International co-operation

The European Patent Academy


Last week, in Munich, I had the opportunity to meet members of the Supervisory Board of the Academy of the European Patent Organisation. My discussions with the Board members reminded me just how important the work of our Academy is. Nowadays, with the information society extending into every aspect of our lives, IP is headline […]

US, Japanese and European patent offices take stock of 30 years of cooperation


In Kyoto last week, the Trilateral Offices (JPO, USPTO and EPO) celebrated the 30th anniversary of their cooperation. This was an occasion to review some of the projects completed since the Trilateral’s inception. The EPO and the USPTO also took the opportunity to update on the Cooperative Patent Classification, which will enter into force on […]

Patent Translate doubles its offering


Last Thursday, the EPO released the second batch of languages automatically translated from and into English via the Patent Translate service on our Espacenet website. The new languages are: Danish, Dutch, Greek, Finnish, Hungarian, Norwegian and Polish. This means that half of the 28 European languages included in the programme are now available, with full […]

The EPO on the global stage


The WIPO General Assembly provides a unique opportunity to meet colleagues from IP offices across the globe. Each day is like a world tour, as more and more countries, large and small, near and far, seek to explore the possibilities of cooperation with the EPO. Here are some of the highlights from last week’s bilateral […]

Moving into the future with patent classification


Today marks a stepping stone towards the harmonisation of the global patent system. You may wonder what’s happening that makes 1 October 2012 so special. The answer may sound unspectacular, but the event in question really is a major development. Today, the EPO and the USPTO are publishing the outcome of two years of hard […]

EPO and SIPO – moving ahead with electronic document exchange


As President of the EPO, I often take the opportunity of this blog to inform readers about developments in our relations with other patent offices worldwide and the signing of international co-operation agreements. I take particular care to ensure that those agreements deliver concrete outcomes on time. This makes it all the more gratifying that […]

IP5 Heads and users associations agreed on next targets


Following a tradition initiated by the USPTO when it organised the first yearly IP5 meeting in 2007 in Hawaii, I had the pleasure to welcome my colleagues last week on another island – Corsica. This particular location helped to create closer links and a better understanding between the world’s five largest patent offices – the […]

EPO fully committed to major PCT improvements


WIPO’s PCT working group is meeting again in Geneva this week – a good opportunity to point out that the PCT has always been one of the EPO’s top priorities. First, we perform around 40% of international searches and 47% of international preliminary examinations at global level, so PCT work represents a considerable and growing […]

Russian now on board for machine translation


On Wednesday, 16 May I was in Moscow to sign an agreement with the Russian patent office – Rospatent – about Patent Translate, our MT service. Over the coming months, our two offices will work together to build up the English-Russian corpora. This new MT agreement testifies once more to the excellent relationship the EPO […]

Bilateral EPO – WIPO agreement makes for more efficient and balanced global patent system


It was my great pleasure to welcome WIPO Director General Francis Gurry to Munich last Thursday for the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between our two institutions. In this MoU, WIPO and the EPO have agreed to create a dedicated framework for our various common activities. The basic idea is to improve our […]