25 July 2022
The EPO held bilateral and multilateral meetings in Geneva at the margin of the WIPO General Assemblies. Over two days, EPO President António Campinos attended almost 20 meetings, including one with WIPO Director General Daren Tang and several with IP5 offices and partners with whom the EPO has Validation and Reinforced Partnership agreements. The EPO had multilateral exchanges on its regional co-operation throughout Africa and Latin America.
The Assemblies provided an ideal platform for the EPO to strengthen relations with its strategic partners and update visiting delegations on important EPO topics. These include raising awareness of the benefits of re-using EPO work products, promoting IP and innovation as catalysts for achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals, joining diversity and inclusion initiatives of other IP offices - especially with the USPTO and in Latin America, and discussing the role of AI in patent processes. The EPO also shared the findings from its grace period study, which aims to provide evidence and support discussions on Substantive Patent Law Harmonisation. With the 2023 European Inventor Award campaign underway, IP offices were encouraged to nominate candidates for the next edition.
During the course of proceedings, President Campinos concluded two agreements: an MoU on a Reinforced Partnership with the Ukrainian IP office, and an agreement which extends the Office's support for the Organisation Africaine de la Propriété Intellectuelle (OAPI) in preparation for a validation agreement. Once entered into force, the OAPI agreement will enable EPO applicants to access patent protection in 17 states in Africa and a market of some 280 million inhabitants.
The 63rd series of meetings took place at WIPO's headquarters in Geneva from 14 to 22 July. These meetings enable WIPO to update its member states on its progress and discuss future policies. The 2022 Assemblies were held in a hybrid format.