A media release from the European Patent Office (EPO) signals some activity in the field of enhanced cooperation between that office and the North African Kingdom of Morocco. As the media release reports:
Munich, 20 June 2013 -- EPO President Benoît Battistelli and the Director-General of the Moroccan Industrial and Commercial Property Office (OMPIC), Adil Elmaliki, signed a set of co-operation agreements in Munich yesterday to strengthen the patent system in both Morocco and Europe [this is diplomatic: in reality, any strengthening of the patent system in Europe through cooperation is, sadly, going to be relatively small]. The agreements concern, in particular, renewed access to the EPOQUE Net search system for OMPIC examiners, plus various training programmes and exchanges of expertise between the two offices.
President Battistelli paid tribute to "the vision that OMPIC has developed for the Moroccan patent system and is implementing with rigour and consistency." Director-General Elmaliki in turn stressed "the importance for Morocco of working bilaterally with the EPO; this co-operation is reciprocal and benefits the strategies of both partners."
The EPO and OMPIC have been co-operating for ten years now, entering into a strategic partnership with the signature, at the end of 2010, of the first agreement on the validation of European patents. This agreement, now being ratified by Morocco, aims at making the country more attractive for investors while at the same time raising its capacity to support innovation. Its implementation will go hand in hand with capacity-building at OMPIC, in both the examination of Moroccan filings and in the dissemination of technological information in the country.
The validation agreement will enable users of the European patent system to validate their applications and EPO-granted patents in Morocco in addition to 40 European countries. European applications and patents validated for Morocco will have the same legal effects there as Moroccan ones and will be subject to Moroccan law.