In the words of EPO media relations director, Rainer Osterwalder, ‘Patent information is one of the most important resources available to catch up with state of the art knowledge.’
Osterwalder says that a high quality patent information service is key to ensuring that the EPO patent system supports innovation. Together with the application of strict requirements for granting patents, the availablility of information will help the EPO to face several challenges in the field, such as the growing number of patent applications.
Significantly, this approach is being strengthened at a time when patent offices and courts around the world are striving for higher quality. This has been especially true in the United States, where the Supreme Court has recently restored power to the ‘obviousness test’, giving guidance to the lower courts.
The EPO also recently released results of their Scenarios for the Future project. After two years in the making and 150 interviews with major players in European IP, this EPO information initiative discusses how patents will be treated in 15 to 20 years¹ time. The results provide fascinating reading for anyone keen to envisage how politics, ethics, science, business and the law will shape the progress of patent policy.