EPO, CEN and CENELEC to cooperate on standards and patents

The European Patent Office (EPO), the European Committee of Standardization (CEN) and the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to enhance the support they provide to industry and stakeholders in Europe and beyond in the field of standard-essential patents.

This is the first MoU between the organisations who will now work together to extend knowledge about the relationship between standardisation and patents. The purpose of this collaboration is to support inventors, innovators, researchers and industry on standard-essential patents (SEPs) in different areas of technology by promoting the dissemination of technical standards including relevant patented technologies. The agreement complements the established co-operation in this field between the EPO, the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) and the European Commission. 

"This agreement will help us to provide inventors and innovating businesses with information about the use of standards and patents in their field of activity," said EPO President António Campinos. "Co-operation with standardisation organisations is essential for tackling the challenges arising from the relationship between standards and patents. It will help ensure that the patent system continues to support a competitive innovation environment for businesses by delivering greater transparency on standard essential patents, as well as high patent quality."

CEN and CENELEC Director General Elena Santiago Cid added: "CEN and CENELEC actively support the European innovation community and aim to efficiently integrate it in the European standardization system. With this objective, in 2018 we presented our Innovation Plan, which addresses the need to offer fast-track processes to bring research results to the market. The ability to reach the ambitions set out in the Plan will be enhanced by the collaboration with EPO. Together, we can support the European economy to be more competitive in the global knowledge-based economy".

In view of the growing use of ICT-related technologies in the more traditional technical fields, the ICT standards - as well as the patents considered essential for their implementation - are becoming increasingly important in this context.

Further information

Supporting innovation in the fourth industrial revolution (CENELEC)

EPO co-operation with international organisations outside the IP system

European Committee of Standardization (CEN)

European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC)