12 April 2011
In his first official visit to Lithuania since taking office, EPO President Benoît Battistelli met with Lithuanian Minister of Justice, Remigijus Šimašius, to discuss how to further strengthen the country's intellectual property system, in particular with the support of the State Patent Bureau (SPB). The EPO President was also warmly welcomed by Rimvydas Naujokas, Director of the SPB, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary.
In the meeting with the minister, Mr Battistelli addressed the unitary patent and the positive economic impact this is expected to have on Lithuanian industry.
"The forthcoming European unitary patent system will make the protection of innovation cheaper and more accessible, especially for small businesses in Europe," Mr Battistelli said at the opening of an international conference organised jointly by the SPB and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). "The continued co-operation between the EPO and the SPB is extremely important for the successful use of the new patent within the Baltic region," he said.
"The adequate protection of intellectual property is very important in promoting innovation and economic growth in our country, and the development of a welfare society. I therefore welcome the close international cooperation towards a unified and balanced patent system, which will establish the highest standards of intellectual property in Lithuania," said Justice Minister Šimašius.
The EPO President also highlighted how closer co-operation between the EPO and its member states is crucial to improving the quality and efficiency of the current European patent system, and thus to supporting innovation in Europe. "Only by working together can we make optimum use of the resources and competences available among the whole network of European countries, through the exchange of best-practices, know-how, and tools," he said.
In a joint meeting of Minister Šimašius and President Battistelli with the Lithuanian Vice Minister of Economy, Mindaugas Petrauskas, the EPO President stressed the importance of ensuring a solid financial backing for the SPB to enable the office to continue to be a strong partner within the European Patent Network, and to promote awareness of IP among Lithuanian companies and inventors. "There is evidence of a growing awareness of the economic significance of patent protection in this country, and the Lithuanian government and SPB should be congratulated on this development," he said.
The EPO President also discussed bilateral co-operation activities with the State Patent Bureau. Notable co-operation projects include support to the PATLIB Centres of the Lithuanian Technical Library and the deployment of "IP Points" in Lithuanian technical universities.