17 November 2015
The European Patent Office (EPO) signed a new three-year co-operation plan with the Intellectual Property Office of Serbia yesterday in Belgrade, as part of a series of events to mark 95 years of IP protection in the country.
"We are delighted to sign this agreement, which will further contribute to strengthening the patent system in Serbia and in Europe as a whole," said EPO President Benoît Battistelli in a video message to the anniversary event held at the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts. "The timing of this initiative is also crucial in the context of the country's negotiations on EU membership."
The EPO president congratulated the Serbian IP office on its anniversary and pointed out that the country enjoyed a long tradition of industrial property, as one of the founding signatories of the Paris Convention of 1883, and with former delegates from the office actively participating in the inter-governmental conference in the early 1970s to set up the European patent system. "At the same time, Serbia is looking to the future, keen to attract investment and boost innovation and economic growth," Mr Battistelli said.
The anniversary event was attended by senior representatives of the Serbian government, the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts, the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM), the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the EPO, and some 20 national patent offices from across Europe. As part of the celebrations, the EPO's European Inventor Hall of Fame exhibition, presenting the work of seven recent finalists for the European Inventor Award, opened at the Historical Museum of Serbia.
Serbia has been a member of the European Patent Organisation since 1 October 2010. This has opened up new opportunities for Serbian innovators to position their inventions in the European market, while enhancing the attractiveness of the Serbian market to investors from elsewhere. Last year there was a 24 per cent increase in European patent validations in Serbia compared to 2013.