IP its focus is on a complete and accurate search, and a thorough examination”.

“Our data and feedback from interviews with over 6,000 applicants through our regular user satisfaction survey demonstrate that we continue to provide a high-quality service,” the spokesperson added.

A date for the meeting has not been set.

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