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The Visegrad Group (V4) Countries Establish a Joint Patent Institute

Representatives of industrial property offices of the four member states signed an Agreement on the Visegrad Patent Institute that will operate as a non-governmental organization with the aim to promote innovation and increase competitiveness in the region through better and less expensive protection of innovation that originates in the V4 countries. The agreement was signed in the premises of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic in Bratislava on February 26, 2015.

“The signing of this agreement is a reflection of the dynamics and broad scope of our cooperation under V4 that is not just at the political level but is reflected also in specific projects bringing benefits directly to citizens and enterprises,” stated Miroslav Lajčák, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic, during the festive ceremony. “We have just launched closer cooperation in the area of innovation that may contribute to higher competitiveness of companies in our region and also increase the international prestige of the Visegrad Four,” Lajčák added.

The Agreement on the Visegrad Patent Institute was signed by Ľuboš Knoth (President of the Industrial Property Office of the Slovak Republic), Josef Kratochvíl (President of the Industrial Property Office of the Czech Republic), Miklós Bendzsel (President of the Hungarian Intellectual Property Office) and Alicja Adamczak (President of the Patent Office of the Republic of Poland). The motion for conclusion of the Agreement on the Visegrad Patent Institute was approved by the Slovak government as well as by the governments of the other V4 countries.

The agreement is the outcome of several years of activities by the patent and mark offices of the Visegrad Four countries and will spur innovation and creativity, economic growth and competitiveness in the Central and Eastern European region. Those who submit applications from any of the V4 countries can protect their innovation in an easier and less expensive way and the fees associated with submitting international applications are expected to go down. Patent applicants can enjoy the opportunity to communicate in their mother tongue.

The anticipated cost of fees for a patent application submission is expected to drop 25% for companies and 37% for natural persons and may contribute to a growing number of international applications from the V4 countries. Small and medium enterprises, universities and research organizations from the region will have an opportunity to make more effective use of the system for international applications for inventions and technical solutions under the Patent Cooperation Treaty. The process will be made easier through access to that system and the following granting of patent (or other form of protection for inventions and technical solutions in line with the national legislation of the respective member states) in several countries.

The Visegrad Patent Institute will begin operating as a body for international searches and for international preliminary examination after its formal appointment by the Assembly of the International Patent Cooperation Union and its approval by the General Assembly of member states of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

Source: Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic

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