World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
Latvia became a member of the World Intellectual Property Organization in year 1993, by joining the Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization. Since then, Latvia has signed and joined to the majority of WIPO conventions and agreements. The Patent Office of the Republic of Latvia (LPO) has participated in events and work in most of WIPO bodies. Every year a cooperation plan is created between the LPO and WIPO which includes the planned activities for the upcoming year.
On May 8-9, 2012 on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the LPO the conference “Intellectual property rights management” took place in Riga, which was organized by LPO in cooperation with the European Patent Office (EPO) and WIPO. WIPO Director General Francis Gurry also undertook an official visit to Latvia. During the visit, the Director General met with Mr. Andris Bērziņš, President of the Republic of Latvia, and Mr. Gaidis Bērziņš, Minister of Justice of the Republic of Latvia. The Director General also visited the Patent Office of the Republic of Latvia and delivered a key note address at the conference.
European Patent Organization (EPO)
Cooperation with European Patent Organization started in 1994, when Latvia signed the Cooperation agreement, to become an associate member of EPO. Cooperation precludes development of infrastructure to increase the effectiveness of patent system in Latvia. In the field of technical cooperation, EPO and the LPO cooperate in the development of a system that will be used for patent processing maintenance procedures and administration. Cooperation also is insured in judicial and administrative matters with regular exchange of information, consultations and sharing common practices.
Cooperation with EPO also includes training, studies and increase of professional qualification that is insured by European Patent Academy (EPA). EPA is established in 2004 and it offers the possibility to increase professional qualification for lawyers, judges, experts from National Offices and employees from other institutions, professionals from universities and research centers, and also company owners in the field of invention protection and patenting these inventions with an aim to increase intellectual property usage and raise the overall awareness of intellectual property rights.
On May 8-9, 2012 on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the LPO the conference “Intellectual property rights management” took place in Riga, which was organized by LPO in cooperation with EPO and WIPO. The President of the EPO, Benoît Battistelli gave a speech at this conference and congratulated Latvia for the achievements in modernising its patent system for the benefit of national and European economy. Mr Battistelli also met with the President of the Republic of Latvia, Andris Bērziņš, Minister of Justice of the Republic of Latvia Gaidis Bērziņš, and Minister of Education and Science of the Republic of Latvia Roberts Ķīlis to discuss how Latvia and the EPO could co-operate to further strengthen the country's intellectual property system.
Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (Trade Marks and Designs) (OHIM)
In the level of European Union, the protection of trademarks and designs is successfully ensured through cooperation with the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (Trademarks and Designs) (OHIM). Each year LPO and OHIM conclude a bilateral cooperation agreement with an aim to organize different events that would raise awareness of intellectual property protection and inform about the importance of this field of law. Cooperation is carried out also on other levels, for example Cooperation Fund and Convergence programme, which are aimed to sharing and harmonizing common practices, modernizing national IP offices by updating existing and introducing new services and simplifying the usage of European trade mark and design systems.