EPO and ELLIS sign Memorandum of Understanding

01 April 2021

The President of the European Patent Office (EPO), António Campinos, and the President of the ELLIS Society, Bernhard Schölkopf, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on 25 March. The purpose of the MoU is to provide a general framework that will guide collaboration activities between the two institutions.   

The ELLIS Society is a non-profit association that leading scientists working in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) in Europe established in 2018 for the purposes of founding the European Laboratory for Learning and Intelligent Systems (ELLIS). The aim of ELLIS is to bring together top researchers from all over the world to shape the future of machine learning and AI. The initiative currently comprises 30 research units located in academic institutions spread across 13 European countries and Israel.

The MoU, which will take effect for an initial three-year period, reflects the shared interest of the ELLIS Society and the EPO in protecting and fostering scientific and technological innovation, as well as the prime importance that both organisations attribute to intellectual property as a key driver of competitiveness and economic growth in innovation-driven economies.

Under the terms of the agreement, the two organisations will exchange relevant AI-related experience, and jointly promote outreach initiatives relating to innovation in AI. Common education and training activities will be organised to enhance the skills of researchers in the fields of AI and intellectual property. The MoU will also provide a platform for exchanging insights into AI policy developments and patent-related topics.

In December 2020, ELLIS presented the work of its diverse European network at the EPO's conference on the role of patents in an AI-driven world.

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