UK inventors are set to have increased access to patent information in Europe after the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) and the European Patent Office (EPO) signed a cooperation agreement.
The UK government wants Britain to be the most attractive place in Europe for businesses to start, finance and grow. The number of European patents granted to UK firms and inventors increased by 25 percent over the past five years, and the UK ranked eighth for patent filings at the EPO in 2012.
"This collaboration between the UK and the EPO will benefit all users of the patent system," said EPO president Benoit Battistelli.
"I welcome this opportunity for closer cooperation in areas of mutual interest, particularly around patent-related IT services and e-learning tools."
According to the EPO, the UK's IPO is a "leader" when it comes to investing in modern and efficient systems and services for its users, and the EPO hopes to benefit from this.
"This investment and the cooperation arrangements will in turn help our office to deliver the high quality and timely services that users expect," it said.
The UK is a founding member of the EPO, which was set up in October 1977.
Last month, the UK IPO launched the 'IP for Business' package to help small businesses in Scotland identify, protect and grow their intellectual property assetes
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