The Visegrad Patent Institute (VPI), which started operation on July 1st 2016, is an intergovernmental organization for cooperation in the field of patents established by the four Visegrad countries: the Czech Republic, Hungary, the Republic of Poland and the Slovak Republic (V4 countries).
The VPI was appointed as an International Searching Authority (ISA) and International Preliminary Examining Authority (IPEA) under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) in order to attain a wide range of important objectives at various (global, European, regional and national) levels.
The VPI fills a territorial gap within the global system of the PCT, acting as an International Authority for Central and Eastern Europe. It is noteworthy that in WIPO, the Group of Central European and Baltic States was the only regional group without a functioning International Authority under the PCT. The VPI also makes up for the missing link in the network of European PCT authorities. Therefore, the VPI is intended to support the development and usefulness of the PCT system by adding further competent resources to those already available, especially in respect of a region currently without its own International Authority in place.
The structure of the VPI follows the existing successful model of the Nordic Patent Institute. Thus, the governance of the VPI as an intergovernmental organization is ensured by its Administrative Board composed of the representatives of the Contracting States, while the VPI’s Secretariat, headed by the Director, is responsible for the organization, day-to-day management and administrative support of the VPI’s work.