Comprehensive strategic partnership between EPO and CNIPA

CNIPAAt their annual meeting in Suzhou today, EPO President António Campinos and the Commissioner of the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA), Shen Changyu, agreed to enhance their bilateral co-operation in the framework of the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT).

The aim is to give patent applicants filing an international patent application in English at the CNIPA as Receiving Office the choice to opt for the EPO as their International Searching Authority (ISA).

It is expected that this new option will be offered in the course of next year, and be implemented as a two-year pilot programme.

For Chinese applicants, this step will offer an additional option to optimise their international patent strategy, especially when considering protection in Europe. As a result, Chinese users interested in accelerating the prosecution of their applications will, by selecting the EPO as their ISA, gain up to one year by entering into the European phase earlier and getting direct examination of their files, without the need for a European supplementary search.

Source: European Patent Office

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