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5 October 2012
Participating in the Governing Bodies of WIPO meeting this week, EPO President Benoît Battistelli also used the opportunity of his visit to Geneva for an exchange of views with IP decision-makers from other regions. Topics of particular interest in these talks were the EPO's and USPTO's new ECLA-based classification system - the CPC - , which was published on 1 October and will come into effect on 1 January 2013; machine translation, where an agreement was also signed with the Eurasian Patent Office; the new EPOQUE search engine; and the need to strengthen the PCT. In the context of these meetings, the EPO President signed agreements on patent information from Latin America (LATIPAT) and Arab countries (ARABPAT).
During the numerous meetings, attention was repeatedly drawn to the high standing of the EPO in terms of the quality of its products, and to the impressive results achieved in the areas of the CPC and machine translation.
The week at WIPO also offered the possibility for the EPO to consider advances in a number of important projects with its co-operation partners. The heads of the five largest (IP5) offices and the Director General of WIPO, Francis Gurry, met to discuss progress in the IP5 co-operation. With the growing number of patent filings in the globalised economy, IP5 is now more relevant than ever as a platform for securing patent quality. Furthermore, the "Tegernsee Group", a forum initiated by the EPO and comprising also the JPO, USPTO as well as Germany, Denmark, France and the UK, met to consider substantive patent law harmonisation topics. Four studies were presented on the grace period, 18-month publication, prior user rights and conflicting applications. These will now be discussed further in the Patent Law Committee and the Administrative Council.