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EPO President António Campinos visits OMPIC

8 May 2023

President visits OMPIC keyvisual
The EPO President with representatives of OMPIC and University Mohammed VI Polytechnique (UM6P) in front of the assembly line of innovative automobile charging stations in Ben Guérir

From 3 to 5 May, EPO President António Campinos visited Morocco to hold discussions with the Minister of Industry and Commerce Mr Ryad Mezzour, and the Head of the Moroccan Office for Industrial and Commercial Property (OMPIC), Mr Abdelaziz Babqiqi.

Discussions in the meeting with Mr Abdelaziz Babqiqi focused on sustainable development, innovation for the environment, and the future of EPO-OMPIC co-operation. This co-operation includes training for OMPIC examiners, coaching - such as in the field of 3D printing - and work on patent data exchange. The Office is also supporting OMPIC's digitisation efforts by funding a new publication server, optimising interoperability between OMPIC and the EPO.

The co-operation has strengthened since 17 December 2010, when Morocco became the first country to sign a validation agreement with the EPO, which came into effect on 1 March 2015. The agreement has demonstrated Morocco's importance as a marketplace, with over 2 400 applicants choosing Morocco for validation in 2022. The visit was an opportunity for President Campinos to express the EPO's commitment to fostering co-operation between the two organisations now and into the future.

Working towards a stronger innovation and patent ecosystem

Minister Mezzour highlighted Morocco's focus on developing talent and strengthening the innovation and patent ecosystem. The EPO President and Minister Mezzour discussed the platform "IP marketplace" that was launched on 29 March 2023, which aims to match technological demand and supply relating to patents. Minister Mezzour explained that the platform is expected to facilitate research-industry partnerships and boost collaborative innovation, focusing on free-to-use patents. During discussions, the EPO President also proposed a study and platform with customised technological search queries in the field of water desalinisation. Carried out with the support of the Office in co-operation with OMPIC, this would help to reinforce Morocco's main assets in the field of water treatment, wind and solar power.

Sustainability through co-operation

President António Campinos also visited in Ben Guérir technical platforms of Mohammed VI University and MAScIR (Moroccan foundation for Advanced Science, Innovation and Research). Both institutions are involved in the Knowledge Transfer to Africa project (KT2A), initiated by the EPO with the European PATLIBs.

Continuing to bolster the IP ecosystem

During the visit, the EPO President reiterated the strong desire for continued co-operation between both Offices.

The Office remains steadfast in its commitment to Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) sustainability while endeavouring to minimise its ecological footprint. By reinforcing its ties with Morocco, the Office aims to contribute to the nation's innovation and sustainable development pursuits.