02.19.19

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Stephen Rowan’s and Nellie Simon’s Letter to EPO Staff: eDossier Has “Not Reached the Required Quality Levels.”

Posted in Europe, Patents at 3:42 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: We've just commented on it; here is the raw letter in full, explaining that eDossier and related frameworks will be abandoned entirely and indefinitely within less than a fortnight

The EPO management team has taken the decision to stop the eDossier project in its entirety.

After three years of intense efforts to design and deliver eDossier, the implemented solution is unfortunately neither performant nor scalable enough to create a paperless, electronic workflow. In addition, after two rounds of corrective testing, the latest release has not reached the required quality levels. This was independently confirmed by the recent IT Audit performed by Boston Consulting Group. The Audit also highlighted that the planned benefits have not materialised and expressed concerns over the expected benefits and feasibility of the programme, as currently defined.

In light of these findings, the management team has followed the recommendation of the IT Audit and stopped the eDossier project, including the Cellule de Suivi. The three directorates currently using it for Stock Management will now accept and allocate files in the same way as all other directorates.

Stopping a project of this magnitude is never easy and the decision has not been taken lightly. The Office invested greatly in this project with the aim of delivering significant benefits to the organisation, through the introduction of an electronic dossier and workflow. We also appreciate that this has been one of a number of efforts over time to introduce a more electronic workflow. However, it is a reality of innovative organisations that not all projects work out exactly as we had hoped, no matter how great the effort from those involved.

We will now draw lessons from eDossier to better prepare us for other projects in the future. With a more agile BIT structure that is being proposed, and the overall maturation of technologies, we are also better equipped to achieve our aims in the future. As part of the Office’s Strategic Plan, the Office will now make proposals for a new back-office to support the patent grant process using an improved platform, which will deliver both performance and scalability.

We fully realise that many of you have invested great energy in this project to make it a success. We would therefore like to express our sincere gratitude to all of you, whether examiner, para-technical, formalities officer, team manager or director, who has used eDossier Stock Management, as well as all the IM, PD13 and PD14 staff who worked on the project and supported the cellule during the past two years.

eDossier Stock Management will stop on Friday 1 March 2019 at 16:00. All those using eDossier will receive information later today on how the transition will be managed and what you can expect and when.

Stephen Rowan
Vice-President DG1
Nellie Simon
Vice-President DG4

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