Munich, 9 December 2016

Mr Raimund Lutz, Vice President of the European Patent Office (EPO), and Dr Debashis Dutta, Group Coordinator of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), and Mr Sugandh Rajaram, Consul General of India in Munich, inaugurated the 4th Indo-European Conference on Patents and ICT, which held on 9th December 2016 at the EPO’s headquarters in Munich. The objective of this year’s conference was to explore the opportunities and challenges generated by Industry 4.0 for the patent systems in Europe and India with a view to fostering a common understanding of, and approach to, future developments. 

The conference held a special relevance as under the German presidency of the G20 in 2017 industry 4.0 has been identified as a key topic and European ICT industry has sought to play a leading role in shaping future developments in this field. Hence, more than 200 stakeholders from Europe and India exchanged information and views on the latest developments with a special focus on the expected interaction between Industry 4.0 and the patent system. The respective practices in the field of software-related inventions were subjected to comparison, and industry and policy-makers shared their perspectives on the exchange of best practices in patents and standards. The conference discussed pertinent patent-related issues faced by the ICT industry both in Europe and in India. 

On this occasion, the EPO and MeitY also announced the launch of an Indo-European IPR Collaboration Portal in the coming weeks, which will facilitate the registration, protection, and commercialisation of IPRs in the respective jurisdictions, particularly by SMEs, start-ups, universities, single inventors, etc.  

At the sidelines of the conference, the EPO and MeitY organised a round-table for users and industry, which was held on 8 December 2016. Both parties presented the latest results of their bilateral co-operation such as the creation of a virtual EPO-India helpdesk for innovators from both regions, the above-mentioned Indo-European IPR Collaboration Portal, the establishment of a wide network of master trainers in India trained on the European patent system and the use of EPO patent information tools, and increased awareness among Indian stakeholders of the EPO procedures and practice in respect of Computer implemented inventions (CII). European and Indian industry expressed their satisfaction with the bilateral co-operation of the EPO and MeitY, and provided valuable proposals and input for the conceptualisation of new co-operation projects under the bilateral umbrella. Aligning the respective practices and improving consistency and predictability in the examination and grating of software-related patents in India was the foremost request from industry. Improved access to patent information from India, particularly legal status data, came close behind.

Last modified on Wednesday, 21 December 2016 10:12
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