23 November 2017
Reporter: Barney Dixon

EPO and SIPO strengthen bonds

The European Patent Office (EPO) and China’s State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) have renewed their strategic partnership.

At a meeting in Zhengzhou, EPO president Benoît Battistelli and SIPO commissioner Shen Changyu reinforced the partnership, which sets out principles for cooperation in law and policy, the patent granting process, user services, and training.

Cooperation between the EPO and SIPO is long running, with the first agreement between the two offices reached in 1985.

Battistelli commented: “The new strategic agreement signed today is a milestone in the history of our relations with China.”

He said: “Thanks to our co-operation, the European and Chinese patent granting systems now closely resemble each other, which greatly benefits innovators in both regions.”

“The new agreement will allow us to explore the vast potential for even closer co-operation, to include new areas such as artificial intelligence and green technologies, and to continue to promote the efficient functioning of the global patent system.”

Applications from China at the EPO grew by 25 percent in 2016, with Chinese telecommunications company, Huawei, becoming the second most active patent filing company at the EPO last year.

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