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Munich/Sofia, 19 October 2012 -- The President of the European Patent Office (EPO), Benoît Battistelli, met with representatives of government, industry and academia in Bulgaria to discuss how to further strengthen the country's patent system, and enhance co-operation between the EPO and the Bulgarian Patent Office.
"Patents play a key role in supporting innovation and economic growth," said President Battistelli, speaking at the Bulgarian Inventors of the Year event, dedicated this year to the 10th anniversary of Bulgaria's accession to the European Patent Convention. "Europe already has a solid patent system at the service of European and global businesses and inventors. Only by co-operating closely with our local partners, the national patent offices, can we further improve the environment for innovation," he added.
President Battistelli handed out the award for lifetime achievement to Prof. Vladko Todorov Panayotov, a renowned inventor in the field of technology of cleaning of waste waters and extraction of precious materials from industrial waste. His name was entered into the Golden Book of Bulgarian Inventors, together with the names of Dr. Violeta Andonova (pharmaceuticals) and Prof. Sia Lozanova (sensorics). The other categories were chemistry and biotechnology, mechanical engineering and construction, electronics and electrotechnology and most innovative company.
"Bulgarian inventors deserve to be recognised and society has the duty to honour their achievements," said Prof. Kamen Veselinov, President of the Bulgarian Patent Office (BPO). "With this award ceremony we want to make Bulgarian inventors and their contribution known the same way the EPO does for European inventors."
Mr. Battistelli and Mr. Veselinov opened a panel discussion on IP knowledge and awareness at universities, which was co-organised by the BPO and the EPO and brought together Bulgarian universities' faculty and researchers.
The EPO and BPO Presidents also discussed bilateral co-operation. The two offices are implementing a range of joint activities including professional training, the strengthening of patent-related services to industry, the implementation of electronic tools for patent information and the development of the EPO's Patent Translate service for Bulgarian. These are part of the Bilateral Co-operation Plan with Bulgaria established under the EPO's "Co-operation Roadmap" with its member states.
President Battistelli also met with Bulgarian Minister of Education, Youth and Science Sergey Ignatov and the Minister of Economy, Energy and Tourism, Delyan Dobrev. The talks focused on efficient ways to promote innovation and competitiveness of the Bulgarian economy through IP as well as in particular how to best raise patent awareness in business and engineering universities in Bulgaria. He also held meetings with representatives of academia, including Prof. Vanyo Mitev, Chairman of the Bulgarian Rector's Council, which highlighted the underexploited innovation potential of Bulgaria's universities, and focused on ways of boosting their patenting activity.
Bulgaria has been a member of the European Patent Organisation since 1 July 2002.
The European Patent Office (EPO)
The EPO provides a central one-stop service to both individual inventors and companies from around the world. It enables them to obtain patent protection in up to 40 European states through a uniform procedure requiring just one application. Today, the EPO is one of Europe's leading international organisations, with 7 000 staff from more than 30 nations working in Munich, The Hague, Berlin, Vienna and Brussels. It is the executive arm of the European Patent Organisation, and is entirely self-financed with an annual budget of EUR 1.8 billion.
European Patent Office
Tel: +49 89/23 99 - 1800
Mobile: +49 163 8399668