New sub-committee on quality of EPO’s SACEPO advisory body meets for the first time in Munich
The first meeting of the Standing Advisory Committee before the EPO (SACEPO) working party on quality took place at the Office in Munich on 17 January. This new SACEPO sub-committee was created by a decision of the President to provide another channel to gather feedback on quality at the EPO based on the experiences of major user groups. It forms a part of the EPO’s wider strategy to continuously improve its services, and the ways in which users and the Office communicate with each other. The meeting was attended by a diverse range of participants from industry, the patent profession and user organizations, including patent attorneys from various EPO member states, representatives of the European Patent Institute and Business Europe, as well as user groups from Japan, China, Korea and the United States.
The meeting was opened with an overview of the EPO’s latest initiatives related to quality and an update on measures used to generate user feedback. This was followed by discussion on quality-related topics which will be followed up by various EPO departments and be fed into the Office’s Quality Management System.
The participants appreciated the highly visible results from Early Certainty from search and welcomed the opportunity to hear more from the Office about how it will implement early certainty from Examination and Opposition. EPO representatives stressed the Office’s determination to continuously improve quality levels.
The EPO representatives also explained that applications covering different technical fields are normally examined by examining divisions composed of specialists from the relevant areas