The EPO and the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) have agreed a two-year pilot programme that would allow Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) applicants to choose the EPO as their International Searching Authority (ISA). The EPO President António Campinos and CNIPA Commissioner Shen Changyu signed the agreement on November 12 at their joint conference in Suzhou, China. The programme is expected to start next year.

"[T]he two offices reached consensus on the designation of EPO as an ISA of the PCT international patent application in English filed at the CNIPA as Receiving Office. It will further benefit PCT applicants in China and even around the world,” Changyu said.

Campinos added: "The EPO is truly honoured by this sign of trust put in its PCT products, and we are committed to delivering the best possible services to patent applicants from China and around the world."

Read the press release here.