Election of the President of the European Patent Office

Munich 30 October, 2003-- At its 94th meeting, held in Munich and chaired by Mr Mogens Kring (DK), the Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation decided on 29 October 2003 to elect: - Mr Alain Pompidou (FR) to serve as President of the European Patent Office for a three-year term beginning on 1 July 2004 - Ms Alison Brimelow (GB) to serve as President of the European Patent Office for a term of three years following the expiry of Mr Pompidou's mandate, ie from 1 July 2007. The formal appointment will be made at the Council's 95th meeting, to be held in Munich in December 2003. Under the European Patent Convention, a qualified majority of three-quarters of the Organisation's member states is required for a decision on the appointment of the President. The dual-mandate decision follows the failure of several previous selection procedures. It reflects the wish of the member states to find a balanced solution, taking account of political considerations but also of the Organisation's duty, towards both the users of the patent system and the staff of the European Patent Office, to give a clear direction to its activities as soon as possible. The Organisation is aware of the exceptional nature of this decision, and does not want it to be viewed as setting a precedent. The decision also testifies to the European Patent Organisation's confidence in these two outstanding individuals as successors to Mr Ingo Kober (DE). The Organisation is convinced that the successive mandates will enable the European Patent Office to maintain, in a stable, consistent and harmonious manner, the remarkably successful course which it has pursued since it was set up in 1977, and to meet the challenges currently facing it, in the interest of Europe. The European Patent Organisation is an international organisation set up on 7 October 1977 by the contracting states to the European Patent Convention (EPC), which was signed in Munich in 1973. The Organisation has a current total of 27 member states - all the EU members plus Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland and Turkey. Its task is to oversee the granting of European patents under the EPC by the European Patent Office, which is based in Munich. The EPO's Administrative Council, made up of delegations from the member states, is the Organisation's legislative body. It is responsible for policy matters and supervises the activities of the Office.