OJ EPO 2018, A55 - Report on the 156th meeting of the Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation (27 and 28 June 2018)

The 156th meeting of the Administrative Council was held in The Hague, under the chairmanship of Christoph Ernst (DE).

The Council noted its Chairman's report on the most recent meeting of the Board of the Administrative Council, followed by the overall presentation given by the President of the European Patent Office, Benoît BATTISTELLI, on his activities since 2010, including the final reports on the IT Roadmap, the HR Roadmap and the Building Roadmap, as well as the annual Social Report and the Quality Report. In the 155th meeting of the Council in March, the President had already reported on the Quality Roadmap and the Co-operation Roadmap.

This was for the Council the occasion to warmly bid farewell to the President, since António CAMPINOS is taking office on 1 July 2018.

On the whole, the Council welcomed the excellent results reported by the Office in terms of production, productivity, quality and finances, and thanked the President for his remarkable achievements and the transformation of the Office he had been carrying out since 2010.

The Council amended aspects of the guidelines for the recruitment procedure in respect of vice-presidents, with a view to launching the recruitment of three vice-presidents of the Office. The publication of the three vacancies is taking place at the beginning of July, for a period of two months from publication on the website, fulfilling all requirements listed in these guidelines.

The Council further noted the oral reports from the chairpersons of its various advisory bodies on their recent meetings: Technical and Operational Support Committee, Supervisory Board of the Reserve Funds for Pensions and Social Security in its new composition, and the Budget and Finance Committee. It was further informed by the chairman of the Select Committee and by the delegations of Bulgaria, being the country holding until 30 June the Presidency of the Council of the EU, about the progress on the Unitary Patent in the participating member states, especially in Bulgaria and in the United Kingdom.

The Council then proceeded with the election of Mr STRÖMBERG (SE) as alternate external member of the Boards of Appeal Committee for a term of three years. The Council also made a number of appointments to the Boards of Appeal and acknowledged the Chairman's request to be temporarily released from his office, with effect from 01 July 2018. The deputy chairman, Josef KRATOCHVíL (CZ) will thus exercise the office of Chairman until further notice.

The Council took a number of decisions, among others on requests for review and on representation of the Council before the Appeals Committee. This concerned a staff member appointed by the Council, following on from a disciplinary procedure.

Under the heading of legal and international affairs, the Council authorised the Office to negotiate and to conclude an agreement on search co-operation with the Intellectual Property Office of the UK. It further amended the Implementing Regulations to the EPC regarding issues related to reminders and time limit for payment of the annual subscription for professional representatives.

Turning to financial matters, the Council welcomed the outstanding results achieved by the Reserve Funds for Pensions and Social Security (RFPSS) in 2017, and discharged the Funds Administrator. The Council then unanimously approved the Financial Statements for 2017, together with the Board of Auditors' annual report on the 2017 accounting period, and discharged the President of the Office. It further delivered a positive opinion on the initial 2019 budgetary orientations.

All the documents approved by the Council for publication on a case-by-case basis can be consulted at: