International co-operation

Brazil and Europe intensify co operation on patents


Within the group of BRICS countries, Brazil offers both a dynamic economy and attractive new market opportunities. Positive developments are also apparent in intellectual property, where national patent filings have almost doubled over the last five years and now stand at over 30 000 annually. They also have a broad international base: European companies – […]

The re-established Estonian Patent Office


If you try to describe Europe in just a few words, “diversity” will almost certainly be one of the first that comes to mind. And in many ways the European Patent Organisation mirrors Europe and its recent historical, economic and social development. To take a topical example, I have just had the great pleasure of […]

Access to Asian prior art


Following on from the first agreement on our machine translation programme, reached in November 2011 with the Chinese Patent Office (SIPO), this week in Tokyo I was very pleased to be able to sign a similar agreement with another major Asian office, the Japan Patent Office (JPO). Japan and Japanese users have always played an […]

2012 – towards a stronger Europe


First of all, let me wish you all a Happy New Year! This is traditionally the time to review the achievements of the old year, and to look ahead – with good resolutions! – to the challenges of the new one. As I said in my last blogpost, 2011 was a busy and positive year […]

The unitary patent and the European Patent Court – negotiations nearly complete?


Will we get a decision this year? On 5 December, the EU Competitiveness Council discussed the unitary patent and European Patent Court package. Although no final decision was taken, well-informed sources say that agreement is not far off. The Polish EU presidency is doing its best to achieve it by the end of the year, […]

China and Europe, SIPO and the EPO – two strategic partners in the patent field


The latest yearly bilateral meeting between the Chinese Patent Office (SIPO) and the EPO, held in Chongqing (South West China) last week, was further testimony to the long and fruitful relationship our two offices have now enjoyed for many years. Since 1985, when our bilateral co-operation first started, SIPO has developed legal principles and procedures […]

Trilateral co-operation – working to make life easier for users


This week, the EPO had the pleasure to host the annual Trilateral conference. We held it in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, near Paris, with my counterparts David Kappos (USPTO) and Yoshiyuki Iwai (JPO) also attending. This was the 29th such event; the first one was organised back in 1983, which shows how quickly our three offices, accounting for […]

Improving the dissemination of patent information


I have just had the pleasure of opening the EPO Patent Information Conference 2011 which is taking place in Kilkenny (Ireland) from 18 to 20 October. Kilkenny occupies a special position in EPO history, as the place where our logo was designed. This conference devoted to one of the EPO’s two main tasks – the […]

My first official visit to Serbia


Last week, I had the privilege of paying my first official visit to Serbia, which became a member of the European Patent Organisation exactly one year ago. Serbia enjoys a long tradition of industrial property: in fact, it was one of the founding fathers of the Paris Convention signed back in 1883. It was therefore […]

The road to patent law harmonisation


On 5 and 6 July, a group of European delegates (from Denmark, France, Germany, the UK and the EPO) gathered in Tegernsee (Germany) at the EPO’s invitation for an informal meeting with the heads of the US and Japanese Patent Offices to explore possible ways of moving towards international patent law harmonisation. Some of you […]