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Report from the 97th Council Meeting held on 27 April 2024 in Sofia

April 30, 2024

The 97th Council meeting took place in Sofia on 27 April 2024.

The highlight of the meeting was the discussion on other possible amendments to the REE/IPREE, following the adoption in December last year of the new REE/IPREE which will enter into force in 2025. A thorough presentation was given on the issue of revising how to measure whether a candidate’s technical or scientific qualification meets the requirements in the present IPREE. In particular, it was proposed that the existing 80% time rule in current Rule 11 IPREE should be switched to an ECTS-based rule. The proposal was approved by Council, allowing epi members of the joint epi/EPO Working Group to notify the full WG, including the EPO members, of Council’s decision.

Updates were given on the UPC and on the discussion concerning substantive Patent Law Harmonization.

A presentation from the Online Communications Committee provided insight into the new functionalities of MyEPO Services, systems closing this year and contingency options.

Council then approved the 2023 annual report and the 2023 annual accounts. These documents will be soon available on the website.

Finally, by-elections took place to fill vacancies in the following Committees: By-Laws Committee, Editorial Committee, EPO Finances Committee, Committee on Biotechnological Inventions, Professional Conduct Committee, European Patent Practice Committee, Professional Education Committee, Litigation Committee and Nominations Committee. Congratulations to all newly elected members and all the best for their mandate. The updated list of Committee members will be soon available on the website.

As usual a more detailed report of the Council meeting will be available in the next issue of epi Information.

Marc Névant (Editorial Committee)

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