Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation

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Chairmen of the Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation
1. Georges Vianès (19 October 1977 - 18 October 1981), French.[1][2]
2. Ivor J. G. Davis (19 October 1981 - 18 October 1984), British.[2][3]
3. Otto Leberl (19 October 1984 - October 1987), Austrian.[3][4]
4. Albrecht Krieger (October 1987 - 18 October 1990), German.[4][5]
5. Jean-Claude Combaldieu (19 October 1990 - 18 October 1993), French.[5][6]
6. Per Lund Thoft (19 October 1993 - 30 November 1995), Danish.[6][7]
7. Julián Álvarez-Álvarez (1 December 1995 - 4 March 1997), Spanish.[7][8]
8. Sean Fitzpatrick (5 March 1997 - March 4, 2000), Irish.[8][9][10]
9. Roland Grossenbacher (March 5, 2000 - March 4, 2009), Swiss.[9][10] a
10. Benoît Battistelli (March 5, 2009 - June 30, 2009), French.[11]
10a. Alberto Casado Cerviño (July 1, 2009 - June 30, 2010) (Chairman ad interim), Spanish.[12]
11. Jesper Kongstad (July 1, 2010 - June 30, 2016), Danish.[13][14]
a After he stepped down, Roland Grossenbacher was made "Honorary Chairman" of the Administrative Council.[15]

The Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation is one of the two organs of the European Patent Organisation (EPOrg), the other being the European Patent Office (EPO).[16] The Administrative Council acts as the Organisation's supervisory body[17] as well as, to a limited extent, its legislative body.[18][19] The actual legislative power to revise the European Patent Convention lies with the Contracting States themselves when meeting at a Conference of the Contracting States.[20] In contrast, the EPO acts as executive body of the Organisation.[17][19]

Composition and competences[edit]

The Administrative Council is made up of members of the contracting states and is responsible for overseeing the work of the European Patent Office,[17] ratifying the budget and approving the actions of the President of the Office.[19] The Council is also competent for amending the Rules of the European Patent Convention (EPC) and some particular provisions of the Articles of the EPC.[18]

Jesper Kongstad was elected as Chairman of the Administrative Council on June 29, 2010 and took up office on July 1, 2010 for a period of three years,[13] later extended to six years.[14] The Chairperson of the Administrative Council is responsible for the work of the Council and its function.[21] The Chairperson also presides over the meetings of the Council.[22]

Under Article 28 EPC, the Administrative Council has set up a Board composed of five of its members,[23][24] including the Chairman, the Deputy Chairman and three other members elected by the Administrative Council,[25] to perform duties assigned by the Administrative Council.[26] The Board is informally called "Board 28", named after Article 28 EPC, and as of 2008 was carrying out a "workload study", i.e., a study on how to manage the workload facing the European Patent Office.[24]

The Administrative Council is in charge of appointing the President of the European Patent Office (EPO).[27] A majority of three-quarters of the votes of the Contracting States represented and voting is required for appointing the President of the EPO.[28] Reaching a decision on the appointment of a President was difficult in 2003,[29] leading to a split tenure (as a result of a compromise, Alain Pompidou (France) was elected for three years and Alison Brimelow (United Kingdom) succeeded him for an equal term),[30][31][32][33] and was difficult again in 2009, requiring twenty votes and four meetings.[34][35][36][37][38] When voting, a lot of the members of the Administrative Council are reportedly working under instructions from their respective government, whereas the governments "can have many motivations for supporting one person rather than another."[38]

Criticism[edit]

The Staff Union of the European Patent Office (SUEPO) has criticized the Administrative Council as being in a conflict of interest situation:

"The heads of the national delegations in the Administrative Council are almost without exception heads of their respective national patent offices. For many of the national offices their 50% share of the renewal fees constitutes a very substantial proportion of their annual budget (in several cases well over 50%). In their function as heads of national offices these heads of delegation thus have an interest in having many patents granted, and having them granted quickly."[39]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Official Journal of the European Patent Office (OJ EPO) 1/1978, Report on the inaugural meeting of the Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation (19-21 October 1977), p. 5.
  2. ^ a b OJ EPO 7/1981, Report on the 11th meeting of the Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation (2 to 4 June 1981), p. 199.
  3. ^ a b OJ EPO 7/1984, Report on the 18th meeting of the Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation (5 to 8 June 1984), p. 293.
  4. ^ a b OJ EPO 11/1987, Report on the 27th (extraordinary) meeting of the Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation (8 October 1987), p. 473.
  5. ^ a b OJ EPO 8/1990, Report on the 37th meeting of the Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation (26 to 29 June 1990), p. 333.
  6. ^ a b OJ EPO 1-2/1994, Report on the 50th meeting of the Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation (7 to 10 December 1993), p. 1.
  7. ^ a b OJ EPO 1-2/1996, Report on the 60th meeting of the Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation (4 to 8 December 1995), p. 3.
  8. ^ a b OJ EPO 4/1997, Report on the 66th meeting of the Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation (Munich, 5 March 1997), p. 129.
  9. ^ a b OJ EPO 7/2000, Report on the 80th meeting of the Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation (6 to 8 June 2000), p. 307.
  10. ^ a b Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property web site, EPO: victory for Switzerland, Bern, October 15, 1999. Consulted on March 24, 2008.
  11. ^ EPO web site, Benoît Battistelli to head the Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation, News, December 11, 2008. Consulted on December 11, 2008.
  12. ^ EPO web site, European Patent Organisation → Administrative Council → Composition. Consulted on November 21, 2009.
  13. ^ a b European Patent Office website, Jesper Kongstad elected Chairman of Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation, News, June 29, 2010. Consulted on June 30, 2010.
  14. ^ a b "Re-election of the Chair of the Administrative Council". European Patent Office. 26 March 2013. Retrieved April 6, 2013. 
  15. ^ EPO web site, "A special tribute to a special chairman", News, 1 April 2009. Consulted on April 3, 2009.
  16. ^ Article 4(2) EPC
  17. ^ a b c Article 4(3) EPC
  18. ^ a b Article 33 EPC
  19. ^ a b c Gower's Report on Intellectual Property, para 1.34
  20. ^ Article 172 EPC
  21. ^ Article 4(1) of the Rules of Procedure of the Administrative Council, as amended by the Decision of the Administrative Council of 7 December 2006 revising the Rules of Procedure of the Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation.
  22. ^ Article 4(2) of the Rules of Procedure of the Administrative Council.
  23. ^ Article 28(1) EPC
  24. ^ a b Managing Intellectual Property, Fees may rise as EPO stresses quality (Interview: Roland Grossenbacher), February 1, 2008
  25. ^ Article 28(2) EPC
  26. ^ Article 28(4) EPC
  27. ^ Article 11(1) EPC
  28. ^ Article 35(2) EPC
  29. ^ EPO web site, President Kober's mandate extended at the EPO, Press releases, June 6, 2003 (archived version on archive.org).
  30. ^ Anjana Ahuja, An obstacle to the patently obvious, The Times, October 27, 2003. Consulted on December 13, 2009.
  31. ^ EPO web site, Election of the President of the European Patent Office, Press releases, 30 October 2003 (archived version on archive.org).
  32. ^ Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA) web site, EPO deadlock broken at last, CIPA News, 30 October 2003. Consulted on December 13, 2009.
  33. ^ Marc Broyde, Paul M. Clarkson, Who Runs the European Patent Office?, Intellectual Property Newsletter, December 8, 2003. Consulted on December 13, 2009.
  34. ^ EPO web site, Decision on next EPO President deferred, News, 30 October 2009. Consulted on December 12, 2009.
  35. ^ EPO web site, Communiqué from the Administrative Council, Updates, December 11, 2009. Consulted on December 12, 2009.
  36. ^ (German) Stefan Krempl, Führungskrise beim Europäischen Patentamt, heise online, 11.12.2009 18:23. Consulted on December 12, 2009.
  37. ^ EPO web site, EPO President - election procedure suspended, News, 3 February 2010. Consulted on December 6, 2010.
  38. ^ a b James Nurton, How the EPO race was won, Managing Intellectual Property, Weekly News, 1 March 2010. Consulted on March 6, 2010.
  39. ^ SUEPO, Central Executive Committee, Re.: IAM blog - Comments on SUEPO, su08163cl - 2.04.6b/6, December 15, 2008, p 4. (on the Intellectual Asset Management website)

External links[edit]