Thursday 22 July

The EPO Vice President talks to CIPA: the latest on ViCon, and more!

When and where

Date and time

Start: Thursday 22 July 2021, 03:00 PM

End: Thursday 22 July 2021, 04:00 PM

Event Overview

CIPA is excited to welcome EPO Vice President Steve Rowan who will be joined by Yorick Lostetter, Heli Pihlajamaa, and Pasquale Foglia to discuss the very latest from the EPO on ViCon proceedings, the future of ViCon, and updates on other EPO hot topics!  Those listening live, come armed with questions for CIPA Honorary Secretary, Gwilym Roberts, to explore with the Vice President during this up the minute webinar!




Steve Rowan, EPO Vice-President

Steve Rowan, EPO Vice-President

Stephen Rowan joined the EPO in January 2019 as Vice-President for DG1 – Patent Grant Process. He is responsible for the entire Patent Grant Process, from the receiving of applications up to and including opposition and the grant of the patent. This area also includes Quality and Business and User Services.

Located in The Hague, Steve Rowan is Site Manager for the branch of the EPO, which is the largest international organisation in the Netherlands.
Before joining the EPO, Stephen Rowan held a number of senior leadership roles in the Intellectual Property Office of the United Kingdom. These included the position of Director of Registered Rights, responsible for the end to end processing of patent, trade mark and design applications and the associated tribunal functions.

Stephen Rowan joined the UK IPO in March 1991 and, in addition to his operational roles, sat as a Principal Hearing Officer and worked on a range of policy issues covering industrial property and copyright. He was Head of the UK Delegation to the Beijing and Marrakesh Diplomatic Conferences and was seconded to the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit (2004) and HM Treasury (2006) – working on the Gowers Review of IP.

He has an LLB (Hons) from the University of the West of England.

Heli Pihlajamaa, EPO

Heli Pihlajamaa, EPO

Director Patent Law, European Patent Office (EPO), Munich, Germany

Heli Pihlajamaa is responsible for supporting the EPO policy by developing, strengthening and promoting the EPC, including proposals for legal changes, compliance of operations with patent law-related norms and case law, and advises EPO higher management on policy issues and legal amendments, including biotechnology.

She already specialised in IP and patent law during her studies at the University of Helsinki and at the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition in Munich.

Yorick Lostetter, EPO

Yorick Lostetter, EPO

Yorick Lostetter joined the EPO as patent examiner in 1999. He leads the directorate Business Analysis and Planning, a service unit within Operations supporting managers in the areas of operational production/capacity planning and performance monitoring. Yorick was involved in the design and implementation of recent initiatives aiming at improving the timeliness of the EPO products and services within the patent grant process.

Pasquale Foglia, EPO

Pasquale Foglia, EPO

Pasquale Foglia, IT, Director, Office of the Vice-President DG Patent Granting Process, EPO The Hague.

Pasquale studied electronic engineering at the ‘Federico II’ University in Napoli, Italy. In 1991 joined the EPO as examiner and in 1997 passed the EQE. In 2006 was nominated Director in DG Operations and since begin 2020 joined the Office of the Vice-President DG PGP. He leads the EPO Task Force responsible for the Pilot of Opposition by Videoconference. Additionally, he coordinates the management teams of the 5 EPO Opposition Directorates and of the Procedural Support teams under Principal Directorate Quality, Business and User Services .

Gwilym Roberts, Honorary Secretary, CIPA

Gwilym Roberts, Honorary Secretary, CIPA

Gwilym Roberts advises clients on all aspects of the patent process including IP audit and capture, IP filing strategies and patent portfolio management techniques. He acts for a range of clients including individuals, SMEs, Universities, and spin outs through to multi-nationals and handles a broad and diverse range of cases before the UK Patent Office, EPO and WIPO.

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