International cooperation

The ISIPO actively participates in international cooperation related to Intellectual Property Rights, not least since many international agreements and regulations form the basis of national laws and regulations on IPR. 

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is a self-funding agency of the United Nations with over 190 member states. Iceland became a party to the Organization in 1986 which enabled Icelandic IP holders to use the many international filing routes WIPO is responsible for. The ISIPO represents Iceland in various meetings and working groups related to IPRs as well as participating each year in the WIPO General Assemblies.  

Since 2004 Iceland has been a member of the European Patent Organization (EPO) and in 2006 the European Patent Convention – EPC entered into force following amendments to the national Patent Act. Since then, patents granted by the EPO may be validated in Iceland and Icelandic applicants have access to a unified system making it possible to seek protection simultaneously in all 39 Member states. All Member states have representatives in the EPOs Council bodies, e.g., the Administrative Council, the Committee on Patent Law, Budget and Finance committee, and Technical and Operational Support Committee. The Director General of the ISIPO has since 2019 been Deputy Chair of the Administrative Council and was re-elected for three years at the end of 2021. 

Nordic Patent Institute, NPI, is an international organization, established by the governments of Iceland, Denmark, and Norway. NPI provides prior art/freedom to operate searches and acts as International Search Authority (ISA) and International Preliminary Examination Authority (IPEA) under the PCT for Icelandic applicants. The ISIPOs collaborative search is a service provided in cooperation with NPI, performed by NPI patent examiners. The Director General of the ISIPO has since 2011 been Chair of the Board of NPI.   

The ISIPO closely cooperates with the European Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) which handles the registration of European Union Trademarks and Designs. Based on an MoU, in force since 2013, the ISIPO has participated in TM View and TM Class for trademarks and Design View for Design registrations, making Icelandic applications and registrations globally available for inspection. The MoU also provides access to the ISIPO staff to various education and the possibility for secondment programs as well. Based on the EEA Agreement the ISIPO has Observer status in various meetings and working groups of the EUIPO and has participated in and implemented various Convergence Programmes, cf. list of the relevant projects. 

The ISIPO represents Iceland regarding Industrial Intellectual Property Rights in the EFTA IPR working group which regularly meets with representatives of the European Commission for discussion on upcoming initiatives or changes that may affect the EEA Agreement on IPR. Additionally, ISIPO experts offer advice in Free Trade negotiations regarding IPR. 

Nordic cooperation has always been a priority for the ISIPO and its representatives regularly meet with Nordic colleagues to discuss IPR related matters, both managers and experts. A few years ago, the Baltic states Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia became active members of the cooperation.