EPO President at the Spanish Chamber of Commerce on the support to innovators

28 April 2021

Yesterday, 27 April, EPO President António Campinos appeared as guest speaker at a virtual meeting of the Spanish Chamber of Commerce's Research and Innovation Committee.

Mr Campinos spoke with the committee members about the significant role that innovation and intellectual property can play in a sustainable recovery of the global economy. "It's the innovation sector that's going to help us get back to better days", he said.

The EPO President also highlighted some of the initiatives undertaken by the EPO to support innovators as part of the Strategic Plan. These include the 127-million patent database available to the public, and the modernisation of services provided by patent information centres (PATLIBs) with a view to boosting technology transfer. He also highlighted the importance of the Pan-European Seal programme, which aims to create a reservoir of young professionals skilled in IP, and noted the participation of eight Spanish universities and 21 Spanish trainees in the programme.

Further, Mr Campinos praised the Spanish innovation ecosystem and underlined the increase in filings at the EPO from Spain by 28% over the past decade. He also paid tribute to pioneering Spanish innovators such as the late Margarita Salas, who won the European Inventor Award for Lifetime achievement in 2019 in recognition of the breakthroughs she brought about in DNA testing.

Finally, the President stressed the importance of building a fair, efficient and sustainable patent system that fully meets the needs of users, especially at a time when questions are being raised in the public sphere about access to medicines and about the broader impact of artificial intelligence. Referring to developments surrounding the Unitary Patent, the President emphasized the importance of this project for exploiting the full potential of the European single market, and warned of the challenges that Spanish inventors would face if Spain does not participate.

The meeting at the Chamber of Commerce also provided the opportunity to gather feedback on the needs of Spanish users of the patent system.

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