07 June 2011
Last week in Deauville (France), the G8 held its 37th summit. For the last five years, its general statement has always included a reference to IP issues. Initially, the focus was on the fight against piracy and counterfeiting, but it has now moved on to more specific and technical issues. In 2011, the G8 leaders stated: “Renewing our support for the principles of the patent system, we attach great importance to its promotion and development. We encourage increased international action to strengthen patent quality, and call for improved diffusion of patent information, particularly critical for SMEs and research centres. We support transparency in technology markets and call for the improvement of market places for trading rights.”
The fact that patent quality and the dissemination of patent information have been specifically addressed at this level is a strong signal in favour of a balanced patent system worldwide – something I fully support. In my opinion, the G8’s call for a patent system of high quality – in terms of not only the legal frameworks but also offices’ processes and users’ practices – can certainly be endorsed by industrialised and emerging economies alike. Improved dissemination of patent information, and efforts to ensure the widest possible diffusion of technological knowledge, will play an increasingly important role in sensitive discussions such as those on climate change and access to medicines.
The EPO with its technical expertise is firmly committed to working towards those ends. In this regard, the latest annual IAM Thomson Reuters benchmarking survey, which shows that the EPO is perceived by both private and in-house practitioners as having the highest patent quality among the world’s leading IP offices, is great encouragement to continue our efforts.
Categories: International co-operation