03 February 2010

Election of EPO President again suspended

On the EPO webside it was announced today that also the third attempt to elect a new President of the EPO at the 121st meeting of the Administrative Council from 2 to 3 February 2010 did not reach a conclusion, i.e. none of the three candiates was able to collect a three-quarters majority of the votes. Instead it was decided that the election procedure should continue on 1 March 2010, where Benoit Batistelli, Roland Grossenbacher, and Susanne Sivborg will run for President again.

Apparently, there are no official rules that might shorten an undicidable voting process if none of the candidates reaches the required majority. The only thing one can say ist that this surely increases the likeliness that in the end there might be some kind kind of compromise (or "horse trading"), similar to the idea that Alain Pompidou and Alison Brimelow should share the regular term of office when the Administrative Council could not decide on one of them back in 2003. Referring to this deadlock situation, the IPKat thinks that

this is making the Administrative Council look increasingly ridiculous. After three attempts, surely some bright spark could come up with a better idea than just to carry on with what looks like a slow war of attrition.
The post of President of the European Patent Office falls vacant alredy on 1 July 2010, so not much time left (if any) for a President elect to promote his focus and agenda. As a matter of precaution, the current President, Alison Brimelow, was given an extension of mandate until the end of 2010, whereas it is expected that she will step down if the next President is ready to take over. The term of office is five years, and it may be renewed.