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AI and EPO Digital Transformation at CIPA Congress 2023

11-Oct-2023 | Source : The European Patent Office (EPO) | Visits : 647

MUNICH - The European Patent Office (EPO) Vice-President for DG1, Mr. Steve Rowan, gave the keynote speech at the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA) Congress 2023 in Cambridge, UK on October 3.

According to Office, the theme of the keynote speech was ‘Digital transformation at the EPO’. Mr. Rowan noted that the Congress was taking place in the same week as the 50th anniversary of the EPC, which had delivered five decades of high quality patents, stability and success for innovation in Europe. That success was based on the EPC, the highly qualified and dedicated staff of the EPO and collaboration with the IP profession.

He noted that digitalization and the adoption of digital tools was nothing new - but that it had progressed at a great pace in recent years, with online filing and the increasing use of digital communication, remote working, videoconference hearings and artificial intelligence (AI) tools. He said, “Digitalization is a process that will continue and accelerate. But we must be careful not to just digitalize the past and the processes of the past. If we are to maximize the benefits from this process and improve quality and efficiency, we must think differently about how we work both internally at the EPO and with your as representatives”

He concluded by looking forward to 50 more years of success: “Through continually being open to new ideas and investing in new tools, while remaining grounded in our founding principles, we can deliver improvements in quality and ensure a sustainable patent system that best supports innovators and innovative businesses.”

Following the keynote speech, Mr. Rowan answered questions from the audience of patent attorneys and practitioners, and then took part in a panel discussion on the use of artificial intelligence in the IP industry. The panel also included Frances Wilding (Haseltine Lake Kempner), Eunjin Chiarella (IBM CHQ) and Noam Shemtov (Queen Mary University of London).

The panel covered topics such as the use of AI in pre-search and classification, its application in research and legal analysis, specific concerns about generative AI, copyright and fair use, and the latest cases on inventorship of innovations made by AI.

This year’s CIPA Congress was the first to be held in-person since 2019, and was followed by the Annual Dinner. The event was fully booked.

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