EPO and INPI Argentina sign first Reinforced Partnership Agreement in Latin America

2 July 2019

President of the EPO, António Campinos, and the President of INPI Argentina, Dámaso Pardo, during their meeting to establish a Reinforced Partnership programme

The European Patent Office (EPO) and the National Institute of Industrial Property of Argentina (INPI) are stepping up their cooperation. EPO President António Campinos and the President of Argentina's Instituto Nacional de la Propiedad Industrial (INPI), Dámaso Pardo, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish a Reinforced Partnership programme between both offices. This comprehensive co-operation agreement is the first of its kind to be set up by the EPO with an IP office in Latin America. The meeting of the two Heads of Office took place on the margins of the IP Executive Week in Alicante.

"Thanks to this agreement, the EPO can work more closely with one of the largest economies in Latin America and strengthen its relations with this very dynamic region," said the EPO President. "Building on our long-standing ties with INPI, the agreement will help better meet the needs of companies in Argentina and users around the globe".

The President of INPI said: "We are very enthusiastic about this agreement that aims to render our respective patent systems as efficient, user-friendly and reliable as possible for innovators. We believe that a robust patent system is an essential instrument for stimulating innovation, entrepreneurship and economic development."

Through their Reinforced Partnership programme, the EPO and INPI will work together to achieve shared objectives such as ensuring that the patent systems in both regions offer the best possible services to innovating businesses and inventors in an effective manner in order to benefit the economy and society as a whole. The Offices will also focus on a number of activities aimed at strengthening capacities in search and examination in emerging technology fields such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and Industry 4.0, as well as capitalising on EPO work products, tools and standards.

With a gross domestic product (GDP) of more than US$500 billion, Argentina is one of the largest economies in Latin America. With vast natural resources in energy and agriculture, it is also a leading food producer and offers significant opportunities in some manufacturing subsectors, and innovative services in high tech industries.

The EPO and INPI have a long-standing history of cooperation. A previous MoU on technical co-operation was signed in Buenos Aires in May 2017, which will be replaced by the most recent MoU on Reinforced Partnership.

About reinforced partnership

The EPO's Reinforced Partnership programme seeks to establish long-term partnerships with selected non-member states in strategic and technical areas of mutual interest in the field of patents. The aim of the programme is to further integrate and strengthen the global patent system by extending the network of partner offices that are increasing their capacities, productivity and quality through the capitalization on the EPO work results, tools and standards. The programme also assists the partner offices in supporting local innovators by providing improved services and ensuring the effective and timely examination of national first filings.

About the INPI

The Argentine National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI), is the official Argentine government body responsible for intellectual property (IP) rights including patents, trade marks and designs. Headquartered in Buenos Aires, INPI is a self-governing agency operating within the National Ministry of Production and Labor, and aims to promote initiatives and develop activities conducive to enhancing knowledge and protection of IP at a national level.

About the EPO

With 7 000 staff, the European Patent Office (EPO) is one of the largest public service institutions in Europe. Headquartered in Munich with offices in Berlin, Brussels, The Hague and Vienna, the EPO was founded with the aim of strengthening co-operation on patents in Europe. Through the EPO's centralised patent granting procedure, inventors are able to obtain high-quality patent protection in up to 44 countries, covering a market of some 700 million people. The EPO is also the world's leading authority in patent information and patent searching.

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