Vice-President for International and Legal Affairs Christoph Ernst met with
Bavarian State Minister for European and International Affairs Melanie Huml to
discuss how the EPO can support the Bavarian government to foster innovation
and strengthen growth in Bavaria. The Minister’s visit took place on the
fringes of a two-day conference of the Europe Direct and European
Documentations Centres of Germany and Austria organised by the Representation
of European Commission in Germany and taking place at the EPO’s premises.
Ernst outlined that, as a major actor and employer in Munich in the field of
innovation, the EPO is already successfully co-operating with industry and
universities. The EPO has every interest in further supporting the Bavarian
government and the Munich authorities in their endeavours to strengthen
innovation locally. “By processing about 190 000 patent applications annually,
the EPO is a major contributor to economic growth in Europe,” he noted.
need to further raise local awareness of the EPO’s role as a truly European
institution headquartered in Munich, Minister Huml expressed her interest in
promoting patent knowledge in academic circles. Noting that a patent is often
the sole asset of young inventors starting a business and micro enterprises
(fewer than 10 employees), she stated that: “A patent should not only be
regarded as a legal instrument.”
agreed that even closer co-operation should be envisaged, especially also in
view of forthcoming 50-year anniversary of the signature of the European Patent
Convention (EPC), which took place in the Bavarian Parliament (Maximilianeum).
There was also a consensus on the need to enhance the benefits of the EPO’s
presence for innovative businesses and young inventors in Bavaria.