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Institute of Professional Representatives before the European Patent Office

Cooperation meeting with the delegation of the PECC Tianjin of SIPO (Munich, 27th September 2016)

September 28, 2016

epi's Vice President, Ms Gabriele Leissler-Gerstl, hosted a 6-headed delegation of the PECC Tianjin of SIPO (Patent Examination Cooperation Center of the Chinese Patent Office). The PECC was implemented in 2013 as a public institution, directly subordinated to SIPO. The main responsibility of the PECC Tianjin of SIPO is to contribute to providing patent examination and IP services, whilst dealing with all technical fields and covering North and North-East of China. Ms Han Xu (Director), Mr Yang Fan (Deputy Director General) and Ms Zhu Lina (Director) headed the delegation and represented about 889 staff members, amongst them patent examiners. Members of the epi EPPC, Mr Michael Fleuchaus and Ms Heike Vogelsang-Wenke, were also present.

The participants discussed intensively about some relevant current aspects on the Chinese and European education and training systems. Mr Yang Fan referred to the ever increasing number of applications in China. With more than 1.1 million invention patent applications last year, concrete measures have to be taken to be prepared for the future. For example, the teaching and training of patent examiners has been standardized and condensed in 22 months. The interest for the work of a patent attorney has also grown significantly.

Upon the question raised by Ms Leissler-Gerstl, the Deputy Director General of the PECC Tianjin of SIPO explained that, on average, 65 per cent of all invention patent applications are granted in China.

However, Mr Yang Fan emphasizes one of the main issues encountered by some current Chinese companies and enterprises nowadays: The lack of knowledge about intellectual property law in Europe and in the United States, resulting in significant financial losses. Therefore, and on behalf of the PECC Tianjin of SIPO, Mr Yang Fan expressed strong longing for some partner cooperation with epi and long-term connections between both organizations. This request was positively received by the epi Vice President.

The latter, who is actively involved in a joint epi-EPO Working Group on Statistics and Survey, explained that one of the the main reasons for a low EQE passing rate might be lack of training rather than language skills. Therefore, many efforts have been continuously undertaken by the epi over the last few years and epi successfully contributed to improving training for the EQE candidates.

The delegation intended to compare both patent attorney associations and take the opportunity to discuss questions of mutual interest, namely particularly with regard to the role and function of epi representatives.

After the meeting the Deputy Director General handed over a traditional Chinese painting as a sign of partnership building for both associations in the future and thankfulness for today’s cooperation meeting. The participants concluded it had been informative discussions.

The meeting could be organized thanks to the initiative and personal commitment of the epi member Mr Goddar, European Patent and Trade Mark Attorney at BOEHMERT & BOEHMERT in Munich.

Both presentations shown during this meeting are available here:

epi Presentation

Presentation on Tianjin Center

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