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 several patent offices of Europe, and many representatives from the worlds of business and academia. This gathering illustrated the dynamism of this well connected and active IP Office.
Indeed the Czech Republic has a long tradition in industry and manufacturing. It is quite amazing that the underwater propeller for boats was invented by a Czech forest warden, M. Josef Ressel, who filed a patent application in 1826 which was granted a year later. It says a lot about the creativity of this country! It is then not so surprising that the IP Office was set up in 1919, showing that this was a priority for the newly created state of Czechoslovakia after World War One.
The Czech IP Office joined the EPO in 2002 and has established itself as a reliable partner within the European Patent Network. For some 6 years now, its President, M. Josef Kratochvil, efficiently chairs the specialized committee of the EPO Administrative Council which discusses and advises the AC about all our major IT and cooperation projects. His mandate was renewed last June for another three years. Although starting from a rather low level, the filings of European patents by Czech companies jumped by 26,5% in 2013 compared to the previous year.
One of the hot topics related to patents and discussed in the Czech Republic nowadays concerns the Unitary Patent Package, in particular the ratification of the international treaty for the creation of the Unified Patent Court which is currently under national parliamentary scrutiny. I have observed not only in this country but also in some others that the national debate often focuses on the production of an economic impact assessment concerning the implementation of the UPP and UPC, which is always a challenging task.
I am confident that the evidence brought forward will enable the process to be completed as soon as possible. The EPO is ready to offer its support if requested. Another important element highly regarded in Europe is the path of the ratification by the two remaining states whose participation is imperative for the start of the UPC – UK and Germany. Their ratification will certainly incentivise other participating Member States in order to reach the starting quorum of 13 participating states in the coming months.
I wish to the Czech IP Office to resume its active and successful participation in the European Patent Network.
When I started my term as EPO President on 1 July 2010, I found a situation of stark contrasts. The Office had evolved successfully over the previous decades as a recognised technical institution, yet in some strategic areas it was facing a crisis of maturity. While some IT tools and services, such as EPOQUE and […]
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 […]
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 […]
As many of you are aware, the involvement of the EPO in the Patent Cooperation Treaty (the PCT) has always been a matter of first priority for us. Most of our filings are coming via this international plate-form counting 148 Member States and, as one of PCT authorities (ISA), the EPO produced last year almost […]
The PATLIB conference, a yearly event organised since 1990, took place in Istanbul last week. This year’s conference was dedicated to networking, enabling PATLIB representatives to share experiences and best practices. All our member states were represented, with the number of attendees – 260 – far outstripping the previous record total of 180. The conference […]
We recently announced the names of the fifteen finalists for the ninth edition of our European Inventor Award. This annual event honours some of the most brilliant minds who have not only created or made a breakthrough in a particular technological field but who have also used the European patent system to protect their inventions. […]
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 […]
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 […]
Last week in Budapest, I had the pleasure of taking part in the opening of the newly established Training Centre for judges of the Unified Patent Court. This is the first concrete embodiment of the UPC project, which comprises three elements: the Court, the training service and the arbitration and mediation centre. The Hungarian authorities […]