EPO increases its output
By John Parkin
The European Patent Office showed a significant increase in its output across its various functions. In particular, the number of patents proceeding to grant showed a 40% increase.
Anecdotal indications are that this merely represents a focus on “easy” cases. For example, if applications in which the European Search Report shows only “A” category citations are given top priority. But we believe there is a genuine improvement in productivity at the office.
Output of search reports, first examination reports and oppositions are also showing significant improvements.
The historical trend of outcomes of opposition proceedings remains; around one third of patents survive opposition in amended form, one third are revoked and in one third of cases the opposition is rejected.
Of particular note is that, according to EPO figures, the backlog of work has fallen by 25% over the last two years – i.e. the total months of work in the backlog (searching, examination and opposition) has dropped from 19.5 months at the end of 2014 to 14.7 months at the end of 2016.
Tuesday, May 16, 2017