EPO and OECD strengthen co-operation

20 February 2012

With a view to furthering their co-operation on exploring the role of patents as an economic tool, the EPO and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) have signed a memorandum of understanding, which is valid for the next three years. The agreement was signed by EPO President Benoît Battistelli and OECD Deputy Secretary-General Richard Boucher.

EPO President Benoît Battistelli and OECD Deputy Secretary-General Richard Boucher

"The OECD and the EPO already enjoy a long-standing relationship which has borne fruit in a number of significant projects, such as the analysis of patent statistics in the field of clean energy technologies," said President Battistelli. "The new memorandum of understanding illustrates the Office's willingness to better understand how the patent system contributes to the dynamics of knowledge creation, and how that impact can be optimised for the benefit of the economy, and indirectly of society."


"We've been working with the European Patent Office for over ten years.  Together, our collaboration has produced data that improves the international patent system and helps measure patent activity. Those efforts have also shaped the OECD Patent Statistics Manual," said Richard Boucher. "Without a doubt, this shared expertise leads to more innovation and better, more inclusive economic growth. We're excited about continuing and expanding our co-operation."

The agreement with the OECD will complement the activities of the EPO's recently launched Economic and Scientific Advisory Board (ESAB), in particular by providing relevant and comprehensive data to support the public debate.

In addition to continuing co-operation on patent statistics, the agreement provides for the establishment of joint work programmes related to exchange of expertise between the two organisations, such as the temporary exchange of staff and their participation in thematic working groups. Experts from both sides will also work on projects dedicated to investigating the role of patents for innovation and technology transfer in bodies such as the EPO's ESAB and the OECD's Knowledge Networks and Markets and New Sources of Growth projects.

Further information

News of 24.1.2012: Patent thickets, patent fees and patent quality: Advisory Board sets priorities for investigations

News of 13.1.2012: EPO sets up Economic and Scientific Advisory Board

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