Report of the Professional Conduct Committee
G. Checcacci (IT), Chair
1) Amendments to the epi Code of Conduct
Two different sets of proposals to amend the epi Code of Conduct have been prepared and discussed at various levels in the last seven years: a first set of proposals dealing with the application of epi disciplinary provisions to activities in respect of UPC and a second set of proposals addressing some articles and including a general revision of the wording of the CoC. The first proposal was presented and voted at the Council meeting in autumn 2018, however it was then stopped because of the opposition of the EPO; the second proposal was presented at the two Council meetings in 2021, and a vote was foreseen at a Council meeting in 2022.
Towards the end of 2021, however, an alternative approach was found with the EPO and a new proposal to address the UPC issue was then prepared by a working group with members from PCC and from the By-Laws Committee.
This proposal, including amendments to the epi Code of Conduct only (i.e. excluding any amendments to the Regulation on Discipline) was presented at the Council meeting C92 on May 7, 2022, and eventually approved. The amended CoC will be soon published in the OJ of the EPO; the amendments are the subject of another article in this issue of epi Information.
Now that the UPC issue has been eventually solved, PCC will go back to the second proposal: taking into account also the comments received after Council meetings in 2021, a new proposal will be prepared and submitted to the Council.
2) Webinars relating to professional conduct
The specific Working Group within PCC is cooperating with the Professional Education Committee to offer epi members some webinars addressing interesting aspects of the conduct provisions of the Regulation on Discipline and the Code of Conduct.
Two webinars have been issued in 2021 (on Conflict of Interest and on Privilege in Patent Matters) and are available in the epi website dedicated to learning, www.epi-learning.org. Other webinars are under preparation, to be issued in 2022.