22 November 2019
EPO President António Campinos and the head of the Directorate General of Intellectual Property (DGIP) of Indonesia, Freddy Harris, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Reinforced Partnership between their two offices at the EPO in Munich yesterday. The agreement is a result of a longstanding and fruitful co-operation between the EPO and Indonesia going back to the 1990s, and builds on previous MoUs on technical co-operation, the last one having been implemented from 2014 to 2018.
DGIP is the second intellectual property office in Southeast Asia to launch a Reinforced Partnership with the EPO, and the sixth office worldwide, following the signature of agreements with South Africa, Ethiopia, Argentina, Malaysia and Mexico.
"I am very pleased to conclude this reinforced partnership with the Directorate General of Intellectual Property of Indonesia, which has been a close co-operation partner of the EPO in the ASEAN region for many years," said EPO President Campinos. "Our co-operation is expected to yield concrete benefits for local and international applicants in terms of improved timeliness, predictability and quality in the patent examination process, and will further improve market access for European companies in Indonesia."
"The signing of this MoU will strengthen the relationship between the government of Indonesia and the EPO, and bring benefits to both sides," said DGIP Director General Freddy Harris. "By co-operating with the EPO and other patent offices, we can strengthen our capacity for searching and examining applications as well as our IT systems to improve the quality of our patents and services. This is particularly important in light of the challenges posed by Industry 4.0 and 5.0," he said.
The number of patents granted by the DGIP has experienced rapid growth recently, increasing from 5 370 in 2017 to nearly 7 000 in 2018. Under the MoU, the EPO and Indonesian office will co-operate over the next five years on making their patent systems as efficient and user-friendly as possible. In particular, by systematically re-using EPO work products and adopting EPO tools and examination practices, the DGIP will strengthen its search and examination capacities to ensure high quality, timely and efficient examination of both national first and second filings.
Indonesia is one of the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the largest economy in the region in terms of GDP and the EU’s 5th largest trading partner in ASEAN. It is also one of the fastest growing economies in Southeast Asia, with average annual GDP growth of approximately 6% over the past 10 years. The ASEAN region is a dynamic market with some 640 million consumers and ranks as the eighth economy in the world. As a group the countries are the EU's third largest trading partner outside Europe, after the US and China. With a population of over 264 million, Indonesia is the biggest market in ASEAN. Negotiations for an EU-Indonesia free trade agreement were launched in July 2016, and the ninth round of negotiations is expected to be held in early December 2019.
The EPO’s Reinforced Partnership programme builds on the Office’s technical co-operation and seeks to establish ambitious, long-term partnerships in strategic and technical areas of mutual interest. It aims to further develop and strengthen the global patent system by extending the network of partner offices who systematically use EPO work products, tools and practices to increase the capacity, productivity and quality of the patent-grant process. The programme provides improved conditions for companies and inventors filing patents internationally, and fosters local innovation by supporting the partner offices in providing improved services to local applicants.