Co-operation with Mexico on patents: EPO and IMPI mark one year of their Reinforced Partnership

10 February 2021

EPO President António Campinos and the Director General of the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI), Juan Lozano, met virtually today to take stock of joint efforts to improve patent services and support innovators since the signing of an advanced co-operation agreement between the two offices last year.

"We are very pleased to see the positive results of our strategic co-operation with Mexico, which is a key partner for Europe in terms of trade, investment and technology transfer," said EPO President António Campinos. "Aligning our approaches and practices can bring tangible benefits to both our offices and patent applicants alike. Not only does it benefit local inventors by making the process more efficient and user-friendly; it also provides improved conditions for applicants filing patents internationally via the EPO and the Patent Cooperation Treaty, thus further strengthening the global patent system."

IMPI Director General Juan Lozano said: "Effective public policies that put the citizen first make it possible to promote investment and technology transfer and promote the generation of wealth, income distribution and well-being of the general population. And not only that: Applying common sense and giving space to creative thinking has also allowed us to free up time and resources that can now be dedicated to meeting the national requests of Mexican inventors. There is no doubt that the most important lever for development can be found in those policies that prioritize innovation."

Under the Reinforced Partnership signed in November 2019, and a biennial work plan concluded in March 2020, the EPO and IMPI have launched a number of activities aimed at increasing the efficiency, timeliness and quality of the patent grant process. The EPO has provided training in tools and procedures to support IMPI, with a particular focus on fast-growing technology fields such as Artificial Intelligence and the handling of computer-implemented inventions. Under the co-operation IMPI examiners can also systematically re-use the search and examination work already done by the EPO on related European applications when treating national applications.

Since early 2020, IMPI patent examiners have already re-used EPO search or examination work more than 4 000 times in handling national patent applications. In all of these cases, it has resulted in either a communication sent by IMPI to the applicant with a reference to the related EPO patent application, or in a direct grant of the patent by the IMPI examiner.

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