/ Created by Hendrik Bücker

“Awareness for intellectual property rights in Europe is growing"

EPA Social Report 2014: more personnel for the protection of inventions

Düsseldorf, 6 August 2015 – The protection of inventions is becoming more and more important in Europe. This can be derived, for example, from the Social Report 2014, recently published by the European Patent Office (EPO). The publication provides an overview of the social and labour situation at the EPO. An excerpt of the results: Over the past year, the EPO has employed 193 new patent examiners at its locations in Munich, The Hague, Berlin, Vienna and Brussels – an increase of 6 percent compared to the previous year. Thus, the EPO is reacting to the continuously rising number of European patent applications. In addition, in order to expand its review competence accordingly, the EPO has increasingly focused on the qualification of its employees. This is underlined by the total number of hours EPO examiners spent on e-learning, which has increased by 33 percent. 

“The EPO has had to intensify its personnel work in quite a short time in order to be able to process the increased number of patent applications in the given quality. For us, this is a sign that the awareness for intellectual property rights in Europe is growing,” says Hendrik Bücker, patent attorney at Cohausz & Florack (C&F). “This is certainly also due to the fact that many industries are becoming increasingly  innovation-driven,  putting remarkable inventions onto to market. In order to protect these, we need experts who are familiar with all aspects of intellectual property rights.” C&F has also increased its personnel significantly in recent years and today employs more than 100 people, including 22 patent attorneys and 4 attorneys-at-law. Furthermore, the firm invests heavily in the promotion of young talent and is currently training 8 university graduates to become patent attorneys.