The strategic plan developed by the EPO (European Patent Office) for 2023, aims to describe the actions and initiatives to be taken and the improvements necessary to ensure sustainability and excellence to the European Patent Office.

In an increasingly connected and globalized world economy, the rise of new players in the patent world, evolving stakeholder expectations and technological change mean that the demands placed on the Office in terms of diversity and complexity are constantly increasing.

The EPO therefore wants to pursue an approach that creates long-term value, not only in terms of financial sustainability, but also environmental and social.

Throughout its forty-two-year history, EPO has developed specific capabilities that have allowed it to become one of the world’s leading IP offices in a relatively short space of time. Its results to date have been based on several characteristics: experienced staff able to exploit the Office’s extensive patent literature; an expanding network that includes Member and non-Member States, users and policy makers; as well as the ability to adapt to the needs of the ever-changing European patent system.  The main challenge today is to ensure that EPO achieves sustainable progress in a rapidly changing world.

The strategic plan for 2023 took several months to be drafted, as it included extensive feedback from a variety of sources, such as, in addition to the public, EPO Member States and around one hundred user groups and interested circles such as SACEPO (Standing Advisory Committee before the EPO).


The EPO’s strategic plan for 2023 is structured in a roadmap divided into five objectives.

Goal 1: Create a committed, competent, and collaborative organization.

As a knowledge-based organization, the success of the EPO relies on the commitment and expertise of highly qualified personnel. The Office therefore states that it will continue to promote a working environment that will attract and welcome the brightest minds in Europe, develop their talents, encourage professional development, foster knowledge transfer and collaboration, and offer them optimal working conditions.

Goal 2: Simplify and modernize EPO IT systems

The EPO will drive digital transformation by implementing tools that will streamline processes, both for staff and users. Thus, specifically, the Office aims to implement the Office’s website and its services, in addition to joint tools and with other IP offices; continue to digitize and modernize services, including  human resources, general administration and document management; build an innovation ecosystem that enables EPO staff to provide solutions for all stages of the patent customer journey, create an IT vendor management function, and increase the agility, reliability, and security of EPO systems.  In addition, the Office also proposes to implement a tool to support an end-to-end electronic patent granting process through an integrated approach from patent filing to appeals and post-grant procedures.

Goal 3: Provide high-quality products and services efficiently

The plan aims to implement measures that simplify patent processes for users, through strategies aimed at maintaining the high standard of EPO products and services.

The Office therefore aims to enrich the content of its databases and ensure their accuracy (with particular attention to the growing Asian documentation and standards), to develop and implement  various internal measures aimed at improving the quality of its products and services,  or to implement a more flexible patent granting process, the encourage collaborative work and knowledge transfer, harmonize and simplify patent procedures, improve the management of remaining stocks and incoming practices.

Goal 4: Build a European patent system and network with a global impact

To ensure that Europe remains an attractive market globally, with its robust intellectual property rights system, the EPO aims to strengthen cooperation  with Member States and their national patent offices and strategic partners, to define and prioritize cooperation activities, to develop a new project cooperation catalogue, to multiply the European patent system and the impact on the network, as well as to devote greater attention to patent information and measures that improve knowledge of intellectual property.

Goal 5: Ensure long-term sustainability

The EPO aims to implement measures to ensure its long-term financial sustainability, strengthen the Office’s political governance, improve transparency by better communicating essential information to the public, promote environmental sustainability of its locations, to ensure its positive impact on society and host cities, as well as to measure and assess developments in the IP system with stakeholder involvement through an Observatory, which is a platform that will provide itself and its stakeholders with up-to-date understanding and expert insights on innovation and patents, which will bring together public and private stakeholders to discuss the economic impact of patents and ongoing technological developments.