The European Patent Office grants approximately 6,000 biotechnology patents per year. LSIPR spoke to Victor Kaas, director of biotechnology at the office, about how it faces the unique challenges of the industry.
What is your role and responsibility at the EPO?
First, I’m a member of the management team for the biotechnology cluster. The operational part of the EPO, which is called DG1, is composed of 14 clusters of all different technical fields, and biotech has its own cluster. It’s composed of nine directorates, each composed of 25-30 people.
All directorates have specific technical fields, and I’m one of the nine directors dealing with biotech in the biotech joint cluster. I coach and manage a team of qualified engineers working as patent examiners. The cluster produces about 10,000 searches per year and delivers approximately 6,000 granted patents and hears about 200 oppositions annually.
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EPO, biotechnology, quality control, Victor Kaas