How EPO’s Internal KPI System Impact on EP Application Nowadays
2018年11月7日德國PATENTSHIP 事務所主持律師Dr. Robert Klinski 受邀至本所， 就EPO（歐洲專利局）目前審查績效制度對歐洲專利審查的影響，發表主題講座，並就實務上可能遭遇的問題，分享其多年累積的專業經驗。
On November 7, Dr. Robert Klinski, the Managing Director of PATENTSHIP Patentanwaltsgesellschaft mbH, was invited to share his observation on how 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.
在KPI制肘下，審查員通常不願拖長審查時間。舉例來說，若對申請案有疑問，比較不願意花時間簽發審查意見；或一旦主審查員（the primary examiner）完成檢索報告與書面意見後，後續口頭審查的審查員（the chairman or the secondary examinar）傾向不去推翻原審查見解，換言之，應儘量在審查初期向審委爭取核准機會。
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.
在這種情況下，提出歐洲專利申請前，最好能積極減少任何可能遭核駁的不利因素，Dr. Klinkski 建議，歐洲專利申請案應儘可能減少爭議點，他從自身實務經驗出發，詳述申請人注意事項及檢查清單，尤其建議能盡早（形式審查前）與審查員親自溝通，在定案前多做討論，以掌握申請案發展動向。
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.