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Institute of Professional Representatives before the European Patent Office

Reform of the European Patent Institute (epi)

The Council of epi, in its meeting in Munich on April 28-29, 2014 decided to set up a Reporting Group in order to review the structure, organization and functioning of the Institute and submit proposals for improvement.

Said Reporting Group has been working for the last 6 months. In order to prepare proposals for reform, it was very important, in the view of the Group to have the opinion of the epi membership, and accordingly, a questionnaire was prepared that was launched on June 18, 2014 and was open for reply for more than a month.

The participation rate was quite positive and reached nearly 20% of the membership. A report about the result of the survey can be found here:

The Reporting Group looked at the results of the survey and decided to prepare a first set of suggestions for reform deriving from the replies received.

These proposals were presented to the Board at its meeting of September 27, 2014 in Zagreb and to the Council at its meeting in Milan last November 15, 2014.

The Council has decided to approve and implement most of the proposals for reform suggested. Some of these proposals are the following:

  • To request candidates to election for the Council to reply to a questionnaire with information to be sent to epi membership so they would know who is who before voting.
  • To send reminders for voting at the time of the election and to check the technical problems reported by members in the electronic process.
  • To review the epi website to make it more user friendly and to incorporate more and better information.
  • To increase the number of articles in the publication epi-Information and to add English abstracts to facilitate reading.
  • To organize a half a day seminar in combination with Council Meetings, open to all members and particularly to members residing in the location of the meeting or its neighborhood.
  • To organize joint meetings in cooperation with national associations of different member states.
  • To attempt to be involved, at an earlier stage, on EPO legislative proceedings to become more impactful.
  • To build up and establish with official organizations other than EPO as well as with other IP NGO´s.
  • To install a tool to collect and centrally track member requests and proposals.
  • To create and update an email database of members.

It was also decided that the Reporting Group should continue the study of proposals for reform, particularly in the area of structure, organization and functioning, to improve efficiency.