Today, four examiners from the African Organization of
Intellectual Property (OAPI) will begin a five-day study visit at the EPO. The course, organised
in cooperation with the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), is
part of an extensive competency-based training programme which was customised especially
for the OAPI and began in August 2021. The programme itself includes a
blend of onsite and virtual classroom training, online courses, and on-the-job
The study visit also allows face-to-face meetings to take
place: the in-person nature of the visit gives the OAPI examiners an
opportunity to interact directly with experienced EPO examiners. In addition to
this, the participants will be able to attend Oral Proceedings in Opposition,
followed by a briefing with the EPO Opposition Division, as well as working on
practical search and examination exercises with the guidance of EPO examiners.
The final day of the study will be
dedicated to the EPO’s strategic plan 2023 PATLIB 2.0 project, and in
particular to its “PATLIB Knowledge Transfer to Africa” initiative which is
providing patent searching and IP training to selected African universities to
help support their technology transfer activities.
Looking beyond our joint training activities, the EPO looks
forward to continued cooperation with the EUIPO-funded AfrIPI project. This
project, like others of its kind around the world, serves to highlight the
European approach to IP innovation and protection, while demonstrating how
close cooperation, the sharing of knowledge and best practices can benefit
society as a whole, leading us towards a brighter future.