9 October 2013
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The EPO has signed an agreement with Lithuania to improve conditions for Lithuanian businesses seeking to protect their inventions in Europe.
Under the agreement, signed today by EPO President Benoît Battistelli andRimvydas Naujokas, Director of the State Patent Bureau (SPB) of the Republic of Lithuania at the sidelines of an international conference in Vilnius, the EPO will conduct searches on behalf of the SPB, and offer search services at a reduced cost to Lithuanian applicants.
This is expected to boost innovation and improve the quality of patented inventions, while cutting costs for Lithuanian companies. Especially small and medium-sized enterprises, and universities, stand to benefit.
"Patenting is a powerful economic engine which is key to generating employment and stimulating growth," said EPO President Battistelli. A recent study, conducted jointly by the EPO and the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM), found that more than a quarter of employment and more than a third of economic activity in the EU is generated by intellectual property rights intensive industries.
"This co-operation will greatly benefit Lithuanian inventors," said SPB Director Naujokas. "It will enable them to check whether their inventions are still unknown by other specialists anywhere in the world. It will make life easier for enterprises, academic and research offices, as well as individuals, who seek to create and patent inventions and improve the quality of their patents."
The conference "Intellectual property protection in the EU: risks, challenges and prospects", is being organised by the SPB on the occasion of the Lithuanian Presidency of the EU Council, and takes place in Vilnius on 8-9 October. Topics discussed at the conference include the revision of the Community trademark system, the unitary patent and Unified Patent Court, enforcement of IPRs and trade secrets protection. The unitary patent was agreed by EU member states late last year and is expected to enter into force in 2015.Further information: