Towards a New European Patent System

EUPACO-4: March or April 2009

EUPACO-4 will be held in Brussels, and will address two main topics:

  • Part1: Software patents in Europe and elsewhere
  • Part2: SMEs and patent litigation

An Internet Chat and audio streaming will provide the opportunity for participants that are not able to travel to Brussels to participate to the debate.

Details and registration...

EUPACO-3: 3rd June 2008 in Brussels

EUPACO-3 will have a different format from previous 'traditional' conferences. The conference will give the floor for small presentations of 15 minutes each on 2 different common topics:

  • Community Patent: EU in the EPO, or EU in the EPO?
  • Patent Litigation in Europe: on the road to Texas?

An Internet Chat and audio streaming will provide the opportunity for participants that are not able to travel to Brussels to participate to the debate.

Details and registration...

The EUPACO Report

We present a series of in-depth articles on the topic "Towards a New European Patent System" by past and future EUPACO participants. We provide these articles both in on-line and printable PDF formats. All articles are copyright by their authors, who have granted permission to reproduce these articles freely:

20 June 2007 in Strasbourg

Reception and Briefing for Parliamentarians on the future of Patents in Europe.

The European Green Alliance, IBM and EUPACO present the first in a series of briefings for key European Parliamentarians on the future of the European patent system.

The patent system, and the need for a balance between the disclosure of inventions and rights that are granted is of vital importance to the European economy. Parliamentarians must help to shape Europe's patent system and ensure that the right balance is struck; that real invention is rewarded while society benefits. It is crucial that Europe moves forward in developing its patent system within the fabric of European democracy.

Speakers: Dave Kappos, IBM's vice President for Intellectual Property, Ingrid Schneider, political scientist from the University of Hamburg, and Pieter Hintjens, EUPACO Chairman.

Open to all, location: c.2.1 (canal zone), time: 18h00-19h30. Please register online.

EUPACO-2: 15-16 May 2007 in Brussels

What is the future of the EPO and the national patent offices in an integrated Europe? How can Europe's patent system be re-engineered to overcome its fragmentation? On 15 and 16 May 2007 we bring together over 30 experts to discuss benefits and costs, quality, diversity in innovation, and institutions and innovation. As keynote speakers we present:

  • William Kovacic, Commissioner, Federal Trade Commission (U.S.). Mr. Kovacic previously served as General Counsel for the FTC at the time of its landmark study, To Promote Innovation, The Proper Balance of Competition and Patent Law and Policy.
  • Ron Marchant, former Chief Executive and Comptroller General, The Patent Office (UK). During his tenure, the UK Patent Office became widely recognized as a leader among national offices for its innovative approach to operations and policy development.
  • Mark Shuttleworth, President of the Ubuntu Foundation, Founder and CEO of Canonical, Ltd., Mr. Shuttleworth is widely recognized as an Internet pioneer and successful entrepreneur.

Programme | Register online



Patents are moving from an isolated specialist area of law to center stage in the global political economy. Patent policy today is a matter of public debate with holds profound implications for innovation, economic growth, health, communications, and the generation, management, and dissemination of knowledge.

In Europe, there is unresolved controversy over software patents and the inability to reach political consensus on the community patent, EPLA, or other approaches to integrating the European patent system. However, debate among scholars, stakeholders, practitioners, and the public has provided insight into how the patent system of the future should look. Recent economic research raises questions about the relationship of patents to R&D in some fields, and there is growing concern about how SMEs can participate in a costly system.


Other events and news

  • The EPIP association will hold its 2nd Annual Conference on September 20th and 21st 2007 at Lund University, Sweden, hosted by CIRCLE, Centre for Innovation, Research and Competence in the Learning Economy.

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Congratulations on a VERY successful event! It was a pleasure and I was only sorry to have to miss the end. The conference provided one of the most engaging, critical but also enthusiastic forums for the Peer to Patent project and I'm happy we had a chance to discuss it.

— Prof. Beth Noveck, Peer-to-Patent Project, New York Law School

This was the first conference I have attended that was organized under your direction, and I am very impressed with the constructive atmosphere. Differences in opinion were clearly stated, but the overall atmosphere was not at all hostile. That may have to do with the choice of topics; but my understanding is that it also reflects a change in the organisation - which I welcome.

— Prof. Dietmar Harhoff, University of Munich

Very many congratulations to you and your team on the organisation and content of EUPACO 2. It was excellent. We look forward to helping with EUPACO 3 and beyond.

— Basil Cousins, OpenForum Europe, UK

When you are face-to-face and talking it is much harder to maintain entrenched positions and to ignore what other people are saying. It is hugely encouraging to see that representatives from industry, the FFII, the EPO and national patent offices, and the Commission will be sharing platforms at this event. The FFII deserves to be congratulated for this initiative which, hopefully, will get the support it deserves.

Joff Wild, IAM Magazine | 13 Apr 2007