27 February 2014
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The nine Heads of ASEAN Member States Intellectual Property Offices (AMS-IPOs) and EPO President Benoît Battistelli signed in Siem Reap their first regional Memorandum of Co-operation (MoC) today on Industrial Property with the overall aim of establishing an institutional framework for structured co-operation in the field of patents.
Mr. Battistelli noted the growing economic significance of the Southeast Asian region and welcomed this new regional co-operation framework as a contribution to further consolidating the development of innovation and the knowledge-based society among the Members States of ASEAN.
Mr. Tan Yih San, Chair of the ASEAN Working Group on Intellectual Property Cooperation (AWGIPC), and Chief Executive of the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore, affirmed that businesses will benefit from greater market access in South-east Asia and Europe with strong co-operation between IP Offices of both regions.
Cambodia played host to this landmark occasion with H. E. Ouk Prachea, Secretary of State of the Ministry of Commerce, lending his presence to witness the signing ceremony.
The signing of the MOC took place on 27 February 2014 and was followed by a discussion and exchange of views on work plans outlining the projects envisaged in several co-operation activities. These are intended to support the on-going patent-related initiatives under the ASEAN Intellectual Property Rights Action Plan 2011-2015: work-sharing arrangements, patent information, and development of search and examination capacities of the ASEAN patent Offices. In this perspective, the EPO - ASEAN co-operation will include: training of patent examiners; data exchange; patent classification; machine translation; search tools; and exchange of best practices and technical/policy solutions.
The signing of the MOC complements the established framework of bilateral agreements between the AMS-IPOs and EPO, which dates back more than twenty years. Co-operation under the MOC will commence on the date of full completion of all signatures by the Heads of the AMS-IPOs.