26 April 2013
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In an official visit to Luxembourg President Benoît Battistelli met with the Minister of Economy and Foreign Trade, Etienne Schneider, the Head of the IP office, Lex Kaufhold, as well as with representatives of the national industry, the Business Federation of Luxembourg (FEDIL), and patent attorneys to discuss how the patent system can further encourage innovation in Luxembourg and Europe.
Speaking at a conference to mark the country's 6th annual intellectual property day, Minister Schneider underlined the need to provide incentives for the use of IP in the R&D strategies of companies, as well as for their commercialisation. He highlighted specifically the supporting measures of his government in relation to the costs of IP protection, including a dedicated taxation policy, which aim at boosting Luxembourg's competitiveness.
President Battistelli acknowledged "the sound innovation policy developed by the national authorities to foster investment in R&D and develop the potential of businesses in Luxembourg" and "the pioneering role of a founding member state of the European Patent Organisation, which is an important partner for the EPO."
In 2012, the EPO received 431 patent filings from companies and inventors from Luxembourg, and a total of 184 patents were granted to firms from the country, which has a population of just over 500 000. This makes Luxembourg the fourth most active country in Europe in terms of patent applications per capita, and fifth in patents granted per capita, he noted.
The IP day conference was attended by some 300 participants at the European Commission's buildings in Luxembourg-Kirchberg. One of the main topics addressed during the conference was the future unitary patent – a single European patent granted by the EPO covering the territory of all participating EU member states – which should improve the business environment in Europe, making European companies even more competitive.