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EPO-USPTO joint panel at CIP FORUM 2020

11 December 2020

EPO President António Campinos delivered a keynote speech yesterday (10 December), followed by a joint panel discussion with the Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office Andrei Iancu, at the Center for Intellectual Property (CIP) FORUM 2020.

The event gathered an international audience of business leaders, IP professionals, academics, policymakers and judges to speak about the impact of technical, economic, and geopolitical developments on IP strategy, management, commercialisation and practice. Organised by CIP in co-operation with the University of California at Berkeley, this year's forum marks the 20th anniversary of CIP's founding, and is being held online for the first time.

During his speech, the EPO President looked back at the challenges faced by the Office over the past 20 years, as well as recent achievements and future directions. He highlighted the importance of IP protection for innovators, and emphasised the need for closer international co-operation and consultation with users to make the IP system even more accessible and effective.

"Users keep expressing their need for a simplified and cost-effective approach to global patent protection. So, naturally, we believe that the larger offices have to play a leading role in finding common ground,"  President Campinos said. "We're committed to that; and we've made some progress. As patent offices, we also need to be critical of ourselves, remain open to new ideas and in touch with our users so we're fully aware of their needs."

During the panel discussion with Mr Iancu, Mr Campinos addressed the topic of patent law harmonisation and challenges for the IP system in Europe and the US. He also drew attention to the role of Asia, underlining how the EPO and USPTO are working with the IP offices of China, Japan and Korea in the framework of the "IP5" to align patent systems worldwide to improve services for innovators.

The discussion was followed by a workshop organised by the EPO's Academy focusing on how IP can boost the strategy of high-growth technology businesses. EPO experts discussed the key findings of recent studies on patent commercialisation and technology transfer, as well as technologies related to the fourth industrial revolution, and were joined by a representative of one of the companies featured in the EPO's SME case studies.

The Center for Intellectual Property (CIP) is an interdisciplinary centre focused on knowledge-based business founded in 2000 through a collaboration of academia and industry. It is governed by the University of Gothenburg, Chalmers University of Technology, and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in co-operation with industry.

The CIP FORUM is CIP's flagship event, and has been held on seven occasions since 2001. The CIP FORUM BERKELEY 2020 takes place virtually on 7-12 December 2020.

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