Monaco/Munich, 6 September 2013 -- In his first official visit to the Principality of Monaco, the President of the European Patent Office (EPO), Benoît Battistelli, met His Excellency the Minister of State, Michel Roger, Finance and Economy Minister Jean Castellini and other representatives of government and industry to discuss the role of industrial property (IP) rights, especially patents, in supporting innovation in Monaco and Europe. Monaco has been a member state of the European Patent Organisation since December 1991. In 2012,11 200 European patents designating Monaco were in force.
Michel Roger highlighted the commitment of the Principality of Monaco's government to continuing its work to improve the business environment for innovative companies, and to using modern technical and legal tools to strengthen the role of patents in the development and economic attractiveness of Monaco: "An efficient and well developed patent system is vital for the success of our efforts to diversify our economy for the benefit of service firms and high-value-added industries," he said.
"To stay competitive in a fast-changing world, Europe needs the best possible legal framework for innovation at both national and regional levels. The EPO, therefore, sees it as one of its foremost tasks to support its member states in their efforts to unlock the innovative potential of their companies. That includes Monaco, where more and more companies are now protecting their innovations", said Benoît Battistelli.
During an interview, the EPO President outlined the work in progress to facilitate access to patent protection for innovating European businesses, and especially for research institutes and SMEs. The future unitary patent, to be granted and administered by the EPO, will confer unitary protection in the 25 EU member states taking part, and together with the Unified Patent Court system will reduce patenting costs and increase legal certainty in Europe. At the same time, Patent Translate, the EPO's free online machine-translation service which was recently extended to include Chinese and Japanese, gives European inventors and businesses easier access to state-of-the-art technologies from around the world.
The EPO President's visit was also an opportunity to visit the national office and be briefed on the latest technical and legislative developments in intellectual property in Monaco, and to meet the head of 3X Engineering, a highly innovative Monegasque company working on leak prevention in pipelines, which uses patents to protect its innovations and boost its marketing efforts.
With more than 7 000 staff, the European Patent Office (EPO) is one of the main European public service institutions. Its headquarters are in Munich and it also has offices in Berlin, Brussels, The Hague and Vienna. Through the EPO's centralised patent granting procedure, inventors are able to obtain high-quality patent protection in the 38 member states of the European Patent Organisation. The EPO is also the world's leading authority in patent information and patent searching.
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