In August CIPA launched a new committee aimed at improving relationships with European IP organisations and liaising with the European Patent Office (EPO).

The European Liaison Committee, chaired by former CIPA President Chris Mercer, will oversee the development and implementation of CIPA’s strategy and policies in relation to Europe as directed by Council and to advise Council on European matters.

As the sunrise period of the Unified Patent Court (UPC) drew closer it was important for the committee to begin its work promptly. Members of the committee have already met with representatives from the Netherlands Institute of Patent Attorneys (Orde van Octrooigemachtigden) and the Association of European Patent Attorneys in Switzerland (VESPA) to discuss how the institutes could work closely together on matters relating to oral proceedings by video conference at the EPO and UPC case management system access issues. These meetings revealed several areas for co-operation and provided opportunities to discuss areas of mutual interest.

The committee plans to continue building these relationships in 2023 and has plans to meet with other institutes following the start of the UPC.

In addition to working with other institutes, the committee plans to work closely with members and other CIPA committees on EPO consultations and changes to the European Qualifying Examinations.

António Campinos

President, European Patent Office

“As a trusted partner of the EPO, we deeply value CIPA’s feedback. Our close exchanges help make sure that our services are fit for a complex, ever-evolving patent landscape. With the challenges we’ve faced over the last years, our joint cooperation and adaptability will also live on as the key lessons for the future. The drive to digital, for instance, has enhanced efficiency, connectivity and collaboration, and we will look to continue capitalising on these opportunities together. 2023 will be a year in which we will maintain close dialogue with CIPA, especially as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the EPC and prepare for the next strategic plan and the launch of the UP-UPC.”

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