International co-operation

45th AIPPI World Intellectual Property Congress in Toronto

The World Intellectual Property Congress of the AIPPI is a unique opportunity to meet IP professionals, users from industry and private practice from all over the world. Nearly 1,500 participants attended the last session in Toronto (Canada) where I had the pleasure to present the most recent developments at the EPO, focusing on our new […]

IP celebrations in Prague

After the summer break, I am particularly glad to start with a blog reporting on the celebrations for the 95th anniversary of Czech Industrial Property Office which took place last week in Prague in the presence of many personalities, including the Vice-Prime Minister, the Minister for Industry and Trade, the Heads of WIPO, OHIM and […]

Reviewing European cooperation

The European Patent Network is a unique framework of interaction and cooperation, bringing together a regional authority – the European Patent Office – with the national patent offices of the 38 member states of the European Patent Organisation. In addition, closer ties with OHIM have been developed in recent years to present a comprehensive spectrum […]

Progress in practical harmonisation

The latest IP5 Heads and Industry meeting, held last week in Busan, South Korea, was a good opportunity to assess the progress in implementation of our common projects. It was very encouraging to see that some important steps have been achieved within a few years of launching projects or pilots. The EPO presented its component […]

Progress in the harmonisation of the patent system

Last week in Trieste, Italy, I attended two meetings involving patent offices and industry from three regions (Europe, the US and Japan), dedicated to the harmonisation of rules, procedures and practices of the patent system. The first meeting was a further session of the so-called Tegernsee group, composed of heads of Office and experts from […]

Patents and standards: a challenging task for patent offices

On 25 March 2014, a comprehensive study titled “Patents and Standards: A modern framework for IPR-based standardization” was published by a policy consortium known as ECSIP, working for the EU Commission DG Enterprise and Industry. Over the past decade, the relationship between standards and patents has become a subject of lively public debate, particularly in […]

Forging closer ties with our Asian partners

Last week, in Tokyo, I had the pleasure to address Japanese IP specialists from industry at the annual meeting of the Japan Intellectual Property Association (JIPA), which brought together hundreds of JIPA members from all over the country. The EPO enjoys a long-standing relationship with Japanese firms, who have been major users of the European […]

Mexico joins the race for innovation

My official visit to Mexico last week was a valuable opportunity to meet the national authorities and patent system users, and also to assess the scope for reinforcing the long-standing cooperation between the EPO and the Mexican IP office (IMPI). The timing was particularly appropriate, as Mexico is currently working to implement an ambitious national […]

IP valuation: a building block for success

Over the past decade, the valuation and monetisation of intellectual property have become ever more important. In the past, the approach to these matters was mainly defensive, when liquidity problems led companies to look for things they could readily sell, including immaterial assets. Latterly, however, the management of patent portfolios has become increasingly dynamic, with […]

2013 at the EPO: sustaining growth and progress

The EPO filing figures for 2013 were published last week. Although they remain preliminary – largely because of the 2013 PCT applications which have yet to reach us -, the main trends are clearly apparent. First, for the fourth year in a row, the filings total increased (+2.8%), reaching yet another peak (265 000). However, […]