In 2016 too, after achieving the same recognition in past years, the European Patent Office (EPO) has been rated top among the world’s five largest Patent Offices for patent quality and service. This rating comes from the readers of the Intellectual Asset Management (IAM) magazine.

The other Offices which were evaluated by the IAM readers are the Japan Patent Office, the Korean Patent Office, the US Patent and Trademark Office and the Chinese State Intellectual Property Office.

In its survey, IAM asked its readers – which include inhouse IP managers, private practice lawyers and attorneys as well as executives working for non-practicing entities (NPEs) – to answer a number of questions about the EPO and such other Offices.

More than 600 persons answered the questions in the survey. Each of the three groups (inhouse IP professionals, outside counsel and NPE executives) ranked the EPO as the best Office in terms of both quality and service. This result mirrors the one of IAM’s 2015 survey.

Of the IAM readers who answered the survey’s questions, 96% of inhouse professionals, 94% of the attorneys working in private practice and 87% of the NPE executives stated that the quality of patents issued by the EPO was “excellent”, “very good” or “good”. According to the data provided by the IAM, 15% of inhouse professionals and 19% of private practice attorneys who participated in the survey also indicated that quality has further improved at the EPO over the past year.

It is certainly noteworthy that the EPO has received top marks for quality in every IAM survey published since 2010, namely in the surveys published in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015 and this year.

The results of this survey are surely a testament of users’ satisfaction when it comes to the EPO’s services, be it services provided to the holders of European patent rights or to third parties having to tackle the existence of such rights. In fact, these results confirm once again that in one of the world’s largest markets (the EU currently has more than 500,000,000 inhabitants, to which one should add the population of other EPO member states such as Turkey and other non-EU countries) technology-based companies and non-practicing entities can also benefit from high quality patent protection, which is of course essential for their strategic planning and consequently for their commercial success in that market.

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ISSN 2531-4483