Joana Piriquito Santos (Senior Associate), was appointed to the European Patent Office’s Standing Advisory Committee (SACEPO Working Party on Guidelines) for the three-year term of office for 2021-2023.

The Standing Advisory Committee before the European Patent Office (SACEPO) was formed in 1978 on the initiative of the first President of the European Patent Office (EPO), J. B. van Benthem in order to give "interested circles" a say in the development of the European patent system.

As the EPO's main advisory body, SACEPO is consulted on all major issues relating to the development of the European patent system. These can range from broad European and international reforms - such as introduction of the Unitary Patent, reform of the EPO boards of appeal, revision of the European Patent Convention, Patent Cooperation Treaty reform and substantive patent law harmonisation - to more practical questions concerning the European patent grant procedure, such as changes to the EPC Implementing Regulations, EPO fee policy and revision of the Guidelines for Examination.

Regular consultation of SACEPO ensures that proposed changes to European patent law and practice are seen from the perspective of the users and debated in a thorough and balanced way prior to implementation.

Membership is comprised of representatives from industry and the patent profession as well as some recognised experts in the field of industrial property law appointed ad personam by the President of the EPO.

VdA thus continues to ensure its active representation in international organizations, increasing its strong reputation in IP and its network of international contacts in this area.