The European Patent Office (EPO) recently launched a public consultation on its draft new Rules of Procedure of the Boards of Appeal. The proposed rules lack gender neutrality, not only by referring throughout to the Board "Chairman", but also by using the pronouns "he", "him" and "his" when referring to tribunal members.
At IP Inclusive, we are concerned that this type of language, especially when used in official and legal texts, reinforces gender stereotypes and fuels the unconscious biases that hinder creation of a diverse and inclusive community. We have therefore responded to the consultation and requested that the EPO remove gender-specific terminology before finalising the new rules.
You can download a copy of our submissions here:
If you have any questions or comments on this matter, please feel free to post your question/comment on this blog.
IP Inclusive Leader