During his 32 years at the European Patent Office, Grant gained extensive experience of European and other patent grant processes across a broad range of technologies. As Chief Operating Officer he was responsible for nearly 2000 international staff based in The Hague, Munich and Berlin, and for the issue of around 48,000 patents per year valid in up to 44 countries covering a market population of some 700 million people. He was directly involved with the development and implementation of EPO strategy and interacted widely with the European and global patent system stakeholder community.
Grant is particularly interested in contributing to the successful transition of the patent system from hardware to software innovation. For a number of years he has been at the forefront of ensuring the EPO’s stable and predictable approach to software patenting. Besides considerable experience working directly in the patent grant process, his EPO roles also encompassed the Controlling Office, IT, and several years as a member of the committee responsible for the examinations for the European Patent Attorney qualification. Prior to joining the EPO, Grant managed the Brazilian subsidiary of a German “Mittelstand” company and was an engineering officer in the British Army.