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To ensure that Europe remains a globally attractive market with its robust IP rights system, the EPO will further strengthen cooperation with member states and strategic partners. The years ahead will also see an increased focus on patent information and measures that enhance IP knowledge.
In recent years, there has been a rise in the volume of patent applications and patent literature, combined with increasingly complex technologies and more players involved in disseminating patent information. The EPO will therefore ensure that its patent information is complete, effectively managed and made available in a user-friendly format.
Providing access to patent information is just one role that the Office fulfils. Equipping users with IP knowledge is another. In close co-operation with member states, the EPO aims to make the European Patent Academy a benchmark for excellence in IP training, offering a high standard of IP education that ultimately strengthens the innovation sector.
Co-operation with EPO member states and their national patent offices has been a contributing factor to European economic prosperity. Through Key Initiative 3, the EPO will review the co-operation activities that deliver the biggest impact, while also encouraging wider participation in these activities.
The EPO will consult closely with member states in developing a new catalogue of co-operation projects. Comprising ongoing and new initiatives, the catalogue will be centred on four pillars relating to the areas of IT, enhanced knowledge and quality, work sharing and best practices.
The attractiveness of the European system is based on the quality of the products and services delivered and on the geographic reach of the EPO. Currently, inventions can be protected with patents obtained from the EPO in 44 countries. It is therefore important for the Office to reinforce and expand its coverage, an initiative that it aims to achieve by implementing a framework based on three possible models of co-operation: validation agreements, reinforced partnership agreements and technical co-operation.