ASEAN Signs Memorandum of Cooperation on Industrial Property

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SINGAPORE – Last Thursday, European Patent Office (EPO) president Benoit Battistelli signed a Memorandum of Cooperation on Industrial Property (MoC) alongside the nine heads of ASEAN Member States’ Intellectual Property Offices (AMS-IPO).

The new MoC, the first of its kind in ASEAN, will establish an institutional framework for structured cooperation on patents and industrial property protection.

At the signing, president Battistelli noted ASEAN’s growing economic significance and hailed the new MoC as a framework for further consolidating the development of innovation and knowledge among ASEAN member states.

The MoC will additionally support patent-related initiatives outlined by the ASEAN Intellectual Property Rights Action Plan 2011-2015 including work-sharing arrangements, patent information sharing and the development of search and examination capacities for ASEAN patent offices. This will be accomplished through closer cooperation between the EPO and ASEAN in the training of patent examiners, data exchange, patent classification, machine translation, development of search tools and the exchange of best practices and technical and policy solutions.

Signed in Siem Reap, Cambodia, with Cambodian Secretary of State of the Ministry of Commerce H. E. Ouk Prachea serving as witness, the signing of the MoC was followed by a discussion and exchange of views on future projects and cooperation on the protection of industrial and intellectual property.

Cooperation under the new MoC will officially commence once all heads of the AMS-IPO have signed the document.

The signing of ASEAN’s newest MoC on industrial property with the EPO complements a framework of bilateral cooperation between the AMS-IPO and EPO that has existed for more than twenty years and will likely continue well into the future.

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