International co-operation

Assessing Harmonisation on World Intellectual Property Day


Almost 15 years ago to the day, the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) launched an event with the aim of increasing understanding of IP and its role. Celebrated every 26 April, it is an important vehicle for raising awareness of patents, copyright, trademarks and industrial designs. This year, the EPO had the pleasure of participating […]

Enhancing Professional Training


This week I had the pleasure to welcome at the EPO a delegation from the institute of professional representatives (epi) in order to discuss recent progress and results, and also to sign a Memorandum of Understanding. Our meeting on Tuesday was the latest in our ‘Partnership for Quality’ dialogue, a process of continuous exchange with our […]

The EPO and its Member States: Supporting Innovation Together


Last week, I was in London to discuss a range of matters with Baroness Neville-Rolfe, the UK Government Minister for Intellectual Property. Since her appointment in May 2015, we have always enjoyed a constructive relationship and last week’s discussions were equally productive. On the agenda were also the reforms that the EPO has put in […]

Reinforcing partnerships with Latin America


For the EPO, Latin America and its emerging economies have been important partners. We have long enjoyed bilateral cooperation with countries such as Brazil and Mexico and with whom we have been able to work on patent administration and information initiatives. It is for that reason that I was in Latin America last week, to […]

EPO-SIPO cooperation: Recent milestones and future hopes


As those of you following developments at the EPO will be aware, 2015 is a very special year for our Office and the State Intellectual Property Office of the People’s Republic of China (SIPO). It is the thirtieth anniversary of bilateral cooperation between our organisations. In Europe, we marked this occasion with a successful special […]

Celebrating thirty years of EPO-SIPO bilateral relations


This is a special year for the EPO and SIPO. 2015 marks the thirtieth anniversary of bilateral cooperation between our offices. The productive relationship that now exists between the patent-granting authorities of Europe and China is the result of the long term vision that was initiated by our offices’ predecessors over three decades ago. On […]

The global relations of a European office


Last week I was in Geneva for the Fifty-Fifth Series of Meetings of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Assemblies. It has been a hugely productive few days. A packed agenda of meetings bore testament to the truly international nature of the patent system. From the very outset and initial intellectual property agreements, the patent […]

8th IP5 Heads of Office meeting evaluates past progress and future goals


Last week I attended the IP5 Heads of Office meeting in Suzhou, China, to discuss progress on a number of developments that are of primary importance to the five largest patent offices in the world. At the 8th meeting of its kind, Mr. Shen Changyu, Commissioner of the State Intellectual Property Office of the People’s […]

Meeting our Global Users


Last week the members of FICPI – Fédération Internationale des Conseils en Propriété Intellectuel, gathered in the stunning city of Cape Town, South Africa, for their World Congress, under the motto “Adapt to Advance”. FICPI has nowadays around 5000 members in more than 80 countries and regions, all of them qualified and experienced IP professionals […]

EPO Quality Dashboard 2014 – an excellent year


Last year was a milestone for the EPO’s Quality Management System (QMS). It was the culmination of several years of work in a variety of areas – implementing and refining measurements, establishing operational quality controls, documenting procedures and internal auditing of the QMS process. We crowned these efforts at the end of 2014 with the […]