UK Referendum & EPO

UK Referendum
According to a statement of president Battistelli, published earlier today, “The Office underlines that the outcome of the referendum has no consequence on the membership of the UK to the European Patent Organisation, nor on the effect of the European Patents in the UK. Concerning the Unitary Patent and the Unified Patent Court, the Office expects that the UK and the participating Member States will find a solution as soon as possible which will allow a full implementation of these so-long awaited achievements.”
As it is obvious there will be no immediate changes to the European Patents and their effect, but the position of the UK in respect to the other Member States will have to be redefined in the following time period.


PPH pilot programmes with Canada, Mexico and Singapore

EPO will launch PPH pilot programmes with Canada, Mexico and Singapore

  • New pilot programmes to start in 2015
  • Aimed at faster processing of patent applications
  • Offices can exploit each other’s work
  • EPO President Battistelli: “Innovating companies from these regions will benefit from faster and easier access to patent protection”
  • In an effort to boost innovation and trade, the EPO has signed Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) pilot programmes with the patent offices of Canada, Mexico and Singapore to launch accelerated treatment of patent applications, starting in January 2015.

    The bilateral agreements were signed in Geneva at the side lines of the World Intellectual Property Organization General Assembly by EPO President Benoît Battistelli and the heads of the three patent offices.

    The pilot programmes will leverage fast-track patent examination procedures in order to enable innovators from these regions to obtain patents faster and more efficiently.

    Under the programme, patent applicants whose claims have been found to be patentable by either the EPO or these offices may ask for accelerated processing of their corresponding applications that are pending before the other office. The offices also agreed to refer to and share already existing work results as much as possible in such cases. This is expected to speed up the process and reduce costs for applicants.

    “These agreements promote our joint efforts to increase the use of patents and improve conditions for innovation,” said EPO President Battistelli. “Through this agreement European companies will strongly benefit from simplified access to patent protection in these three dynamic regions. This also means that patent applicants from Europe will now benefit from similar conditions in these markets as their counterparts from US or Japan. At the same time, for Canadian, Mexican and Singaporean innovators, the agreement opens an efficient route to high-quality patent protection in Europe,” he said.

    Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) Sylvain Laporte said: “This is a key development for Canada and, in particular, Canadian businesses and innovators, who have strongly expressed their need for a more coordinated global approach to patent examinations. We are pleased to be partnering with the EPO, as Europe is an important trading region for Canadian companies. This is also another demonstration of the Canadian government’s efforts to reduce administrative burden on Canadian business.”

    Miguel Ángel Margáin, Director General of the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property of the United Mexican States (IMPI), said: “This Pilot Programme not only updates the close relationship of cooperation between the Institute and EPO, but it also serves to improve the examination processes of every office, benefiting companies operating in both regions. As the world becomes more globalized, speeding up the granting of patents will undoubtedly increase business opportunities and access to markets in Europe and Mexico. ” He added: “The PPH has been a successful and functional tool for users of the patent system in Mexico and its use has contributed to IMPI’s positioning as a modern institution in line with international trends in the field of industrial property”.

    Chief Executive of the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) Tan Yih San said: “EPO and IPOS are strong advocates for creativity and innovation, and this agreement is testimony to the commitment by both IP offices to help businesses invest and build a competitive edge with their IP. This collaboration is also a strong endorsement of the patent quality of both regions. We look forward to working closely with the EPO to better serve the needs of innovators in Singapore, the ASEAN region, and in Europe.”


    European patent validation agreement signed with Tunisia

    EPO President Benoît Battistelli and Kamel Ben Naceur, Tunisian Minister for Industry, Energy and Mines, have signed an agreement on the validation of European patents for Tunisia.

    “This is a strategic breakthrough for the patent system in Tunisia”, said President Battistelli. “The agreement will simplify access to patent protection in Tunisia for European patent applicants and proprietors. Ultimately it will help to strengthen innovation in the country and open up new industrial and commercial prospects for foreign investors.”

    “The signing of this validation agreement is a major step forward for Tunisia,” said Minister Ben Naceur. “The extended co-operation that it represents is bound up with the ongoing discussions between Tunisia and the EU on a possible deep and comprehensive free-trade agreement. We expect it to boost foreign investment in our country and stimulate national innovation and Tunisia’s industrial development.”

    Under the terms of the agreement, signed in Munich on 3 July, European patent applicants and proprietors will be able to validate the legal effects of their European patents and applications on Tunisian territory, even though Tunisia is not an EPO member state. Validated European patent applications and patents will have the same legal effect as Tunisian national applications and patents, and will be subject only to Tunisian patent legislation. The agreement has to be ratified before it can enter into force.

    Co-operation between the EPO and the Tunisian Patent Office (the National Standardisation and Industrial Property Institute, or INNORPI) goes back over ten years, and has intensified since 2011. The chief co-operation activities are the training of INNORPI examiners in prior-art searching and in drafting written opinions on the patentability of applications filed directly with INNORPI. The EPO and INNORPI also co‑operate in the field of Tunisian patent document publication.

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