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EPA Summary Report Africa 2013

14 and the overall quality of the patent system concern both the pre-grant and post-grant stages (EPO, 2012). Increasing international co-operation between African patent offices and the EPO, including sharing of best practices, could be an important aspect to help coordinate different national and regional patent systems. The European patent system also provides the possibility of extension or validation of its patents to non-Member States, therefore presenting the possibility of extending the validity of its examined patents beyond Europe on request by the patent holder. Different actions could be taken depending on the specific needs of each African country. Regarding IP policies and legal reforms to facilitate and emphasise CET development and diffusion, it is important to understand and further develop IP policies and to define strategic approaches for technology transfer on a global basis. While almost all countries have or will soon have IP policies and strategies, their development towards a sustainable patent system must be accelerated in order to create an enabling environment for patent protection of CETs and to broaden access to these technologies. The relationship between the patent system and successful technology transfer to regions such as Africa also needs to be further researched to inform and guide future policies towards development and transfer of clean energy technology for future African needs.