Orig.: en

Munich, 16.04.2014


The current Co-operation Roadmap (2012-2015), unanimously approved by the Administrative Council in 2011, sets the guiding principles for the co-operation activities between the EPO and its member states.

The new co-operation policy has been positively appraised by the member states and the general principles of co-operation, as laid down in CA/85/11, have proven to be solid and effective.

This document proposes an updated, detailed work plan of the co-operation activities beyond 2015 in the areas of training, patent related information technology and tools, and patent information services and awareness. It also details other co-operation measures to be introduced to enhance the co-operation between the EPO and its member states. The work plan takes into account the feedback received and includes an update of the running projects and proposal of new projects. In line with the provisions of the Co-operation

Roadmap, an updated eligibility list for financial support is provided, indicating no change to the financial support entitlement.

The updated work plan and the eligibility list for financial support are provided as annexes to the document.

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f)European Qualifying Examination (EQE) Candidate Support


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2.The Administrative Council is requested to decide on the proposal as set out in this document.




4.Revision of the Co-operation Work Plan and Activities of the Co-operation

Roadmap (Annex 1 to CA/85/11) beyond 2015 and the Eligibility list (Annex 3 to CA/85/11).


5.Co-operation is a crucial element when it comes to achieve EPO and its member states shared objective of developing a more effective, harmonised and attractive European Patent System, able to address the needs of European citizens, companies and institutions.

6.While in the past cooperation between the EPO and the Member States was mainly undertaken on a case by case interaction covering a limited set of specific activities, the current co-operation framework is governed by one of the five EPO’s strategic Roadmaps, namely the Co-operation Roadmap unanimously approved by the Administrative Council in 2011.This shows the importance given today by both the EPO and the Member States to co-operation.

7.As we move into the third year of implementation of the Roadmap, it seems appropriate to make a balance of the progress and results achieved in the midterm, to plan the actions that might be useful to further enhance the implementation of the Roadmap and to start preparing the future of co-operation beyond 2015.

8.As a general balance, the present co-operation policy has been positively appraised by the member states and the general principles of co-operation, as laid down in CA/85/11, have proven to be solid and effective:

Focus on the needs of the users

Partnership, solidarity and openness

Complementarity and subsidiarity

Objective-driven co-operation activities

NPOs at the centre of co-operation

Support focusing on the start-up phase

Co-financing based on eligibility criteria.

9.One of the main objectives set by the roadmap was to simplify the management and implementation of the co-operation projects and activities, therefore answering one of the most important aspirations expressed by member states.

10.The introduction of Bilateral co-operation plans (BCPs) and standardised project cards were two of the key elements of this strategy by ensuring a better targeted and simplified administration of the cooperation projects, both for the national offices (NPOs) and the EPO.

11.These elements have certainly contributed to the positive implementation of the new co-operation policy and strategy. By the end of the first year of the Roadmap implementation (2012), there were 10 NPOs already co-operating with the EPO under the new framework, reaching 21 NPOs by the end of the second year (2013). By March 2014, a total of 23 NPOs were cooperating with the EPO under the framework of a BCP, for some being the first co-operation agreement ever signed with the EPO. In parallel, several other BCP´s are in an advanced stage of discussion and are expected to be signed still in the first half of 2014. This harmonised framework has also been adopted in the co-operation with the future member states.

12.At the same time the EPO and the member states advance rapidly and effectively in the implementation of the co-operation roadmap, a permanent monitoring of the progress and results achieved is made in close and continuous collaboration with the member states. This is achieved through the annual meeting on co-operation and the annually organised information days, attended by more than 30 member states, or the regular working visits, meetings and contacts.

13.The European Patent Network events on specific co-operation topics of common interest were organised in various member states, with the support of the local NPOs. These events have proven to be an excellent discussion platform to aid the progress on the implementation of the co-operation projects. In 2012 there were

14 such events organised with some 500 participants from the EPN, in 2013 there were 12 such events with more than 600 participants.

14.Another important aspect which has favourably contributed to the successful implementation of the roadmap is the improved EPO internal coordination, with the introduction of the One-Stop-Shop concept. Principal Directorate "European and

International Co-operation" has the role as the central co-ordinator and the first point of contact for all co-operation issues between the EPO and its member states, and it coordinates the implementation of the co-operation roadmap with all the relevant implementing units in the various DGs.

15.The Co-operation Roadmap did not only introduce a new and innovative way of addressing and managing co-operation, but it was also innovative in what concerns the introduction of new projects and activities put at the disposal of the member states. Thus, during the first two years a number of new co-operation initiatives were launched:

Federated European Patent Register,

Training and support programme for EQE candidates – CSP (Candidate Support Project);

General language training for NPO staff and EQE candidates (within the CSP) - MoUs with three major language institutes signed;

Development of e-learning materials;

Integration package for new MS;

MoU with OHIM.

16.A number of project were also successfully completed:

Pilot project to reorient patent information centres, completed in 2013, with

PATLIB centres delivering search and information services according to the agreed work plans, extensive distance learning programme developed. A total of 11 member states offices participating (CZ, EE, ES, FI, FR, IT , LV, PL, RO, SK, TR);

IP pre-diagnosis pilot project, which has been converted now into a project (in 2012, 9 NPOs (AT, BG, HR, HU, LT, RO,RS, SI,SK) delivered IP pre- diagnosis services to more than 150 SMEs)

17.The high participation of member states in these projects and the feedback received from participants are clear indicators of the projects’ usefulness.

18.To highlight an example of the positive results achieved in a newly launched project, deep-linking is already operational in 28 EPO Member States' participating in the Federated European Patent Register. Another positive example of a well- received initiative is the General Language Training for NPO Staff, with 15 of the eligible national offices currently benefiting from it.

19.With regard to the Training and support programme for EQE candidates, in the pilot year (2012) 16 students from 3 member states started with the programme, in the second year the number increased to 23 students from 12 member states, showing the growing interest in the participation to the programme.

20.The discussion platform for exchange on Patent procedures was successfully organised in five IP offices (BG, IT, PT, RS and ES) in 2013.

21.With regards to the Machine Translation project, translation services for 14 languages were available end of 2012, and by end of 2013 all 28 languages of the

38 EPO Member States to and from English, French and German became operational, one year ahead of schedule.

22.A remarkable example of the Co-operation with OHIM established with the MoU in 2011 was the EPO–OHIM joint Study on the “IP Intensive Industries Contribution to Economic Performance and Employment in the EU”.

23.The EPO’s extranet for NPO users (i.e. the epoxy website), providing a wide range of technical information and documentation, was updated to make it fit for purpose. A more user-friendly navigation structure and a redesign of the pages is underway.

24.A detailed report on the implemented co-operation activities is provided as

CA/16/13 and CA/16/14.

25.Financially, an annual budget of 13 Million Euros has been allocated to the Co- operation Roadmap. At the same time, the EPO abolished the invoicing of EPO Central Staff Costs as well as the previous ceiling policy, therefore drastically reducing the related administrative burden (§ 32 of CA/185/06).

26.At the end, the present co-operation policy was fully embraced by the member states and the implementation of the co-operation roadmap is running effectively and smoothly, with most part of the projects and activities already in full production.

27.In this sense, it seems wise to maintain the framework and working principles set by CA/85/11.

28.Nevertheless, after two years of implementation of the Co-operation Roadmap an update of the Work Plan is proposed in order to fine tune some of the projects and activities and adapting them to the current needs of the member states. It is also an opportunity to introduce new projects and activities.

29.Annex 1 proposes an updated Work Plan that takes into account the feedback received from the member states. The elements in the work plan can be categorised in three different groups:

(i)continuation of running projects, i.e.:

institutional strengthening

development of e-learning materials and e-learning technology

discussion platform for exchange on patenting procedures

European Qualifying Examination (EQE) Candidate Support Project (CSP)

patent awareness events and materials

harmonisation of videoconferencing equipment

(ii)update of those projects requiring it, i.e.

judges training

language training

Federated European Patent Register

co-operation with patent information centres

language translation services for patents

IP pre-diagnosis service;

(iii)launch of new projects, i.e.:

new Espacenet

on-line filing

office to office data exchange

European PatentLearn initiative targeting universities.

30.Extended Co-operation with OHIM, WIPO and other Institutions will continue to be pursued as an important aspect of the co-operation policy.


31.To keep CA/85/11 in force unchanged.


32.The EPO co-operation budget for the implementation of the co-operation activities remains at 13m € per year.

33.According to CA/85/11 a review of the eligibility list for financial support to the member states shall be presented to the AC after 2 years. The corresponding table can be found as Annex 3 and shows that there is no change in the eligibility categorisation.


34.Art. 10 (2) EPC


35.CA/29/10 Rev.1, CA/85/11, CA/27/12 Rev. 1, CA/T 13/12, CA/101/09, CA/185/06,

CA/16/13, CA/16/14.




1.Co-operation activities are clustered in three main co-operation areas. All activities aim to contribute at achieving the objectives of this co-operation roadmap. The list of activities is only indicative and non-exhaustive, and will be reviewed and complemented by additional activities as needed.

2.Each project will be implemented by the competent implementing unit(s) for the specific areas of co-operation, and will be dependent on the resources available within these units.

3.The concrete implementation measures and expected results in all areas of co- operation will be outlined in the bilateral co-operation plans of the member states on the basis of project cards.



a)Institutional strengthening

4.The European Patent Academy of the EPO will continue to provide relevant, high- quality and up-to-date external training covering all areas of co-operation with the member states. Training related to specific co-operation programmes or the special needs of a specific target group, as well as tailor-made training upon request, will be provided. E-learning and virtual classroom training have also become an integral element of the overall training offer of the Academy, providing training opportunities to a far wider audience, and allowing participants to study as-and-when they have time available. The training offer is detailed in the Academy Annual Work Plan with a focus on the following main areas:

Documentation and Classification

Patent information

Patent administration and formalities

Search and examination

Legal and procedural issues

IP Office tools and techniques

IP and innovation management

Other topics relevant to enhance and strengthen the EPN.

5.In view of the upcoming unitary patent process and the Unified Patent Court, the EPO will strengthen the training in this area and plans to organise seminars to present the state of affairs to various relevant stakeholders.

7.This programme offers support for improving the language proficiency of NPO staff not having English, French, or German as their official language. To facilitate and harmonise the training in the various member states, the EPO has signed MoUs with three leading language training providers, British Council, Goethe Institut and Institut Français and co-operates with them in the implementation of the programme.

8.The language training programme comprises two projects:

(i)General language training:

For the delegates of the EPO Administrative Council and its bodies, the general language training is on a one-to-one basis and is fully funded by the EPO. For all other NPO staff the funding of the participation in group training is provided according to the rules of the co-operation policy.

(ii)Patent terminology language training

The project complements the general language training and aims at enhancing the specific language skills of NPO staff members and other relevant target groups at national level in order to support their professional development. The programme shall be offered in the three EPO official languages to six different target groups:

Delegates of EPO Administrative Council and its bodies (BFC, TOSC, ASB, PLC)

Examiners in national offices

Lawyers in national offices

EQE candidates

Patent attorneys

Patent judges.

Eighteen patent terminology training books (6 in English, 6 in French and 6 in

German), currently being developed for these six target groups, will constitute the basis for the specialised language training. The patent terminology training is expected to start once the training material and the training deployment plan are ready.

d)Development of e-learning materials and e-learning technology

9.In this area the following initiatives are proposed:

A co-ordinated approach to the development of training materials and concepts to ensure the compatibility of the products for later exchange and translations. Each NPO is responsible for its internal staff training, but a greater benefit can be achieved if the training materials are supplied multilaterally, thereby enriching the education.

Development and hosting of e-learning materials in order to facilitate the writing of content maps, adapted to the particular needs of the NPOs;

Complementing the national training by the European and PCT perspectives via appropriate learning concepts.

Exchange of practices and defining the methods of marketing e-learning training to the target groups

Cooperating with OHIM to harmonise approaches.

e)Discussion platform for exchange on patenting procedures

10.To exchange information and disseminate knowledge on the latest developments in the patenting practices and procedures, discussion fora can be organised at the

NPO premises involving the EPO examiners’ delegation and NPO examiners in a

specific field or sector. These can be extended to the users of the patent system interested in the same topic (pharmaceutical sector, automobile sector, etc.).

f)European Qualifying Examination (EQE) Candidate Support Project (CSP)

11.The project is supporting the preparation of candidates for the EQE in order to foster the development of the profession in those member states having fewer than five EQE qualified patent representatives. This project complements the broad range of activities already implemented by the European Patent Academy for this target audience.

12.The EPO’s support extends to the development and full funding of a comprehensive candidates training programme as well as related study materials. Bursaries for students enable them to dedicate more time to their EQE studies.

13.The project is made possible through the extensive co-operation with the NPOs, the epi, and CEIPI.



14.Based on the principle of partnership, IT co-operation shall enable the efficient and collaborative use of solutions developed by the EPN partners, by ensuring interoperability, knowledge transfer, and common standards. In general, services and tools are provided "as is", including the source code and documentation. They may be modified or localised as required, without any liability of the initial provider.

National offices are encouraged to offer their solutions for re-use by other EPN members.

15.Basically, patent-related information technology services and tools can be grouped according to two categories of users: office internal (back-end) and external (front- end). EPN IT co-operation focuses on front-end solutions.

a)Front-end solutions

16.In order to achieve this goal of providing harmonised patent-related services to the end-users the EPO will continue full support of Espacenet, online filing, and a Federated European Patent Register.


The EPO will progressively integrate the national documents of its member states into the future Espacenet service with the aim of offering access to all

European patent documents, irrespective of their origin (starting with those documents already available in Espacenet level 1). These documents will be translatable via the machine translation facilities integrated in Espacenet. The responsibility for the quality and the completeness of the documents and data and first level user support in non-EPO languages will remain with the respective national offices. Furthermore, national language interfaces of the future Espacenet service will be provided. The costs of the Espacenet project will be covered by the EPO. Obviously the national offices are free to offer any national patent information service. However, such national solutions will not be supported by the EPO.

Online filing:

The EPO will continue to provide support for the existing online filing installations on a best effort basis. The current online filing system will be supported and maintained by the EPO for a transitional period of two years after the new system is in place. The EPO will offer to all interested national offices a web-based online filing solution for the national route, as compatible as possible with the future EPO online filing system, which will be developed as part of the IT Roadmap (see also CA/46/14). The integration with the NPO’s back-end systems is the responsibility of the respective national office. Again, member states are free to offer national online filing services, but such national solutions will not be eligible for support by the EPO. Furthermore, any national solution should ensure the interoperability with the EPO online filing services such that the users can profit from a harmonised access to the patent system in Europe.

Federated European Patent Register:

The EPO and the NPOs offer electronic Register services. So far these services are not fully interlinked, with the consequence that the user needs to consult multiple, non-harmonised services to retrieve the legal status of a

European patent. The project will follow the "quality at source approach", meaning that the European Patent Register will not duplicate national registers but simply provide a harmonised Europe-wide entry point to access the national registers of the participating member states. The project aims to reduce the uncertainty in the legal status of a European Patent by allowing the public to formulate legal status inquiries simultaneously across the European Patent Register as well as national patent registers of EPC member states. The Federated European Patent Register will cover the legal status of European Patents and the legal status of national patents. The project has two phases:

(a)Direct access to several registers by providing direct links to the national registers for a specific application or publication number ("deep linking");

(b)Real-time retrieval of the legal status in the different participating member states via a web service and display in a uniform format on the European

Patent Register web site (“federated display”).

Necessary developments related to the web service will be fully funded by the EPO (the EPO will once-off finance these developments and any maintenance responsibility remains with the respective national office). Those member states who do not have an electronic register yet and thus cannot participate in the project are also encouraged to initiate the development of a web based national register that should eventually be interconnected with the European Patent Register via the Federated Register project. If specific support from the EPO is needed in this respect, the member states concerned are asked to address and inform the EPO.

b)Back-end solutions

17.As a general principle, back-end IT services are the core responsibility of the individual NPOs. Nevertheless, in order to ensure the interoperability of IT systems within the European Patent Network, the EPO will make available to any Member State the relevant documentation and interoperability specifications that has been created during the development of its own back-end systems.

18.Whenever deemed appropriate, the EPO will provide advice and consultancy with reference to business processes, and share EPO knowledge and expertise. This can be done in bilateral meetings or in workshops for participants from all interested member states.

19.As most national offices do not only deal with patents, the EPO will continue to work very closely with OHIM on possible common IP related IT solutions. Mid-term this co-operation could also include harmonised identification/ authorisation/security mechanisms applying to patents (EP, national level) and to trademarks.

c)Office to office data exchange

(i)General principles:

20.The concept of co-operation on the basis of standards and interoperability will also be applied to the following areas of co-operation. As a general rule, each office will

be responsible for its own application, but software solutions will be made available "as is":

Solutions for inter-office process management, covering all data exchange between the offices both in view of the media used as well as the different exchange formats applied;

Media-less data exchange covering the replacement of all types of media

(DVD's, hard disks, tapes, etc.) by a standard "media-less" exchange. In this context the Office is ready to provide toolkits for testing standards and helping less experienced offices with a data conversion service to standardized form. Experienced national offices are expected to deliver the data in the agreed standard format and the EPO will reserve the right to reject high volume data delivery to the EPO in non-standardised form;

Dossier Access Service in the context of the introduction of a utilisation scheme (CA/101/09) and further tools to support co-operation activities in the field of utilisation;

Tools to support co-operation activities in the field of classification (including CPC, pre- and re- classification).

(ii)Data acquisition with Quality at Source:

21.The current exchange of publication front file data between the EPO and the

NPOs of the member states is not optimal in the interoperability perspective.

22.The challenges can be classified in three groups: the standards and formats used, the accuracy of the data sent, and the timeliness and regularity of delivery.

23.In addition there are also shortcomings in the back file. Documents are not present at all or are only partially available (e.g. no images or full-text). This may have an impact on the searches performed through the EPO public services.

24.Therefore, a new project will be proposed in order to establish a front file delivery of patent data, in the EPO defined form based on the concept of Quality at Source (Q@S). When the front file delivery is well established for an NPO, fulfilling all the EPO quality criteria, then the missing back file patent data from 1973 to date will be collected in digital format covering bibliographic, image and full-text data ( full- text format when the quality of the original document allows it). The outcome of this project will benefit all parties: the EPO, the NPOs and the public. The exercise

will provide additional patent corpora, which could be used to further improve the quality of the Patent Translate service.

25.The main activities related to the project will be: the creation of an Authority File per NPO allowing to easily identify gaps to ensure the completeness of the patent data collection, the adoption of standards and formats for the data delivery as proposed in CA/T 13/12 – Interoperability in the area of data provision. The EPO would provide and/or support in cooperation with NPOs: software tools that offer plausibility checks at the source of the data, exchange of good practices within the EPN, training opportunities etc.

26.For the back file data collection, the EPO will fully finance the scanning of all missing patent documents from 1973 onwards. This exercise should ideally be done via local service providers. The EPO will also finance the OCRing of these documents (at least for one patent document per national family).

(iii)Electronic exchange of National Searches

27.For those NPOs having a Search Agreement with the EPO, a project will be proposed in order to automate the exchange of Search Requests (from NPO to

EPO) and subsequently the delivery of Search Report and Written Opinion (from EPO to NPO). This project is promoting the idea of media-less exchange and aims to make this data exchange more time efficient.

28.The EPO has already created and tested a workflow for this interaction which is implemented over the secure network of Patnet. This means that no additional hardware is needed.

(iv)IT security and PATNET

29.A set of IT services that support the business processes of National Offices is made available over Patnet. The services comprise search tools and printing (i.e.

EPOQUE Net), hosting of dossier management software, sensitive document exchange, connectivity for EPTOS usage and control, and several others.

30.In order to ensure the availability and high security of critical services operated over Patnet, the EPO will finance 100% the replacement of the Patnet equipment, at intervals agreed between the EPO and the NPOs. The equipment shall be bought locally by the NPO based on the EPO’s technical specifications and eventually reimbursed by the EPO. The NPO is fully responsible for the maintenance of its Patnet equipment, while the EPO is responsible for globally operating the Patnet system.

31.IT security is crucial to ensure the inviolability of confidential information exchanged between the EPO and the NPOs. As several NPOs have expressed their interest in exchanging experiences with the EPO and other NPOs, the EPO will arrange a suitable seminar / workshop to address these requests.


32.In order to carry out prior art searches, NPOs have access to EPOQUE Net through the EPO’s infrastructure. Details on the functionalities, distribution modalities and pricing policy for EPOQUE Net are dealt within the EPOQUE Net dissemination and pricing policy (see CA/27/12 Rev. 1) endorsed by the

Administrative Council in June 2012. Access to EPOQUE Net service will continue to be granted to the national patent offices for their internal use and will be provided as an access to the EPO’s patent search IT service ‘as is’.

33.For data, where access is subject to third-party licensing, the EPO and its distribution policy is dependent on the rules of the respective commercial and public providers. The NPOs will need to have the necessary licence from the respective service provider to have access to commercial databases.


34.Exchange of best practices and co-operation in the area of patent information services are at the core of patent-related EPN co-operation. To enable the best possible use of the information contained in patents for research and further innovation is a central responsibility for any patent office.

35.Co-operation in the area of patent information services and awareness includes, but is not limited to:

a)Patent awareness events and materials

36.It is at the core of NPOs competences to develop and implement awareness activities at the national or local levels. Respecting the principle of subsidiarity, local events in national languages are the sole responsibility of national IP offices. This programme therefore foresees mainly:

Support for activities focusing on raising the awareness of the European patent system;

Support for translation of EPO and EPN partners' publications and materials.

b)Co-operation with patent information centres

37.The network of national patent information centres provides a set of patent-related services to the users of the European patent system locally and as such ensures an improved access to the system. These are closely co-ordinated with the respective NPOs.

38.Appropriate training (included in the Academy Annual Work Plan) will be open to the patent information centres to enhance the qualification of their staff and to enable them to offer high quality innovation support services.

39.The EPO will take measures to enhance the visibility of the European patent information centres and their services to the end users (e.g. via the EPO website).

40.The pilot project to reorient patent information centres has been completed. The most successful and relevant elements of this pilot project shall be offered to a wider group of centres. Respective activities will include

a dedicated distance learning programme

a repository of information material supporting patent information centres in assisting their users

development and promotion of enhanced search services tailored to the needs of less experienced users of patent information

coaching by already well performing and experienced patent information centres.

c)Language translation services for patents

41.As outlined in CA/29/10 Rev.1, and the IT Roadmap, the integration of language technology services in patent information tools is a means of overcoming language barriers and a direct contribution to the improved use and dissemination of patent information, and consequently improved prior-art searches.

42.The implementation of the project as defined in CA/29/10 Rev.1 will be concluded as such at the end of 2014. At the same time the project will enter, according to plan, the maintenance phase. This will cover both the functionality as well as the language quality aspects.

43.The functionality aspect will be pursued, based on the feedback from users, with the aim to offer additional user-friendly functionalities to complete the core service, whenever appropriate.

44.The EPO will strive to continuously increase the quality of the translation service.

This will entail two main streams of action: 1) the continued training of the translation engine with new corpora, which will be by default part of the data exchange activities (see Office to office data exchange); 2) considering the additional use of machine translation providers specialised in certain languages.

45.The support of the member states’ NPOs, by providing access to the necessary corpora, has been crucial for the success of the project. This close co-operation will continue throughout 2014 and beyond.

46.Those NPOs who wish to have Patent Translate integrated into their own national tools will be able to do so under their own responsibility, following the EPO technical specifications. The EPO is currently working at a harmonised solution to be made available to all.

d)IP Pre-diagnosis service (IPD)

47.In 2008-2012 the EPO ran a pilot IP Pre-diagnosis project together with a number of NPOs, which tested the implementation of an IP pre-diagnosis service in their countries.

48.The EPO would provide financial support, based on eligibility criteria, to cover training in delivering IPD services, IPD promotion activities, translation of the IPD methodology, production of initial information and promotional materials and the cost related to the delivery of IPD services to the SMEs. However, this financial support is only provided to those NPOs offering the service for free.


49.Only by strengthening the ties between the EPO, OHIM, WIPO and other regional and international IP Organisations through the implementation of customer oriented and harmonised co-operation projects and activities, can creators and innovators from Europe and from around the world truly benefit from a sustainable, consistent and highly reliable IP System that clearly sets the standards worldwide.

50.The EPO will further pursue an active co-operation policy with these privileged partners through the establishment of new, and implementation of on-going, MoUs that set the goals, strategies and actions to be implemented.


51.The EPO will continue to participate as an Observer in OHIM´s bodies and Working Group Meetings, taking benefit from, and contributing to, the share of information, knowledge and best practices between OHIM, its Member-States, and

Users Organisations.

52.Concerning the Co-operation with OHIM, the EPO envisages to continue and strengthen the co-operation with the European Union trademark and design office, through projects and activities in the three areas identified in the MoU: IP Training and Exchange of Human Resources, Awareness and Promotion of IP and IT


53.Regarding the co-operation in the fields of IP Training and Awareness and

Promotion of IP, this will be mainly carried out by both organisations Academies and will include the organisation of Joint Seminars, the completion of the IP Teaching Kit, and co-operation in the field of E-Learning.

54.In relation to the field of e-learning, co-operation with OHIM aims at: harmonising the platforms and interlinking them to facilitate the use of materials; exchange of know-how focusing on common developments of materials and practice alignment.

55.The organisation of joint training initiatives addressing IP Offices, students, judges and IP professionals, in some cases also involving WIPO, are also planned to take place in 2014-2015.

56.In the IT field co-operation will be implemented through technical meetings between the EPO and OHIM’s IT Teams in order to exchange information on the tools and IT infrastructures that the Offices use, paving the way for the implementation of projects and activities based on harmonisation and interoperability.

57.Staff Exchange might be further pursued in coming years, on the basis of the mutual interest and benefit of the Offices.


58.Concerning the Co-operation with WIPO, annual work plans are drawn up on the basis of the existing MoU on Technical Co-operation covering the period 2012- 2015. The MoU addresses 12 projects. These cover amongst others activities in the following areas: classification, improving the PCT system, DAS (Digital Access

Service), patent examiner training, patent information dissemination, statistics and economic, data exchange and development of standards.


a)European PatentLearn initiative targeting universities

59.This initiative aims to promote the use of patent information and especially EPO patent information tools and services, NPO tools and services, and possibly OHIM tools and services among students and faculties of European technical universities for gaining further educational, research, innovation and business value from patents. Based on a modular approach, a number of building blocks of activities may be offered with focus on:

a)recruitment of EPO examiners and patent experts via career events, career centres co-operation or other targeted measures in order to sustain the pluri- cultural character of the Office, especially in those member states that are heavily underrepresented at the EPO today;

b)improved knowledge and use of EPO patent information tools and services,

NPO tools and OHIM tools (for trademarks and designs);

c)support for teaching IP via IP curriculum development, train-the-trainers workshops for faculty, providing of relevant EPO materials), etc.;

d)support the development of patent related services for enabling patenting of university research work.

60.These activities are covered within the mandate of the European Patent Academy.

b)Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC)

61.The CPC is a more specific and detailed version of the International Patent Classification (IPC) system, which has been jointly developed by the EPO and the

United States Patent and Trademark Office (UPSTO) in order to harmonise their existing classification systems, namely European Classification (ECLA) and United States Patent Classification (USPC) respectively and migrate towards a common classification scheme. The CPC is substantially based on the European Classification system (ECLA), which will be decommissioned.

62.The CPC has been in force since 1 January 2013 and can be used directly for search of prior art in Espacenet and EPOQUE Net. At the end of 2013 almost 40 million documents from all around the world already carry CPC symbols.

63.The CPC is being adopted as the standard classification scheme by larger member states NPOs and by NPOs around the world. Around 2 million new documents per year are already classified in CPC.

64.The EPO will continue to promote the use of CPC in the member states and provide support, if needed, in the form of training and IT.

c)Harmonisation of videoconferencing equipment

65.As part of its Cooperation Fund, OHIM implemented a new Video Conferencing Network for its 27 EU member states.

66.Thus, the EPO is willing to provide compatible hardware to all interested EPO member states, especially those ones not eligible for the OHIM programme.


1.Presently valid eligibility list

2.Eligibility list based on the proposed formula GDP+1000*Renewal Fee Income (RF) per capita1

Values below 22.000 Euro entitle for 75% financial support from the EPO, values between 25.000 Euro and 22.001 Euro entitle for 50 % financial support from the EPO and values above 25.000 Euro entitle for 25% financial support from the


The calculations are based on 2012 data as the GDP data for 2013 were not available at the time of writing of this document. Based on the trends available for

2013 GDP data, no changes in the financial support entitlement are expected.

1Sources: EPO Controlling Office (for the renewal fees); EUROSTAT for all member states except LI, MC and SM (for population figures); Amt für Statistik - LI; "Rapports et statistiques"/ Principauté de Monaco's website - MC; UNCTAD handbook of statistics - SM