EPO – European patents may become valid in Morocco

Posted: December 27th, 2010

The President of the European Patent Office (EPO), Benoît Battistelli and Morocco's Minister for Industry, Commerce and New Technologies, Ahmed Reda Chami, have signed an agreement on the validation of European patent applications and granted European patents in Morocco. The agreement will enter into force once the necessary implementing legislation has been passed by the Moroccan parliament.

The agreement is different from the extension agreements which were concluded in the past with States in Middle and Eastern Europe and which at present still exist with Bosnia/Herzegovina and Montenegro. The extension agreements aim at a close co-operation with the EPO and the extension States were given the status of an observer in the Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation. Eventually, as a rule the co-operation ended up in the preparation of an accession to the EPO.

Apparently, this is not the purpose of the agreement with Morocco as a non-European State. This agreement could serve as a model for the co-operation with further States outside Europe which are interested in developing their patent system and foster innovation without making the effort of establishing large capacities for substantive examination. 

The technicalities concerning the functioning of the envisaged validation system are not yet known since the text of the agreement has not been published so far. Neither is there any information available on a concept for the Moroccan legislation for implementing the agreement.

Read the Communique of the EPO here.

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