Visit from high-level Ethiopian officials at EPO

Ethiopian Delegation visits EPO

From left to right: Nicholas Körnig, EPO Regional Co-ordinator, Regional Desk Americas, Africa and ASEAN, Ms Alessia Volpe, EPO, Lead, Regional Desk Americas, Africa and ASEAN, Senior Advisor to the PD European and International Affairs, Mr Woldu Yemessel Baraki, Director General Ethiopian Intellectual Property Authority (EIPA), Dr (Ms) Foziya Amin Aliyi, State Minister of Innovation and Technology, EPO President Antonió Campinos, Dr (Mr) Ermias Yemanebirhan Hailemariam, State Minister of Justice, Mr Christoph Ernst, Vice President Legal and International Affairs.

On 8-9 November 2023 as part of Ethiopia's ongoing efforts to modernise its intellectual property system, a delegation led by Dr. Foziya Aliyi, State Minister of Innovation and Technology, and Dr. Ermias Hailemariam, State Minister for Justice, accompanied by Mr. Woldu Baraki, Director General of the Ethiopian Intellectual Property Authority (EIPA), visited the Office.

The State Ministers expressed their support for a stronger bilateral co-operation based on the validation model and reported on progress in aligning Ethiopia’s patent law with international best practices and standards. It is expected that the new patent law will make provision for Ethiopia’s accession to the Paris Convention and the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) in the near future. The ratification process for the new patent law is expected to commence in the second half of 2024.  

In addition, the meeting shone a light on the successes of the "Knowledge Transfer to Africa" initiative, an innovative programme launched by the EPO in 2022 to bridge African universities and research centres with European PATLIB centres, and the recently concluded ARPET training programme for patent examiners. It was agreed to build on these achievements and to launch a number of new co-operation initiatives in the area of innovation support, in the months ahead.

Another important outcome of this visit was the signing of the third Biennial Work Plan between the EPO President and EIPA's Director General, for the period 2023-25, within the framework of the Reinforced Partnership agreement signed in April 2019.