In a press release issued by the European Patent Office (EPO) and received by this blogger just five minutes ago, the EPO announced that its president, together with Kamel Ben Naceur, the Tunisian Minister for Industry, Energy and Mines, have put their signatures to an agreement on the validation of European patents for Tunisia.
Under the terms of the agreement,
"European patent applicants and proprietors will be able to validate the legal effects of their European patents and applications on Tunisian territory, even though Tunisia is not an EPO member state. Validated European patent applications and patents will have the same legal effect as Tunisian national applications and patents, and will be subject only to Tunisian patent legislation. The agreement has to be ratified before it can enter into force".The media release adds that co-operation between the EPO and the Tunisian Patent Office (the National Standardisation and Industrial Property Institute, or INNORPI) goes back over ten years and has intensified since 2011. The chief co-operation activities are the training of INNORPI examiners in prior-art searching and in drafting written opinions on the patentability of applications filed directly with INNORPI. The EPO and INNORPI also co‑operate in the field of Tunisian patent document publication.