International co-operation

The Cooperative Patent Classification – a decisive step forward in patent harmonisation


This is my first blog post in 2013, so let me start by wishing you all the very best for the new year. 2012 ended with the historic decisions of the EU on the unitary patent package. For the EPO, 2013 will be marked in particular by the 40th anniversary of the signing of the […]

A big step forward for Patent Translate


In Brussels last week, I had the pleasure of launching – with the head of the Chinese Patent Office (SIPO), Commissioner Tian Lipu – the English-Chinese language pair for our Patent Translate service. Thanks to the very close and efficient co-operation between SIPO and the EPO, this new service has come into being just one […]

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 […]