EPO President meets with UK intellectual property minister

7 April 2016

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UK`s Minister for Intellectual Property, Baroness Lucy Neville-Rolfe and EPO President Benoît Battistelli

The UK's Minister for Intellectual Property, Baroness Lucy Neville-Rolfe, and EPO President Benoît Battistelli met in London on 7 April to discuss recent developments in patents in Europe and around the globe. Mr Battistelli also met John Alty, Chief Executive and Comptroller General of the UK Intellectual Property Office.

"I was delighted to meet the Minister and head of the UKIPO today to discuss how our offices  can jointly support innovation, economic growth and employment. Our users have come to rely on quality and efficiency in the patent system and by continuing to work together we are confident that we can make further gains in these areas." said EPO President Battistelli.

In a very constructive atmosphere, Mr Battistelli and Baroness Neville-Rolfe discussed recent reforms implemented at the EPO to further improve the quality and efficiency of the patent grant process, ahead of the EPO's future role in the unitary patent system, and the long-term sustainability of the Office. Also on the agenda were the recent initiatives in relation to the social situation at the EPO, including a comprehensive social study and a social conference with key stakeholders later this year, which were seen as very positive developments. 

The EPO President and the UK Minister for Intellectual Property also updated each other on the latest developments concerning the setting up of the new unitary patent system by 26 EU member states and the ratification of the Unified Patent Court (UPC) agreement.

In other meetings, on 6 April, EPO President Battistelli gave an address at the "Union-IP Dinner" in London, organised by the British Group of the Union of European Practitioners in Intellectual Property, where he spoke about recent developments at the EPO and the positive results registered by the office in 2015.

Companies from the UK filed more than 5 000 patents at the EPO last year. This was up nearly 6% over 2014, and the highest increase in five years,  well above the 0.3% average increase of the EPO member states. The UK is a founding member of the European Patent Organisation, which has grown from 7 countries in 1977 to 38 member states today.

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