Bilateral meeting of EPO and CNIPA heads

17 December 2021

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Earlier today EPO President António Campinos and Commissioner Shen Changyu of the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) held their annual high-level bilateral meeting. The two heads of office convened via videoconference to discuss recent developments at both offices and at the global IP level, as well as future co-operation between the two strategic partners.

The heads welcomed exchanges between experts at both offices. Throughout 2021, EPO and CNIPA shared information on several topics including legal frameworks, practices and procedures, classification, tools and services, academies, and the Boards of Appeal.  

Looking back at the highlights of 2021, the two heads agreed that the first year of the EPO-CNIPA pilot on International Searching Authority (ISA) files had been a success. Its implementation ran smoothly and provided valuable insight for both organisations. The pilot enables nationals and residents of the P.R. China to select the EPO as their ISA when filing international patent applications under the PCT for which either the CNIPA or the World Intellectual Property Organization's International Bureau acts as receiving office. Next year, the pilot will focus on simplifying fee payments, improving electronic communication with users, and accelerating the search and examination process. The EPO and CNIPA intend to discuss future steps at the end of the two-year pilot phase.

The EPO President invited Commissioner Shen to attend the annual IP5 meeting that the Office will host in June 2022. He also encouraged both offices to work together on a key strategic topic: raising awareness of IP's role in driving sustainable economic recovery. Both leaders agreed that fostering and protecting innovation will be instrumental in achieving the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.

Commissioner Shen updated his counterpart on recent IP policy developments in China (and abroad) over the next five to ten years. The Commissioner spoke on the implementation of the Government "Guidelines for Building a Powerful Intellectual Property Country (2021-2035)" and the "14th National IP Development Plan". China aims to accelerate its transformation, improve patent quality, increase the market value of IP rights, and grow the share of GDP produced by patent-intensive industries.

To conclude the meeting, President Campinos and Commissioner Shen signed the EPO-CNIPA annual workplan for 2022 as well as the agreement to extend CNIPA's use of EPOQUE Net by another year.

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