Albania’s national office celebrates 30th anniversary with international conference on women in tradition, innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship

Albania's 30th anniversary

Albania's Deputy Minister of Finance and Economy Adela Xhemali with EPO Vice-President for Legal and International Affairs Christoph Ernst

Representatives from the government of Albania, the European Patent Office (EPO) and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) attend major event together with heads of intellectual property offices and national stakeholders.

On 19 and 20 October, representatives of the EPO joined the General Directorate of Industrial Property (GDIP) of the Republic of Albania in celebrating its 30th anniversary with an international conference entitled “Women in tradition, innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship”. The GDIP organised the event in Tirana in co-operation with the EPO and WIPO.

GDIP Director General Rovena Beqiraj commenced the opening ceremony by saying: “The 30th anniversary of the GDIP acknowledges three decades of dedicated work, transformative efforts and pivotal change. Notably, Albania's remarkable reforms have earned the approval of the European Council, resulting in the initiation of EU accession negotiations. Having fulfilled all prerequisites, Albania has participated in the inaugural intergovernmental conference, underlining its firm commitment to progress and development."

Albania's Deputy Minister of Finance and Economy Adela Xhemali then spoke on the crucial importance of IP “as a significant driver of economic development and an indicator of the level and dynamics of commercial activity in any country. The Albanian government aims to foster economic, scientific and cultural advancement in the country through its IP initiatives”, she continued. “This is to ensure the effective functioning of the market by striking a balance between the rights of IP owners and the interests of users, while simultaneously bolstering the IP registration system.”

Creating a patent system that works for everyone

In his opening remarks, EPO Vice-President for Legal and International Affairs Christoph Ernst warmly acknowledged the Albanian government's commitment to advancing IP, adding: “In this era of technological advancement, it is simply not enough to create a patent system. We must create a patent system that works for everyone.” He concluded by addressing the core topic of the 30th anniversary conference: “Inclusivity is within reach when we empower women. At the moment, fewer than one in seven inventors in Europe are women. It’s a stark gender gap we have to close.”

During a bilateral meeting, Mr. Ernst and Ms. Xhemali discussed topics of key strategic importance to both the EPO and the GDIP. The focus was on enhancing the role of IP and innovation to boost economic growth, leading to highly constructive exchanges on potential benefits stemming from the reduction of search fees, particularly for smaller applicants, and the impact not only on Albania’s economic landscape but Europe's overall growth.

Further topics discussed included the next generation of young professionals in the context of the Pan-European Seal Young Professionals Programme, which enables talented graduates to kick-start their careers at the EPO. With two of Albania’s leading universities as strategic partners in the Pan-European Seal programme and the GDIP now offering the opportunity of a secondment to Albanian nationals, this remains another key aspect of the continuously evolving co-operation between the two offices.