EPO-SIPO cooperation: Recent milestones and future hopes

01 December 2015 - No comments »

EPO President Benoît BattistelliAs 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 event in Lyon. Last week, we were honoured to continue those celebrations with our colleagues in Beijing and to continue to raise awareness in China of our strategic achievements.

The great interest generated in the media and among IP stakeholders confirmed that EPO-SIPO relations have brought meaningful benefits to users of the international patent system. It is little surprise: over three decades of hard work – driven by the vision of our predecessors in both offices – have delivered huge gains. Thanks to the efforts of the EPO and SIPO, Chinese and European innovators alike can more easily access patent protection in each other’s respective markets that together represent almost 2 billion consumers.

It was therefore a great honour to be received by State Councillor, Mr Wang Yong. The meeting was a pivotal point in the EPO‘s relations with the Chinese authorities and acknowledged the thirty years of efforts made by those at the EPO in supporting SIPO’s rise to become one of the leading patent offices in the world.

During my visit to Beijing, a packed agenda indicated the increasing interest in patents and intellectual property among all stakeholders – including the IP professionals of tomorrow. My tour included a visit to Renmin University where I was able to talk to students of intellectual property about the latest developments. I was also able to present the major achievements in our cooperation, such as our work on Cooperative Patent Classification, automated translation and development of the Global Dossier, among many others.

It was a worthwhile visit. If the EPO’s and SIPO’s work together is to continue for another thirty years, it is the interest of bright and interested students such as these that needs to be nurtured. It is their ambition and professional skills that will fuel future initiatives between our offices. Just as previous employees and management from our offices have brought about concrete results, the next generation from China and their counterparts from Europe will be the ones that could develop the ground-breaking patent projects of tomorrow. I also hope that, with over 1000 SIPO staff trained to date, some of those students will perhaps one day benefit from the continuous exchange of knowledge and training programmes that have been implemented by our offices.

For the immediate future, I was pleased to be able to discuss with Commissioner Shen of SIPO the continuation of our bilateral working relations, including our work on data exchange and EPOQUE use and training. It was a good opportunity to sign the EPO-SIPO annual work plan which envisages the continuation of our joint projects and initiatives for the next year.

On behalf of the EPO, I offer a sincere thank you to our hosts from SIPO and the Chinese government for their hospitality and a productive visit. From the topics and initiatives discussed with all those we met, the future of EPO-SIPO cooperation looks set to deliver yet more benefits for users of the international patent system.

Benoît Battistelli


  • Share this post:

Older posts

EPOPIC 2015 and the value of patent information

Recently, I was in Copenhagen to speak at the EPO’s Patent Information Conference (EPOPIC 2015). It was the 25th event of its kind and attendance was impressive, bringing together over 400 participants from approximately 45 countries. EPOPIC is the largest patent information conference in Europe and feedback from delegates every year reveals an appreciation for […]

A successful start for PCT Direct

At the EPO, we are committed to the ongoing improvement of our services. Together with increasing efficiency and production, we are continuously looking for new ways in which to save applicants both time and money in the patent granting process. Last year, in November 2014, the EPO launched an optional procedure that would significantly shorten […]

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 […]

Ensuring Transparency

Today we have taken a significant step in improving our Office’s transparency with the publishing of our Service Regulations. These are the rules that govern the conditions of employment for all EPO staff and which ensure the smooth and efficient functioning of our office by providing staff with a framework of rules that clearly define […]

Italy on course for unitary patent and Unified Patent Court

A few days ago I was in Rome to meet with Simona Vicari, Italy’s Under Secretary of State to the Ministry of Economic Development. I was there to discuss the unitary patent following the Italian government’s decision in July to request officially participation in the scheme. The country’s accession is in the process of being […]

Early Certainty from Search: One Year On

At the European Patent Office we have seen the demand for patents increase consistently over the last five years. The number of annual direct European patent filings has increased by almost 30,000 since 2010 and in 2014 we received a total of 274,174. Now, more than ever, we face the need to reconcile increasing demand […]

EPO at the forefront of renewable energy technology

Recently, the EPO announced that the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has launched a joint initiative with the EPO to provide access to information on renewable energy technologies. Thanks to the International Standards and Patents in Renewable Energy (INSPIRE) platform, anyone can now have access to the world’s largest collection of global renewable energy standards […]

Unitary patent – An attractive option for the renewal fees

Since March 2013, the Select Committee of EPO Administrative Council, composed of 25 EU Member States, has been tasked to adopt the necessary measures for the implementation of the Unitary patent protection whose management has been entrusted to the EPO. One of the essential tasks falling under the Committee’s remit has been to agree the […]