9 November 2021
On 4 November, EPO President António Campinos spoke online at the conference "IP and Sustainability: Innovation for a brighter future," a hybrid event organised by the Icelandic Intellectual Property Office (ISIPO) to coincide with its 30th anniversary. Prime Minister of Iceland Katrín Jakobsdóttir and ISIPO Director General Borghildur Erlingsdóttir opened the conference, which was held onsite at Harpa Conference Centre in Reykjavík and streamed to participants around the world.
Innovators, policymakers, academics and IP professionals discussed the new innovation landscape and the role of intellectual property in creating a more sustainable and prosperous future. Mr Campinos highlighted the long-standing co-operation between the EPO and ISIPO. Further, he emphasised the role of innovation in addressing environmental challenges and the role of patents in ensuring the successful development and commercialisation of sustainable solutions:
"A few months ago, UN Secretary General António Guterres described the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report as ‘a code red for humanity'. To all the entrepreneurs and innovators - including many of you - who are responding to this challenge, I want to say: the patent system is here to help you."
In addition to the series of reports on green and sustainable technologies that the EPO has recently published, Mr Campinos also drew attention to the premium that the EPO puts on high-quality services as well as efforts made towards achieving the organisation's carbon neutrality by 2030, in line with our new environmental policy introduced earlier this year. Further speakers at the conference included WIPO Director General Daren Tang and EUIPO Executive Director Christian Archambeau, as well as Bergur Sigfússon, Head of CO2 Capture and Injection at CarbFix and contributor to a recent EPO Talk Innovation podcast.
The same day, Mr Campinos addressed Finnish patent attorneys and corporate IP managers at a hybrid event organised by the Finnish Patent and Registration Office (PRH) to mark the 25th anniversary of Finland's accession to the European Patent Convention. Finland joined the European Patent Organisation in 1996 and has been an active member ever since. Mr Campinos celebrated the country's rich tradition of innovation, including ground-breaking inventors like Teuvo Kohonen, who pioneered machine learning and artificial intelligence research in the early 1980s, and the creators of one of the very first internet browsers.
Mr Campinos's online speech covered several topics discussed at the event, including synergies in approaches to a new normal as well as the PRH's contribution to the Finnish government's national IPR strategy and revision of the country's IP legislation. He also welcomed the PRH's sustained support in promoting the European Patent Network and helping prepare the way for the next generation of innovators: "As we start to look beyond the pandemic, it's innovation that will fuel the growth needed to regenerate our economies. And it's IP rights that'll give innovators the boost they need by securing returns on R&D investment."