EU and China jointly analyze the development of utility model systems

EU and China jointly analyze the development of utility model systems


 The “IP Key” project and the State Intellectual Property Office of China (SIPO), in coordination with six patent offices from Europe, held an experience-sharing roundtable to discuss different aspects of utility model systems at SIPO’s headquarters from May 21 -22, 2014.  One main objective of the roundtable was to build awareness of how and why different countries constructed their utility model systems in certain ways, and how and why they revised their systems over time. 

“While it’s difficult to create an ‘optimal’ model of what every country’s utility model system should look like,” said Dan Prud’homme, Technical Expert of the IP Key team who moderated the roundtable, “one can learn the rationale behind different systems, and reasons why some have been revised over time. This is useful knowledge for countries responding to challenges in their own systems.”

The roundtable covered substantive legal and procedural aspects behind utility model systems. It also covered certain economic aspects underpinning the systems.

“Utility model patents have been shown in certain circumstances to stimulate technological absorption and learning, technological diffusion, and ultimately incremental innovation, as well as to boost competitiveness of firms in other ways,” said Prud’homme, finding that “they can be quite important.”

A group of fifteen representatives from SIPO participated in the roundtable, including senior directors from the utility model examination department and the patent re-examination board.

The six EU Member States participating in the roundtable included the Austrian Patent Office (represented by Dr. Johannes Werner), Industrial Property Office of the Czech Republic (represented by Šimon Bednář), Finnish Patent and Registration Office (represented by Hanna Aho), French National Industrial Property Institute (French IP Office) (represented by Jean-Baptiste Barbier), German Patent and Trade Mark Office (represented by Dr. Johannes Holzer), and Italian Patent and Trademark Office (represented by Giovanni de Sanctis).

SIPO and IP Key are engaged in a long-term series of activities to improve understanding about the workings of the utility model systems in China and in various EU Member States. The roundtable follows a questionnaire exchange on utility models between the two groups.

The IP Key project is the implementing instrument for the New Intellectual Property Cooperation agreement signed between the EU and China last year.

The project is being implemented by OHIM, and supported by the European Patent Office, from 2013-2016. Over 30 activities, of which the utility model activity series is one, are planned for 2014 alone.

(Source: IP Key)

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