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Photo credit: Union Hotels

PATLIB2018 is a conference open to all staff of national patent offices of the EPO’s member states and to all staff of their recognised patent information centres. Some 200 representatives from 36 countries gathered in Ljubljana this week at the EPO’s 2018 PATLIB conference to discuss how best to support companies and inventors through their patent information services. The event, organised annually since 1990, brings together a staff of patent information centres to share their experience and knowledge in providing information and advice on intellectual property at the local level.

On 3rd and 4th of May 2018, it took place in Grand Hotel Union Ljubljana, Slovenia, and was organised as a networking event.

Participants were able to share and discuss experiences concerning successful initiatives and projects implemented in European patent information centres. The Director of the Slovenian Intellectual Property Office (SIPO), Vojko Toman, thanked the EPO for organising the event in Slovenia. In his speech, he emphasised the importance of innovation for a modern society. Dr Toman also hosted the meeting of the EPO President and Eva Štravs Podlogar, State Secretary of the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology of Slovenia, at the premises of the SIPO.

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Photo credit: www.wpo.org

Topics discussed included bilateral co-operation between the EPO and SIPO, and recent developments related to the planned Unitary Patent system, which is expected to cut costs and formalities while providing greater legal certainty for European companies and inventors.

Both sides welcomed the news of the ratification of the Unified Patent Court Agreement by the United Kingdom last week as a decisive step forward. The EPO President also stressed the importance of a full completion of the ratification of the UPC Agreement by Slovenia, not least because Ljubljana will host one of the seats of the new court’s Mediation and Arbitration Centre.

A network of 300 information centres across Europe

PATLIB is the network of more than 300 patent information centres spread out across the EPO member states. PATLIB centres provide practical assistance to companies and inventors on patents and other intellectual property issues. Staffed with experienced patent search experts and providing a range of different services, the centres are often the first point of contact for local entrepreneurs, SMEs, private inventors and students.

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