The heads of the European Patent Office (EPO) and the State Agency on Intellectual Property of the Republic of Moldova (AGEPI) have signed a validation agreement, which will allow European patent applications and patents to take legal effect in Moldova. The agreement was signed by EPO President Benoît Battistelli and AGEPI Director-General Lilia Bolocan in Munich on 16 October.
"This is a major step forward in our co-operation," said EPO President Battistelli. "This agreement, once approved and implemented fully, will simplify access to patent protection in Moldova, making it possible for applicants and owners of European patents to have their patents recognised in Moldova. It is a major contribution to strengthening innovation in Moldova, and creating new business opportunities for European companies in the country."
"The signature of this validation agreement is an important step for the Republic of Moldova from an economic and political point of view," said AGEPI Director General Lilia Bolocan. "Given Moldova's strong commitment to European integration, the Government of the Republic of Moldova considers co-operation with the EPO as a priority. The recognition of European patents in Moldova will benefit Moldovan society by increasing patent quality, stimulating innovation and technology transfer, and creating a favourable investment climate in the country."
Under the agreement, applicants will be able to validate their European patent applications and EPO-granted patents in the Republic of Moldova, even though it is not a contracting state to the European Patent Convention. Thanks to the new agreement, European applications and patents validated for Moldova will have the same legal effects there as Moldovan ones, and be subject to Moldovan law. The Agreement still needs to be approved, and implementing legislation passed by the Republic of Moldova.
Co-operation between the EPO and AGEPI goes back more than 15 years, and has intensified since 2009. Previous co-operation activities focused on enhancing the skills of AGEPI staff in the area of patent administration and examination. Under the current co-operation agreement, the EPO will also provide technical and legal assistance for the implementation of the validation system.