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Europe and Mexico intensify co-operation on patents

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Left to right: EPO President Battistelli, Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal and IMPI Director General Miguel Ángel Margáin

3 February 2014

Meeting in Mexico City the heads of the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI) and the European Patent Office (EPO) agreed to enhance their co-operation on patents in an effort to support innovation in both regions.

During the visit, the EPO President also met with the Minister of Economy, Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal, representatives of Mexican and European industry, and the Universidad Autónoma de México (UNAM), in order to exchange views on their needs and on how to improve the patent system.

“These meetings mark a new phase in the relations between the EPO and Mexico aimed at fostering the protection of intellectual property in the two regions,” said EPO President Benoît Battistelli. "European companies are among the most active users of the patent system in Mexico, filing a substantial share of all patent applications there,” he said.

On EPO-IMPI co-operation Mr Battistelli said: “Building on our co-operation agreement signed last September, the EPO will support IMPI in its efforts to enhance its services to inventors and innovative businesses in Mexico. The EPO will share with IMPI its worldwide recognised experience in the development of quality services in the field of patents,” he said.

“The EPO is a strategic ally of Mexico, which will help meet the national objective of increasing the number of patents filed by Mexicans,” said the Director General of IMPI, Miguel Ángel Margáin.

The Mexican Institute of Industrial Property plans to strengthen its co-operation with IP offices worldwide, in order to modernise the IP system and give legal certainty to patent protection, Miguel Ángel Margáin added.

The focus of EPO-IMPI co-operation in the coming year will be on sharing best practices in the patent grant procedure, capacity-building, patent information and IT solutions.

Co-operation between the EPO and the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property dates back to the 1990s, when the EPO began providing expertise to the country to develop its patent grant procedure. Since then a number of bilateral agreements have been signed, the most recent one in September 2013.