1 June 2023
The critical role of intellectual
property in driving sustainable development was the focus of a major event held
in Lisbon, Portugal, in which the EPO played an active part.
The event comes in the wake of a UN interim report published in April which warned that
global progress towards achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) is
in “deep trouble”.
Hosted by INPI Portugal, the two-day event – “Thinking
about Industrial Property, Sustainability and the Future of the Planet” –
brought together leaders from IP, Government, private sector and academia to
share best practices, debate and contribute IP-driven solutions to address the
urgency of the UN SDGs.
In his opening address, President António Campinos called
sustainability an “existential challenge for humanity” and asserted that
innovation and technological solutions are key to achieving a more sustainable
Mr Campinos also went on to highlight the measures the EPO
has undertaken to support innovation by, for example, reorganising its examiner
workforce around technology communities, democratising its patent data, and
enhancing accessibility into the patent system through the launch of the
Delivering opening addresses alongside Mr Campinos were André Moz Caldas, Secretary of State
for the Presidency of the Council of Ministers; Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy
Secretary-General of the United Nations; Daren Tang, Director General of the
World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO); Andrea Di Carlo, Deputy
Executive Director of European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO);
Sarmento e Castro, Minister of Justice of Portugal.
On the second day of the conference, Mr Campinos contributed
a short speech to an IP5 roundtable discussion themed on “IP 5 offices’ vision on how IP will change the
The EPO also put forward a line-up of expert speakers whose presentations
covered a wide range of sustainability topics, such as hydrogen innovation,
forest fire prevention, and the intersection of innovation and intellectual
property. Additionally, they highlighted the EPO Observatory on Patents and
Technology, emphasising its potential for fostering collaboration and
understanding concerning the latest technology trends.
Delivering the conference’s closing remarks was Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, President of
the Portuguese Republic.