Successful discussions on the establishment of the Central European Patent Institute

On 23 January, in the Hungarian Intellectual Property Office, President Dr. Miklós Bendzsel has held discussions on the establishment of the Central European Patent Institute with the managers of the Austrian and the Romanian patent offices.

The aim of the common initiative is the establishment of a Central European, regional International Searching and Preliminary Examining Authority (PCT Authority) under the Patent Cooperation Treaty. According to the plans, this international authority would be called the "Danube/Danubian Patent Institute", DPI, and would operate with its seat in Budapest, under the networking principle, that is, beyond the central administrative duties, the substantive search and examination tasks will be performed by the participating national offices.

The preliminary, expert level discussions on the establishment of the DPI as an international authority started between the Hungarian Intellectual Property Office (HIPO) and the Austrian Patent Office (APO) in the summer of 2009. HIPO and APO signed a Joint Declaration of Intent to confirm their intentions in April 2011.

The operation of the DPI would provide simpler, faster and high-level patent processing and patent office services with regard to the international patent applications filed from the region, thereby supporting and encouraging the innovation, research and development activities in the Danube region. Therefore, the State Office for Inventions and Trademarks of Romania also indicated its interest in the project in the autumn of 2011.

The initiative - which, from both an administrative and a financial aspect, would facilitate the obtaining of international patent protection and provide opportunity for the applicants of the region to request Hungarian or English language processing of their applications for international search and preliminary examination - effectively relies on the traditionally good working relations among the Austrian, the Romanian and the Hungarian offices.

The PCT Authority status and international standing may strengthen our position among the leading patent offices in the world. The ISO-certified governmental work performed by the HIPO is also upgraded by the establishment of the DPI. Our existing capacities are raised to a level meeting the quality requirements of the PCT, without any further external development. In addition, the preservation of the cultural and linguistic diversity, as an intrinsic element, may also be promoted by the DPI.

Based on the before-mentioned, the establishment of the DPI - relying on the local resources - would influence particularly favourably the innovation capacity of the small and medium-sized enterprises. By promoting innovation, research and development, the institute may improve the region's conditions for industry, encourage the quality development of industrial capacities, meanwhile increase the industrial-economic potential of different regions.

As a result of the discussions, the managers of the three offices agreed on a timetable of common preparatory work, according to which - following the necessary international and European recognition - the DPI may commence its operation already in 2013.

15 February 2012