International co-operation

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 […]

A win-win agreement between the EPO and Morocco


This week we witnessed an historic “first” from the perspective of the European Patent Organisation: the validation agreement with Morocco. Indeed the EPO, starting with 7 member states in 1977, now boasts 38 countries representing a market of 600 million inhabitants. Two other European states, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro, have the status of “extension states”: the […]

2014, another successful year for the EPO


As the year draws to a close, it is time to look back on the achievements of the last twelve months. First, 2014 can be regarded as a very successful year for the EPO, as in many areas we reached our best ever performances. In terms of filings, we expect a 3% – 3.5% increase […]

Celebrating 20 years of OHIM


Anniversaries are a good opportunity to reflect on the past, to review achievements and to imagine future improvements. In this regard, I think it is fair to say that the celebrations at the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market, in Alicante last week, illustrated their impressive results in only two decades. OHIM’s geographical coverage […]

Europe and China in strategic partnership for patents


It comes as a surprise to some that the relationship between the EPO and the Patent Office of China (SIPO) started decades ago. Ever since Deng Xiaoping began to open up China and its economy at the end of the 1970s, numerous initiatives have been taken by the Chinese authorities. One of them was to […]

Fresh insight on our relations with the U.S.


Having regular contacts with our users, in and outside Europe, is of utmost importance to ensure that our services still meet their needs and also to receive feedback on the evolution of our services. This is why I was particularly pleased to have the opportunity to meet three major American associations last month in Washington […]