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European Union; Mexico; World Intellectual Property Organization: Agreements on Patents

(Dec. 17, 2014) In September 2014, Mexico’s Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI) and the European Patent Office (EPO) signed an agreement to launch a pilot project in January 2015 known as the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) program. The project is aimed at expediting the approval of patents in Mexico and the European Union by mutually recognizing work done by the two patent authorities in their respective jurisdictions. (Press Release, EPO, EPO to Launch PPH Pilot Programmes with Canada, Mexico and Singapore (Sept. 24, 2014).)

The PPH will allow patent applicants whose works have been determined to be patentable by either the IMPI or the EPO to request streamlined approval of their applications filed with the other patent office. The EPO and IMPI also agreed to share with each other work done by them in such cases, which should accelerate the review process and cut costs for patent applicants. (Id.)

The agreement was signed at a meeting of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) General Assembly, during which Mexico’s IMPI also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the WIPO whereby the WIPO’s Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Unit will provide assistance to IMPI on implementing ADR procedures for disputes concerning industrial property issues and training of ADR mediators. (Id.; Press Release, IMPI, Reafirman colaboración IMPI y Organización Mundial de la Propiedad Intelectual (Sept. 26, 2014); Assemblies of the Member States of WIPO: Fifty-Fourth Series of Meetings (Sept. 22-30, 2014), WIPO.)