EPO bid to bridge le­gal sys­tems and lan­guages

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - IP SPECIAL -

at var­i­ous patent of­fices world­wide and en­able them to bet­ter serve global users, SIPO Com­mis­sioner Tian Lipu said in an ear­lier in­ter­view.

The CPC is al­ready used by more than 45 patent of­fices around the globe — in­clud­ing South Korea, Rus­sia and Brazil — to per­form prior art searches dur­ing the patent eval­u­a­tion process, ac­cord­ing to EPO.

Bat­tis­telli said he is con­vinced that in a few years the CPC will be ac­cepted as the world clas­si­fi­ca­tion stan­dard.

Another high­light of the col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween SIPO and EPO is patent trans­la­tion us­ing an au­to­mated ma­chine ser­vice ini­tially de­signed for Euro­pean lan­guages, he said.

The free trans­la­tion be­gan to be of­fered last year, mak­ing Chi­nese the first non-Euro­pean lan­guage of­fered, even be­fore Korean and Ja­panese, Bat­tis­telli said.

With “40,000 re­quests from both sides”, the Chi­nese-English trans­la­tion ranks among the most pop­u­lar ser­vices on EPO’s web­site.

Es­ti­mates say the num­ber of Chi­nese patent doc­u­ments will sur­pass 10 mil­lion this year, ac­cord­ing to the Al­lChina Patent At­tor­neys As­so­ci­a­tion.

The trans­la­tion ser­vice

The‘

qual­ity of patents de­pends on the qual­ity of re­search.” BENOIT BAT­TIS­TELLI PRES­I­DENT EURO­PEAN PATENT OF­FICE

helps to ex­pand ac­cess to the grow­ing tech­nol­ogy trea­sure, said the as­so­ci­a­tion’s web­site.

Bat­tis­telli said a good patent sys­tem re­lies on two pil­lars — a patent of­fice that is able to grant qual­ity, legally solid patents and a lit­i­ga­tion sys­tem that pro­vides cost and time­ef­fec­tive so­lu­tions to dis­putes.

With EPO, the first pil­lar in Europe is “very good”, he said, “but the sec­ond pil­lar does not ex­ist yet”.

Un­der the cur­rent Euro­pean IP le­gal frame­work, patent hold­ers have to go to each in­di­vid­ual coun­try to de­fend their rights.

In re­sponse, the Euro­pean Union de­cided to es­tab­lish a uni­fied Euro­pean patent court that is ex­pected to open next year, he said.

The first uni­fied Euro­pean patent is ex­pected to be is­sued ei­ther at the end of next year or in 2015, pend­ing rat­i­fi­ca­tion of a mul­ti­lat­eral agree­ment by mem­ber states.

Once that be­gins op­er­a­tion, it will help ap­pli­cants re­duce costs by some 70 per­cent, the EPO pres­i­dent said.

“This new type of patent will be ex­tremely use­ful be­cause we have only one pro­ce­dure, one for­mal­ity,” he said. “At EPO, we’re ready.”

Bat­tis­telli said co­op­er­a­tion be­tween SIPO and his of­fice has been “fruit­ful for both sides” since their first agree­ment was signed in 1985.

In many in­ter­na­tional fo­rums, SIPO and EPO are “on the same side”, he noted.

Af­ter the two of­fices signed an ac­cord on es­tab­lish­ing a part­ner­ship in 2007, both or­ga­ni­za­tions be­gan a se­ries of pro­grams to help ap­pli­cants in China and Europe have a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of the re­spec­tive patent sys­tems.

As a grow­ing num­ber of Chi­nese com­pa­nies are go­ing over­seas, it’s im­por­tant for them to un­der­stand that EPO serves as a gate­way to the Euro­pean mar­ket, Bat­tis­telli said.

Mak­ing full use of EPO’s ser­vices, they will stand a bet­ter chance of suc­cess, he added. Con­tact the writer at wangxin@chi­nadaily.com.cn

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