13 September 2011
The European Commission, the EPO, the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (OHIM) and the Ambassador of the People's Republic of China to the European Union met in Brussels this week to mark the end of the EU-China Project for the Protection of Intellectual Property Rights.
Under the four-year EUR 16 million joint project, also known as IPR2, European and Chinese officials, including judges and legislators, as well as industry experts and academics, implemented more than 200 technical assistance and training activities across China from 2007 to 2011.
"The successful completion of the IPR2 project is a milestone in a co-operation that is built on the involvement of a large number of Chinese authorities and European institutions, including member states," said Mr Raimund Lutz, EPO Vice President for Legal and International Affairs.
"And for the first time, a significant project could build on input from the users of the IP system: Many of the activities under IPR2 were defined on the basis of feedback received from European and Chinese businesses and their associations," he added. "It is my firm conviction that relations between China and Europe will continue to play a decisive role in the successful development of the IP protection system at global level, and contribute to the definition of a global culture and policy of IPR protection."
More than 1 200 documents and information tools and more than 50 publications by leading European and Chinese experts generated under the IPR2 project were handed over to the European and Chinese authorities at the closing ceremony in Brussels. The materials are also being made publicly available in the form of online databases, which will continue to offer access to all documents plus a compilation of EU and Chinese IP legislation in Chinese and English, as part of an Operational Agreement between the EU and China.
The European Commission and the Chinese Ministry of Commerce have also signed a joint statement, agreeing to continue their co-operation on IP matters.