INFORMATION FROM THE EPO
Notices of the President of the EPO
Notice of the President of the European Patent Office dated 10 October 1990 concerning the integration of INPADOC into the European Patent Office
1. Under an Agreement of 2 July 1990 between the European Patent Organisation and the Republic of Austria the International Patent Documentation Centre (INPADOC) will be integrated into the European Patent Office as from 1 January 1991.
2. In accordance with the aim of the European patent information policy which is “primarily to improve access to patent information in Europe for both the general public and industry - in particular small and medium-sized companies - in order to stimulate innovative activity, through the national Offices of Member States of the EPO . . .”, the integration of INPADOC will bring the following advantages:
(1) Strengthening the worldwide patent data exchange system
(2) Extending to the worldwide exchange of bibliographic data the principles underlying European patent information policy (non-exclusivity, price policy, worldwide co-operation with national patent offices)
(3) Ensuring continuity in the services provided under the Agreement of 2 May 1972 between the Republic of Austria and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) concerning the establishment of an International Patent Documentation Centre
(4) Extension and enhancement of the EPO's own bibliographic databases, elimination of duplication of work and improved internal use of such databases
(5) Expansion of the patent information services provided to industry and other European users by national Offices and commercial operators.
3. The Integration Agreement provides for the EPO to take over INPADOC as its universal successor in title as from 1 January 1991. Existing legal ties with third parties are not affected. The transfer of assets takes effect immediately after the Agreement enters into force. As a legal consequence INPADOC will be dissolved. Its entire of universal succession in title permanent workforce will be taken over by the EPO.
The European Patent Organisation will become party to all contracts and agreements concluded by INPADOC, but the Agreement of 2 May 1972 between the Republic of Austria and WIPO remains a res inter alios acta as far as the Organisation is concerned. To ensure that after INPADOC's integration into the EPO the Republic of Austria remains able to fulfil its obligations under the Agreement with WIPO, the Integration Agreement requires the EPO to perform henceforth the services referred to in Articles II and III of that Agreement, namely the patent family and classification services central to INPADOC's activities.
The EPO will seek to perform the services in question not only for patent offices which already have contracts with INPADOC but for all patent offices of WIPO Member States, including any which may wish to enter into contracts of this kind at some future time.
In the event of that a national Office of a WIPO Member State not wishing to have a contract with the European Patent Office, the Integration Agreement provides for the Austrian Patent Office to act in the EPO's stead as the contractual partner of the national Office in question.
4. An EPO sub-office will be created in Vienna as from 1 January 1991.
The sub-office will in particular perform services of the kind referred to in the Integration Agreement, namely patent family and classification services. It may however also be assigned other tasks. The EPO's present plans are for the sub-office to perform the full range of activities of the Principal Directorate Patent Information.