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Slovenia celebrates knowledge networks and innovation ecosystems

2 December 2022

António Campinos
EPO President Campinos giving his keynote speech at the conference in Ljubljana.

How does
the Unitary Patent system benefit innovative businesses and particularly
smaller entities? This was the focus of a conference in Ljubljana, jointly
organised by the European Patent Office (EPO) together with the Slovenian
Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) and the Slovenian Chamber of Commerce and
Industry to mark the 20th anniversary of Slovenia’s accession to the European
Patent Convention.

Addressing
some 150 entrepreneurs, inventors and business representatives, President
Campinos praised Slovenia’s “stable, steady and strong economic growth in the
past decades.” He also recalled that Slovenia made history in 2002 by becoming the
first South-Eastern European state to join the European Patent Organisation.
Given the manifold challenges faced by society in terms of sustainability, he
noted that “a diverse, inclusive and innovation-led economy has never been more
important for Europe and Slovenia.” With the Unitary Patent system, Mr Campinos
concluded, we will have “the patent system we need to propel this country’s
innovations further and wider than ever before.”

Michael
Fröhlich, Director for European and International Legal Affairs, and EPO Chief
Economist Yann Ménière also spoke on the benefits of the Unitary Patent system for
Europe’s entire intellectual property landscape. Their contributions were
complemented by a detailed analysis of the innovation ecosystem in Slovenia and
an update on the Unified Patent Court’s Mediation and Arbitration Centres
located in Ljubljana and Lisbon.

Ahead
of the conference, Mr Campinos met with Slovenia’s Minister of Economic
Development and Technology, Matjaž Han. “I am pleased that today’s event
and the first visit of  President Campinos
to Slovenia coincide with the 20th anniversary of our country’s membership in
the European Patent Organisation”, the Minister stated. “The Slovenian economy
is export-oriented and closely integrated into the European economy. The Unitary
Patent system is a major step towards strengthening the single European market
and increasing its competitiveness in the global market.”

Strengthening
Europe’s knowledge networks and innovation ecosystems

Mr
Campinos also paid a visit to the SIPO, to convey in person his best wishes to
the office’s staff on its 20th anniversary, and the Jožef Stefan Institute
(JSI), a Slovenian science research institution that hosts a Technology and
Innovation Transfer Centre.

The
centre is part of the Europe-wide network of patent information centres known
as PATLIBs. It makes a valuable contribution to the EPO’s PATLIB 2.0 project,
which aims to strengthen the network through a variety of activities. Together
with JSI Director Bostjan Zalar, Mr Campinos discussed the patent-related
services that the centre provides to researchers, entrepreneurs, small and
medium enterprises (SMEs), private inventors and students.

Finally,
Mr Campinos spoke with high-level representatives from the University of
Ljubljana, where the EPO’s Pan-European Seal Young Professionals Programme is
very popular with graduates. A total of 21 graduates from the university have enrolled
in the programme to date. He also took this opportunity to introduce the new
modular IP education framework provided by the EPO Patent Academy.

Further
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