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Munich/Alicante, 3 May 2011 -- Raising awareness of industrial
property (IP) rights and improving services to businesses using Europe's
IP system is the focus of a memorandum of understanding signed by the
European Patent Office (EPO) and the Office for Harmonisation in the
Internal Market (OHIM).
EPO President Benoît Battistelli expressed the need to strengthen the complementary character of industrial property rights for the benefit of the European economy: "An innovative product will not only involve novel technology, but will distinguish itself from other competing products by its 'look and feel' and a catchy brand name. Successful innovation strategies also build on the efficient use of strong trade marks and design rights".
OHIM President Antonio Campinos said the agreement would have a profound influence on how they worked with national offices and projected the influence of the EU on intellectual property in the international arena.
The cooperation between both institutions follows the example of the European Patent Network (EPN) and aims to increase the efficiency of the IP system within the EU and globally. The activities focus on building expertise in the European countries by jointly training staff of national IP offices. Another point of action is the promotion of services by using the most up-to-date technical infrastructure.
The two offices have previously cooperated on a number of international projects in China, Asia and the Balkans. It was therefore necessary to close knowledge gaps using the expertise of the EPO, OHIM and the national IP offices at their respective levels.
The agreement, made in the presence of representatives of EU member states and IP user organisations attending the May meeting of OHIM's Administrative Board, also allows scope for other forms of cooperation in the future which fall within the overall objectives of the Memorandum.
For more information please contact
Mr Rainer Osterwalder
Director Media Relations
European Patent Office
Tel: +49 89 23 99 18 20
Fax: +49 89 23 99 28 50