European Patent Institute
The Institute of Professional Representatives before the European Patent Office, also known as European Patent Institute (epi), is a professional association of European patent attorneys and an international non-governmental public law corporation. It was founded on October 21, 1977 by the Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation by adopting the Regulation on the establishment of an institute of professional representatives before the European Patent Office. All European patent attorneys, i.e. all persons entitled to act as professional representatives before the EPO (by virtue of either the European qualifying examination or the provisions of Article 163(7) EPC 1973), are members of the Institute.
|Presidents of the European Patent Institute|
|x. Chris P. Mercer (circa 2006 - May 25, 2008), British|
|y. Kim Finnilä (May 26, 2008 - ca. May–June 2011), Finnish|
|z. Antonius "Tony" Tangena, (ca. May–June 2011 - ...), Dutch|
As of 2018, the Institute has about 12,100 European patent attorneys as members coming from each of the 38 Contracting States of the European Patent Convention who work either in industry or in private practice.
As provided in the Regulation, the epi is governed by a Council which is elected by the members of the respective national constituencies and by a Board elected by the Council, which includes its President. The epi Council has adopted internal regulations governing its conduct and functioning. Sixteen Committees, including numerous subcommittees and working groups, are responsible for conducting the large array of tasks and assignments faced by the epi. Topics covered by these committees are, e.g. European patent practice, litigation, biotechnology, professional education, discipline and professional conduct and various other matters of relevance for the profession and the organization of the Institute.
The epi as an organisation deals primarily with the development and implications of patent law. Through its Committees, the epi is at the forefront of patent law developments and regularly serves public policy leaders by issuing legal opinions and highly specialised advice. The epi is an observer in many advisory bodies of international organisations such as the Standing Advisory Committee before the European Patent Office (SACEPO) or the Standing Committee on the Law of Patents of the World Intellectual Property Organization (SCP).
Another core area of the epi is to promote compliance by its members with the Rules of Professional Conduct through fair procedures. The epi further serves its members by providing them with advice and training as they advance within their profession, keeping them informed about latest developments and enriching the diversity of the profession, while responding to their individual professional needs. The epi likewise supports candidates to pass the European Qualifying Examination and become future members.
References and notes
- Article 134a(1)(a) EPC, formerly Article 134(8)(b) EPC 1973
- Article 134a(2) EPC. See also: Article 5(1) of the Regulation on the establishment of an institute of professional representatives before the European Patent Office, OJ 1997, 350 with corrections according to OJ 1997, 130, OJ 2002, 429 and OJ 2004, 361. (also here)
- European Patent Institute web site, Board Members, retrieved on December 13, 2007 (archive.org version).
- Council of the Institute of Professional Representatives before the European Patent Office, Official Journal EPO 8-9/2008, 462-468.
- European Patent Institute web site, Board Members Archived December 13, 2007, at the Wayback Machine., retrieved on September 8, 2008.
- European Patent Institute, Elected Board and Committee Members, epi Information 2/2011, p. 43.
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