100th anniversary of the Industrial Property Office of the Czech Republic

Last month was the 100th anniversary of the Industrial Property Office (IPO) of the Czech Republic.

On the occasion IPO organized an international conference in Prague. At the one-day conference, participants explored the latest developments in patents and intellectual property.

The Czech government recently adopted an innovation strategy for 2019-2030, and a white paper on intellectual property rights protection is in preparation. It will emphasise the need for innovative use of competitors’ existing solutions, solid patent protection and education in intellectual property rights at schools.

The predecessor of the Czech IPO – the Czechoslovak patent office – was founded in 1919 in Prague; the Industrial Property Office of the Czech Republic was established in 1993 following the split of Czechoslovakia. The Czech Republic has been a member of the European Patent Organisation since 2002. The EPO and Czech Industrial Property Office are implementing a range of joint activities including professional training of patent office staff, qualification of professional representatives, strengthening of patent-related services to industry, raising awareness of the patent system, and improvement of patent information tools and services. The co-operation includes a project aimed at creating digital full-text versions of national patent publications going back to 1973, thus improving the quality of patent data on offer to the public and researchers in the Czech language.

Last year Czech inventors, companies and research institutions filed some 242 patent applications at the EPO, an increase of 17.5 % over the previous year ­- well above the average growth rate for the EU as a whole.

The work of Czech inventors is also recognised by nominations for the European Inventor Award. In 2011, the immunologist  Blanka Říhová (Czech Academy of Sciences) was nominated for the Award in the category “Lifetime achievement”, for creating a new generation of innovative anti-cancer medicines, and Miroslav Sedláček (Czech Technical University in Prague), was among the Award finalists in 2016 for his invention of a novel bladeless hydropower turbine.

Source: EPO