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16 May 2013
On an official visit to Slovakia, the President of the European Patent Office (EPO), Benoît Battistelli, met with Prime Minister Robert Fico, Minister of Economy Tomáš Malatinský and other representatives of government, industry and academia to discuss how to further strengthen the patent system to promote innovation and economic growth in Slovakia and Europe.
"Patents are an important driver of innovation," said Mr Battistelli. "Decision-makers in Europe are increasingly aware of the need to continue improving the patent system, so that Europe can face up to global competition and emerge from the crisis in better shape."
The meetings were also attended by the President of the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM), Antonio Campinos, who highlighted the role of trademarks and designs, and the importance of shaping a system which fits business needs.
Speaking at celebrations to mark the 20th anniversary of
the founding of the Industrial Property Office of the Slovak Republic,
Mr Battistelli said: "The Slovak IP Office should be congratulated on two
decades of work in promoting awareness of IP protection and helping companies
strengthen their competitiveness."
Ľuboš Knoth, President of the Slovak Industrial Property Office said: "We are aware that besides good awareness raising, Slovakia needs to see examples of real success stories of individuals and companies in the IP field in order to support the importance of innovativeness for well-being as well as for business. That is why our office launched a new IP understanding concept last year for all school levels so that future generations are "IP literate and IP ready" when it comes to their business orientation and all-round innovation exploitation."
In the meetings, Mr Battistelli also addressed the future unitary patent, and the positive economic impact this is expected to have on Slovak industry. "The European unitary patent system will make the protection of innovation cheaper and more accessible, especially for small businesses in Europe," he said. "The continued co-operation between the EPO and the Slovak IP Office will help ensure the success of the new patent."
Ľuboš Knoth, President of the Slovak Industrial Property Office, has recently been elected Vice Chairman of the Select Committee, which is in charge of defining the rules of procedure and determining an appropriate level of fees for the unitary patent.
The EPO and Slovak IP Office are implementing a range of joint activities including professional training, the qualification of professional representatives, the strengthening of patent-related services to industry, patent awareness, the improvement of patent information tools and services, and e-services such as online filing.
Slovakia has been a member of the European Patent Organisation since 1 July 2002.