|Obituary forJohannes Bob van Benthem
Member of Honour† September 13, 2006
On Monday, September 13, 2006, Johannes Bob van Benthem passed away in The Hague at the age of 85. The Dutch Group of AIPPI, the Vereniging voor Intellectuele Eigendom, holds in respectful memory Bob van Benthem as one of the most important leaders in the intellectual property world. For the Dutch Group Bob was a source of inspiration to the Organising Committee of the 1989 Amsterdam Congress, which Committee was chaired by Teartse Schaper and myself. At that time, Bob was the International President of our Association. Bob and his wife Tineke worked very hard with us to make the Amsterdam Congress a success. AIPPI and its Dutch Group were very proud to have Bob van Benthem function as our President.
Bob stood at the cradle of the European patent system. He was involved in the setting up of the Munich Patent Convention of 1973 and has been one of the drafters of this convention as well as of the Community Patent Convention. He was the first President for seven and a half years of the European Patent Office starting in 1977 until his retirement in 1985. As the actual President of the European Patent Office Alain Pompidou put it: “his powers of persuasion, personality and commitment were key to ensuring that the EPO developed into the highly successful international organisation that it is today.” During his presidency at the EPO he also inaugurated the trilateral cooperation discussions between the US Patent and Trademark Office, the Japan Patent Office and the EPO, which became one of the most important international cooperation systems that exist. Before Bob joined the European Patent Office, he was employed by the Dutch Patent Office (at that time called “Octrooiraad”) and ultimately became its President from 1968 to 1977.
But most of all, we will remember Bob van Benthem as a very fine, extremely friendly and warm person. We loved to work with him and we will miss him deeply.
Charles Gielen President of the Dutch Group of AIPPI