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Reinforcing ties between the EPO and Japanese applicants

Group photo at the seventh annual meeting between JETRO and the EPO in Munich on 17 January 2018

Organised jointly with JETRO Düsseldorf (German branch of the Japan External Trade Organization), the seventh annual meeting between representatives of Japanese industry in Europe, JETRO and the EPO took place in Munich on 17 January 2018. The Japanese delegation comprised over 20 representatives of major Japanese applicants at the EPO including Canon, Hitachi, Mitsubishi, Ricoh, Toshiba, Toyota, etc.

EPO President Benoît Battistelli gave an overview of recent developments, outlined significant projects on the horizon in 2018 and highlighted the role of the EPO as a global player.

The EPO received very positive feedback on the quality of its products and services. Japanese industry representatives expressed appreciation for the EPO's productivity increases and commended the EPO for its Early Certainty scheme and PACE programme. They welcomed the EPO's proposal aimed at introducing more flexibility into the timing of the patent examination process.

Other topics discussed during the meeting included procedural changes at the EPO and recent case law, standard essential patents, the EPO's approach to computer implemented inventions, and IP activities in the Internet of Things era.

A continuing dialogue with users is a priority of the EPO. Meeting with a range of stakeholders allows the Office to obtain direct feedback on its services. Potential future projects are also discussed to ensure that any new developments are aligned with the expectation of its users.