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9 July 2019


QualityReport2018

The EPO today published its third
Quality Report since 2016
. The 2018 edition delves deeper into
the patent grant process, describing the checks and safeguards that are in
place at each phase of the procedure at the Office. It offers extensive data
analyses at EPO sectors’ level, looks at quality improvement measures taken by
the Office, cites feedback provided by users and discusses the initiatives that
are planned for the future.

While confirming users’ growing appreciation
of the quality of the products and services provided by the EPO, the report
also acknowledges scope for improvement in certain areas.

“This report provides our users
with a full picture of the way quality is evolving at the EPO and a common
basis on which we can continue to move forwards”, said President António
Campinos. “Quality is at the heart of our new Strategic Plan and by working
with our users and cooperating with all our stakeholders, we now have an
opportunity to raise our quality to another level altogether.”

In order to increase transparency
and accountability on the quality of its work, the EPO intensified engagement
with its user community during 2018. This approach, which is a declared
objective under the new Strategic Plan,
will continue in the years ahead and aims to help the Office and its
stakeholders reach an agreed definition of quality, and to align perceptions on
quality.

The 2018 Quality Report includes
analyses of several areas of activity, including:

User satisfaction survey:

  • The 2018 results showed further increases in
    user satisfaction. Some 84% of respondents were satisfied or very satisfied
    with EPO search services, 77% with examination and 74% with opposition. A
    slight decrease was reported in the area of formalities examination, although
    from a very high level (89% to 87%).

Computer Implemented Inventions (CII):

  • CII continue to be an important focus with
    users. To ensure consistent treatment of such applications, a full revision of
    the CII content of the Guidelines was completed and an internal network of CII
    experts was established.

Improved timeliness

  • The EPO improved its service to its stakeholders
    in 2018, and as the Office moves towards a steady state of timely high quality
    and efficient processing in the coming years, optimal procedural lengths for
    different applicants will become an increasingly important topic to discuss.

Product audits 2018

  • The quality product audits showed room for
    improvement. While the results were maintained at a very high level for three
    of the four regular audits (search 94.6%; opposition 99%; classification 96%) a
    decrease of the compliance rate was measured in the auditing of grants (84.7%
    to 76.6%). These results have been carefully analysed, and a number of
    improvement actions are being taken.

The 2018 edition also sets out
the EPO’s revised Mission and Vision statements. Recently published in the
Strategic Plan 2023, the new Mission and Vision will help steer the Office
towards user-centric services based on co-operation.

Further information

 
 
 
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