11.05.17

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European Patent Office No Longer “Strives to Stand out as a Model International Public-Service Organisation”

Posted in Europe, Patents at 10:00 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Summary: The European Patent Office (EPO) acts as though it’s no longer what it used to be, as envisioned by the EPC several decades ago

Mission statements are typically ambitious and self-virtuous, but if/when the EPO decides to water down its own statement, then a lot can be learned from it. Mission statements should not, after all, be satirical.

“I have always been impressed by the evolution of the EPO “mission statement”,” one reader told us. “Not that I am very fond of the term which I dislike as much as expressions like “pragmatic” or “proactive” which are much used by “global players”. I understand a “mission statement” as a company logo. It should in a few words define the objectives and qualify the enterprise. The EPO mission statement has changed over the years as if the mission of the EPO itself had also constantly changed.”

“The EPO mission statement has changed over the years as if the mission of the EPO itself had also constantly changed.”
      –Anonymous
We previously highlighted the difference in the EPO’s approach towards software patenting, but we rarely looked further than this.

To quote further: “Do you know the “Wayback machine”? A great tool! Look by yourself: mission statement 4th July 2008 and mission statement 26th June 2017. Observe the changes. In the last mission statement consider the differences between “what we want to be” and “what we do”. Note also that the no longer “strives to stand out as a model international public-service organisation” as this was the case in 2008. Yes, indeed we have noticed the changes! And now a challenge: Imagine the mission statement for 2018! I suggest: “The EPO is to serve the president and his/her friends…””

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