8 March 2011In his first official visit to Bulgaria since taking office, the President of the EPO, Benoît Battistelli, met with Traycho Traykov, Minister of Economy, Energy and Tourism of Bulgaria, on 1 March to discuss how to further strengthen the country's intellectual property system, in particular with the support of the Bulgarian Patent Office (BPO).
In the meeting with Minister Traykov, Mr Battistelli also addressed the unitary patent system which is expected to be introduced by EU countries, and the positive economic impact this will have on Bulgarian industry. The BPO will play a central role in any new system, and thus ensuring the resources the office needs for European cooperation was also discussed.
"The forthcoming European unitary patent system will make a European patent cheaper and more accessible, thus further widening the opportunities also for SMEs and universities to hold a strong IP title to defend their inventions and enter the market on safe grounds," said EPO President Battistelli at a meeting with journalists in Sofia on 2 March. "The EPO welcomes Bulgaria's support to the new unitary system, an instrument that will support the continued development of Bulgaria's and Europe's innovation potential," he said.
Further meetings with representatives of academia, including Professor Borislav Borisov, Rector of the University of National and World Economy, and Professor Nikola Sabotinov, President of the Bulgarian Academy of Science, highlighted the innovation potential residing in Bulgarian universities as well as their intense IP activity. The Academy of Science holds 70% of the Bulgarian patents of the past ten years, some of which are also filed as European patents.
The EPO discussed bilateral co-operation activities with the President of the Bulgarian Patent Office, Kostadin Manev, and identified several joint initiatives aimed at raising IP awareness among Bulgarian SMEs and universities. In particular, training modules for searching in the EPO databases (offering access to over 70 million technical documents) and the translation of IP materials were agreed on.