On November 7, Dr. Robert Klinski, the Managing Director of PATENTSHIP Patentanwaltsgesellschaft mbH, was invited to share his observation on how the EPO’s internal KPI system might have impacted the European Application Process and Result. He also gave applicants and agents valuable advice on how to avoid unwanted situations during the process.
To increase efficiency and quality of EPO service, the office has introduced a set of key performance indicators (KPIs) to monitor examiners’ performance in recent years. The performance rating system greatly boosts the office productivity, but has its downsides, too. Under the current KPI system, the search report in each case is awarded most points, meanwhile, a refusal action is awarded more points than a further written opinion or oral proceeding.
Generally speaking, examiners (held back by the KPI system) have no incentive to prolong the examination process. By way of illustration, if the primary examiner who is in charge of the search report and the first examination has doubt on some issues, he or she might be less willing to write an office action useful to solve problems. Once the search report is completed, the next examiner tends not to overrule the previous opinion, i.e., it’s better to secure a positive result at the early stage of patent application.
On that account, Dr. Klinski suggested that applicants try hard to remove all hurdles, any adverse factors possibly causing a rejection, before filing a patent application and must proactively communicate with the assigned examiner earlier to monitor the progress and unexpected issues. He also shared other matters needing attention and a few checklists to go through for variable scenarios.
Headquartered in Munich, PATENTSHIP provides full cover service for intellectual property matters in German, Europe and worldwide. The office is particularly well-experienced in EP appeal and opposition proceeding, as well as patent drafting, prosecution, and litigation in the fields of Telecommunication, SEPs, Software, Mechatronics System Integration Development, etc.