EPO expects dynamic increase in patent filings in Europe


Salzburg, 24 November 2004.The third European Patent Office's epolineŽ Annual Conference has taken place in Salzburg on 23 and 24 November 2004. This year's conference, which was attended by 380 delegates from a large number of European countries, focused on the role of patents in the innovation process in Europe, and the support the EPO's electronic business platform epolineŽ can provide to that process. Another aspect was the dynamic development of a patent system in Europe - both in terms of increasing the number of patent applications and the accession of new member states to the European Patent Convention. The delegates also discussed patent protection in the area of information technology.

The President of the European Patent Office, Mr. Alain Pompidou, highlighted the dynamic growth of the European patent system saying that this year the European Patent Office expects a record number of nearly 180,000 patent applications. He said that in order to manage the flow from technological knowledge to innovation and from innovation to the market place, the EPO had to develop high-quality business tools. epolineŽ, the EPO's digital business interface, facilitates the innovation process by providing a single access point for applicants and the public to the patent system. In 2004, 16% of all European patent applications were filed via the Internet, compared to 10% in 2003.

epolineŽ offers a secure on-line patent filing system and high quality electronic management tools fulfilling the needs of businesses in the knowledge-based economy. At this year's conference, EPO presented an improved website and enhanced business tools for epolineŽ. Moreover, the newly introduced enhanced patent register further improves information made available by adding details on the legal status of filed patents.

Supporting European enterprises and, consequently, the innovation process in the European Union, EPO contributes to the realization of the Lisbon Agenda, establishing the goal for the European Union to become knowledge-based and the most competitive economy in the world by 2010.

Source: Eurekalert & others

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