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Annual bilateral meeting of EPO and CNIPA heads

EPO President António Campinos signs new CPC MoU and 2023 annual work plan

On 25 November, EPO President António Campinos and CNIPA (China National Intellectual Property Administration) Commissioner Shen Changyu held their annual bilateral meeting online, where they spoke about recent activities at both offices, discussed future bilateral cooperation, and reviewed the progress of the cooperation annual work plan, which came into force in 2022.

The Heads of Office shared the recent developments at the respective Offices. President Campinos emphasised the importance of the upcoming introduction of the Unitary Patent and the opportunities which this development will bring to foster innovation in Europe.

Reflecting on the achievements of the bilateral cooperation throughout 2022, the two heads agreed to renew the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on CPC (Cooperative Patent Classification), thus continuing the strong cooperation between the two strategic partners. In addition to this, one particular activity of the 2022 annual work plan, the EPO-CNIPA pilot on International Searching Authority (ISA) files, was discussed at length.

The pilot, which started in 2020, enables nationals and residents of the People's Republic of China to select the EPO as their ISA when filing international patent applications under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT). In September 2022 the two Offices published a joint communique announcing the extension of the pilot for one additional year until 30 November 2023. Both President Campinos and Commissioner Shen Changyu agreed that the project itself has been quite successful and agreed to continue working together to further increase the attractiveness of the pilot for the applicants.

Commissioner Shen updated the President on the 2022 patent filing statistics at CNIPA which showed a healthy, and steady increase, in the number of patent applications filed up to and through October. He reiterated the commitment of CNIPA in the CPC classification scheme and the importance he attaches to patent data exchange with the EPO. Artificial intelligence is one of the top priorities for CNIPA and the two Offices should work closely together in this field.

President Campinos and Commissioner Shen concluded the meeting by signing the new CPC MoU, the annual work plan for 2023 as well as the agreement to extend CNIPA's use of EPOQUE Net by one additional year.

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