The European Patent Office (EPO), based on its policy for expanding international intellectual property cooperation, has been planning to further increase its cooperation with Asian countries, and especially with Singapore. EPO has faced a growing trend of patent applications from Singapore and other Asian countries in recent years, and it is a very important and key factor for EPO’s new partnership strategy.
Dr. Christoph Ernst, EPO Vice President and General Director of Legal and International Affairs, with emphasizing Asia's important role in innovation and patenting said: "Asia is a major center of worldwide innovation and the number of patents from this region is rapidly growing. It has become evident that the EPO has been receiving a rapidly growing number of patent applications from this region.” Dr. Ernst spoke between a group of intellectual property owners, legal experts and technology companies in a global forum held by the Singapore Intellectual Property Office, entitled IP Week SG 2019. Increasing of EPO and IPOS cooperation was one of his lecture’s titles and he mentioned that EPO is committed to increase its efforts for providing global users’ interests and this process will continue by preparing international standards and strengthening cooperation with all countries around the world.
It should be noted that in 2018, about 53.3% of the 174,317 filed applications in the EPO were from countries outside the European Union, in particular, the US, Japan, China and South Korea. Interestingly in last year, the number of Singapore’s patent applicants increased by 20 percent to 533. This progressive process has established a close partnership between EPO and IPOS, and the European Patent Office has been working hard to develop and strengthen it.
Considerably, Singapore has been working on its intellectual property policies and cooperation with other offices for improving the country’s position in IPRs. In this way, it is seeking to expand its intellectual property partnerships with other national and regional IP offices. The country has implemented a series of programs, such as informal relation between patent examiners and applicants, reducing examination time for artificial intelligence and FinTech applications, and even lunching an “IPOS International” institution due to its plans for being a regional IP hub. The new organization based on the expertise and deep communication network of the Singapore Intellectual Property Office, will support local and international companies through commercialization of intangible assets and assistance to growth and development. In this regard, multinational corporations have been encouraging to use this organization’ helps in areas such as artificial intelligence, patent search and analysis, as well as training and consulting programs.