Jahresbericht 2015

Quality indicators

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Customer satisfaction

The EPO monitors customer satisfaction by running regular quantitative surveys with independent research institutes. Here below, the top results of these EPO surveys1.

Customer satisfaction with search and examination services1 2013 2014 2015
% satisfied or very satisfied 76% 78% 79%
Customer satisfaction with patent administration services1 2011 2013 2015
% satisfied or very satisfied 74% 80% 80%
1. EPO surveys on patent administration have been conducted on an annual basis since 2015.
More background information on the EPO surveys on: search and examination services and on patent administration services.

Timeliness of patent grant procedure

Timeliness 2014 2015
Time to search with
written opinion2
Direct European route (in months) 5,5 5,7
Time to Grant From examination request³ (in months) 26,2 28,9
Duration of opposition
All oppositions (in months) 25,5 26,1
% of international
searches on-time5
84,0% 90,3%
% of accelerated
searches on-time6
69,8% 68,1%
% of accelerated
examination actions on-time7
60,7% 62,5%
  1. 2. Median value calculated from date of receipt at the EPO to dispatch of search report.
  2. 3. Median value calculated from formal check of the examination request to publication of mention of grant. The formal check confirms search phase completion, payment of examination fees and maintenance of the application.
  3. 4. Median value calculated from expiry of opposition filing period to date of opposition decision.
  4. 5. Percentage of PCT Chapter 1 international searches completed in time for publication along with the application (A1 publication).
  5. 6. Percentage of accelerated searches completed according to "PACE" programme targets (3 months for requests for acceleration and 6 months for automatically accelerated European first filings).
  6. 7. Percentage of requests for accelerated examination where examination action completed within 3 months PACE programme target. Cases are excluded from calculation after applicant has requested time limit extension.

Timeliness of customer services

The EPO has set up a Customer Services helpdesk and Customer Relationship Management System to handle users' queries. More information on the EPO's Customer Service Charter.

2014 2015
Timeliness of response
to telephone enquiries
Calls to Customer services answered
within 20 seconds
90% 96%
Calls to EPO switchboards answered
within 20 seconds
98% 99%
Resolution of customer
services enquiries
General Information enquiries resolved
within 2 working days8 of receipt
98% 99%
Online Services enquiries resolved
within 2 working days8 of receipt
80% 88%
Procedural enquiries resolved
within 2 working days8 of receipt
85% 89%
8. Working days are calculated in elapsed working hours (2 days = 16hrs).

Complaints 9

2014 2015
Complaints9 registered 360 428
% breakdown by issue  
  Examiner products and services 53% 39%
  Patent administration products and services 24% 25%
  Other products and services 23% 36%
% registered online 53% 51%
% complaints replied to within 20 business days9 90% 90%
9. More information on the EPO's complaints procedure.

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