24 September 2018
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During his first official visit to Spain last week, EPO President António Campinos met with Ministers to discuss how to further strengthen the patent system and support innovation and economic growth. Meetings on Monday were held with the Spanish Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, María Reyes Maroto Illera, the Undersecretary for Industry, Trade and Tourism and President of the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office (SPTO), Fernando Valdés Verelst, and the Director General of the SPTO, José Antonio Gil Celedonio.
The programme also included a lecture by Mr Campinos to newly recruited patent examiners and lawyers at the SPTO, focusing on the importance of patents and the future challenges of intellectual property.
"Patents are increasingly used by Spanish and other European companies and researchers and are today considered a major economic asset. The continued co-operation between our two patent offices is important to further improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the European patent system - for the benefit of our users and the public alike," Mr Campinos said.
The EPO and the Spanish patent office are implementing a range of joint activities in areas such as professional training, qualification of professional representatives, strengthening of patent-related services to industry, patent awareness and improvement of patent information tools and services. In 2016, the EPO and SPTO signed a two-year bilateral co-operation plan.
Spain has been a member of the European Patent Organisation since 1 October 1986. In 2017, the EPO received more than 1 600 patent applications from Spanish companies and inventors, an increase of over 7% over the previous year and a new all-time high.