EPO – international co-operation on patents

co-operationTo strengthen international co-operation on patents, a delegation from the EPO met with representatives of intellectual property offices from around the world on the fringes of the Assemblies of the Member States of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in Geneva and signed a number of agreements.

In all, some 40 official meetings were held with partner organisations, making it a key week for setting the EPO’s international agenda for the coming year.

The EPO met individually with the IP5 offices (CNIPA, KIPO, JPO and the USPTO) to take stock on developments and exchange and plan the meetings ahead. In parallel, the EPO set up a formal cooperation framework with JPO through the signature of a comprehensive Memorandum of Co-operation and with the USPTO through a Memorandum of Understanding.

A MoU on Reinforced Partnership, a co-operation programme recently set up by the EPO to streamline patent procedures, was signed with the Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia, making it the first intellectual property office in Southeast Asia to conclude this advanced type of bilateral co-operation with the EPO.

A new Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) pilot programme was endorsed by the EPO and INDECOPI Peru, promoting work-sharing between the two offices. This brings to 16 the number of PPH pilots running in co-operation with the EPO.

Other important developments included a Work Plan with IP Australia on technical co-operation, the renewal of an MoU and Work Plan on technical co-operation with Rospatent, the renewal of an agreement on the Cooperative Patent Classification with the Eurasian Patent Office and the renewal of an agreement with Chile and Mexico on the use of the EPO’s online patent search tool EPOQUE Net used by over 45 IP offices in the world. With Argentina, a work plan to detail the activities to carry out under the framework of Reinforced Partnership was also signed.

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