It is no secret that the European Patent Office (EPO) is trying to partner with intellectual properties worldwide to establish partnership programs with new and emerging national markets. The main objective of this initiative by the EPO is to integrate and improve the global patent system through more efficient use of partner offices, increased capacity, productivity and performance through EPO work materials, software and practices.

With this objective, a memorandum of understanding on an enhanced partnership between the EPO and the Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia (MyIPO) was signed earlier this month. This is Southeast Asia's first intellectual property office to sign this advanced form of bilateral cooperation agreement with the EPO and the world's fourth office. This arrangement means that for five years, the EPO and MyIPO will work together to make their patent systems as efficient, user-friendly and predictable as possible for European and Malaysian businesses.

The EPO will concentrate in particular on supporting MyIPO in its patent grant process to boost innovation and technology transfer between Europe and Malaysia in increasing efficiency, timeliness and reliability. As a community, the ASEAN countries are the EU's third-largest trading partner outside Europe (after the US and China), so increased access to the competitive ASEAN market is a priority for the EPO for European exporters.

The new EPO MyIPO partnership is seen as a monumental breakthrough for the ASEAN community with EPO referring to the partnership as ‘one of the most advanced offices in the ASEAN region’. This partnership seeks to promote and improve services relating to patent in both ASEAN region and worldwide.

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