17 October 2022
Today, four examiners from the African Organization of Intellectual Property (OAPI) will begin a five-day study visit at the EPO. The course, organised in cooperation with the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), is part of an extensive competency-based training programme which was customised especially for the OAPI and began in August 2021. The programme itself includes a blend of onsite and virtual classroom training, online courses, and on-the-job coaching.
The study visit also allows face-to-face meetings to take place: the in-person nature of the visit gives the OAPI examiners an opportunity to interact directly with experienced EPO examiners. In addition to this, the participants will be able to attend Oral Proceedings in Opposition, followed by a briefing with the EPO Opposition Division, as well as working on practical search and examination exercises with the guidance of EPO examiners.
The final day of the study will be dedicated to the EPO's strategic plan 2023 PATLIB 2.0 project, and in particular to its "PATLIB Knowledge Transfer to Africa" initiative which is providing patent searching and IP training to selected African universities to help support their technology transfer activities.
Looking beyond our joint training activities, the EPO looks forward to continued cooperation with the EUIPO-funded AfrIPI project. This project, like others of its kind around the world, serves to highlight the European approach to IP innovation and protection, while demonstrating how close cooperation, the sharing of knowledge and best practices can benefit society as a whole, leading us towards a brighter future.