The Eurasian Patent Convention that established the Eurasian Patent Organization was signed on September 9, 1994, by the Prime Ministers of Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, the Russian Federation, Tajikistan, and the Ukraine, and came into force on August 12, 1995, after Turkmenistan transferred, on March 1, 1995, to the Depository - Director-General of the WIPO -the Act of accession to the Convention, Belarus presented to the Depository the ratification instrument of the Convention on May 8, 1995, and Tajikistan did the same on May 12, 1995.
Before the end of 1995 the Convention was ratified by the Russian Federation, and the republics of Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, and Armenia.
In order for the Organization to become active after the Convention came into force, its two organs, the Administrative Council and the Eurasian Patent Office, had to start functioning. Since the Chairman of the Administrative Council and the President of EAPO, on whose initiative the Administrative Council could be summoned according to the Convention, had not been elected yet the Director-General of WIPO, the Convention Depository, called, on the request of the three countries for which the Convention came into effect, the First Extraordinary Meeting of the Administrative Council at the WIPO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, on October 2, 1995.
WIPO Director-General Mr. Bogsch, in his capacity as Convention Depository, opened the first Administrative Council Meeting and proposed its agenda.
According to the agenda, R.A. Agabaev, Plenipotentiary Representative and Chairman of the Patent Office of Turkmenistan, the first country to accede to the Convention and to transfer the Act of Accession to the Depository, was unanimously voted Chairman of the First Meeting of the Administrative Council (ad-hoc Chairman). The authority of R.A. Agabaev, who became the first Chairman of the Administrative Council in the history of the Organization, was maintained until the beginning of the second meeting of the Administrative Council.
At its First Extraordinary Meeting the Administrative Council unanimously voted for V.I. Blinnikov (First Deputy Chairman of Rospatent) to become President of EAPO for the term of six years, set January 1, 1996 as the date from which Eurasian patents may be requested in patent applications filed according to the PCT procedure, and established the list of essential legal acts required for the functioning of the Organization.
First drafts of such documents were developed by the Interstate Council on the Protection of Industrial Property (ISC) and, in view of the coming into force of the Convention on August 12, 1995, at its 6th meeting that took place on September 7-8, 1995, in the City of Baku, recommended for consideration by the Administrative Council.
The First Extraordinary Meeting of the Administrative Council delegated to the EAPO President V.I. Blinnikov the task of arranging the final editing of the Organization's core documents by experts of the member states based on the drafts of these documents recommended by the ISC, and to present these for the Administrative Council's approval in November, 1995.
At the Second (First Ordinary) meeting in November 1995 the Administrative Council adopted the normative acts essential for the activity of the Organization (the Patent Regulations under the Eurasian Patent Convention, Statute of Fees Charged by the Eurasian Patent Organization, Administrative Regulations under the Eurasian Patent Convention, Financial Regulations under the Eurasian Patent Convention, Statute of Eurasian Patent Attorneys, and the Rules of Procedure of the Administrative Council).
The Administrative Council voted T.E. Kaudyrov, Plenipotentiary Representative of the Republic of Kazakhstan and Chairman of Kazpatent, to the post of its Chairman and recommended A.N. Grigoriev (Russian Federation) as Vice President of EAPO.
According to the Convention, the Administrative Council established precise quotas for the states that signed the Convention on September 9, 1994, on the number of EAPO positions filled with experts from these states. Quota sizes were determined according to the economic potential of the states and were stipulated in the Administrative Regulations.
In December 1995 the Eurasian Office registered the first fifty Eurasian patent attorneys to assist in the filing of Eurasian patent applications starting January 1, 1996.
Important new steps towards expanding the activity of the Organization in accordance with its administrative tasks were made in 1996.
First, the staff positions of international examiners in EAPO were filled to the extent sufficient at this stage, for making decisions on granting or refusing Eurasian patents according to the Convention, which requires collegia of three examiners who are citizens of different Convention member states. EAPO Vice President Kh.F. Fayazov, previously Director of the NPICenter of the Republic of Tajikistan, assumed his office with EAPO.
In May of 1996 EAPO organized and held in Moscow its first international seminar on the Eurasian Patent Convention, at which conceptual elements of the Organization's normative documents were discussed.
The first official Bulletin of the Eurasian Patent Office "Inventions (Eurasian Applications and Patents)" came out on July 1, 1996; it contained current normative acts of the Organization, first Eurasian applications, plus the list of Eurasian patent attorneys registered with EAPO. From that date on the EAPO Bulletin and descriptions of Eurasian Applications and Patents were periodically published by the Eurasian Patent Office.
The development of the Organization is greatly dependent on finances. The budget approved by the Administrative Council determines, for each calendar year, the main sources of revenue and main expenditures of the Organization, which must be balanced. The excess of revenues over expenditure is used for the development of EAPO. Draft budget for each coming year has an attachment that justifies the number of EAPO employees that are required for the performance of the planned volume of work, and an estimate of the revenue and expenditure parts of the fiscal year's budget.
The adoption of the budget by the Administrative Council entitles the EAPO president to direct the revenues to the income part of the budget, make expenditures in accordance and within the limits of the Organization's adopted budget and estimate the expenditure to be directed at the EAPO development.
Another essential financial document of the Organization is the Annual Report on the activity of the Organization in the year past, which is audited and presented to the Administrative Council.
This is why the creation of such a standing working body as the Budget Working Group in June of 1996 that included qualified financial experts and economists from the patent offices of the Convention member states and EAPO, and which the Administrative Council delegated to evaluate the Organization's drafted budget for each coming financial year, its reports for the year past, and to hold consultations on issues that require taking into consideration the financial aspects or consequences, has become such an important landmark in strengthening and stabilization of the activity of the Organization. Competent consideration by the Budget Working Group of the drafts of yearly budgets, the Organization's reports and other key economic and financial documents became an essential condition for the functioning of the Organization.
The Organization's logo, developed by the Patent Office of the Republic of Tajikistan, was approved at the Third (Second Ordinary) meeting of the Administrative Council.
The key decisions of 1997 that have had a positive effect on all subsequent activity of the Organization concerned the following directions:
Based on the practical experience of EAPO and of the Eurasian patent attorneys, significant amendments and additions were made to the core normative documents of the Organization: the Administrative Regulations, Financial Regulations, Patent Regulations, and the Statute of Fees, approved by the Fourth (Third Ordinary) and Sixth (Fourth Ordinary) meetings of the Administrative Council.
The amendments and additions to the Patent Regulations and the Statute of Fees that came into force on March 1, 1998, refined the legal norms and consideration procedures for Eurasian applications, made fees smaller and simpler to calculate, introduced discounts on key procedural acts for obtaining a Eurasian patent, and refined the details of regulating the procedure of paying yearly fees for the maintenance of Eurasian patent.
In April of 1997 Eurasian patent No. 1 was entered into the register of the Eurasian Patent Office. Its owner was the citizen of Russia V.I. Razmaitov.
In 1997 all the Convention member states established, as required by the Convention, the yearly fee to be paid by the patent owner for maintenance of Eurasian patents within the territory of each state. Thus the Eurasian patent system was fully established. Yearly fees for the maintenance of Eurasian patents were first published in the EAPO Bulletin No. 3, 1997, and the public and all interested persons are informed of changes in the maintenance fees by EAPO Bulletins.
In the autumn of 1997 an Agreement was signed between the World Intellectual Property Organization and the Eurasian Patent Organization that covered a wide range of directions for collaboration in the area of industrial property.
As of January 1, 1998, 135 Eurasian patent attorneys representing all 9 Convention member states were registered with EAPO.
The most important development of 1998 was the completion of work on the Agreement between the Government of the Russian Federation and the Eurasian Patent Organization on the headquarters of the Eurasian patent organization, which came into force on April 15 after the passage of the Federal Law of the Russian Federation on the ratification of the Agreement. With the coming into force of the Agreement, the Eurasian Patent Organization and its employees received the required status in the Russian Federation, where the headquarters of the Organization are located.
In the same year EAPO published the Rules of Drawing up, Filing and Processing of Eurasian Applications (EAPO Bulletin No. 3, 1998), which made preparation of documents considerably easier for the applicants and contributed to better understanding between applicants, their attorneys and the EAPO examiners in the process of considering applications. The coming into effect of the changes and additions to the Patent Regulations, Statute of Fees, and the said Rules enhanced the attractiveness of the Eurasian patent procedure and of obtaining a patent valid in all nine Convention member states, and contributed to the growth of the number of Eurasian applications, over 800 of which were received in 1998, which is 4 times greater than the number of applications received during the first two years of EAPO's work.
The Eurasian patent system reached a new level in 1998 - from this year patent owners became able to designate, depending on their economic interests, in which EAPC member states they want to maintain patents granted to them, and to start paying EAPO yearly fees for the maintenance of their patents in the designated states only. The payment of yearly fees for patent maintenance, stipulated in the EAPC, became a real source of revenues for the development of national patent offices of the EAPC member states and the Eurasian Patent Office.
Computerization, scanning, digitalization, and editing of full descriptions of inventions for the Eurasian applications and patents allowed EAPO to compile a database of Eurasian applications and patents, and to start preparing official materials for publication using its own resources.
As a result of a mutual exchange of official publications with patent offices of 16 states and international organizations, as of the end of 1998 EAPO compiled, for the purposes of examination of Eurasian applications, a fund of patent, patent-related, and non-patent information that presently comprises over 5700 CD-ROM disks.
A project in collaboration with the European Patent Office to organize telecommunication access of EAPO examiners to the information resources of the European Patent Office in the Hague was completed in 1998.
The greatest achievement of 1998 was the completion of the "COMMON SOFTWARE" project to implement an automated and integrated information system for document processing (AIS) in EAPO. The project was financed by the European Union under the TASIS and IKON programs, and by the European Patent Office.
Firms ROY International (the hardware part of AIS), Datax / Florin (staff training in automation), and JOUVE (adaptation of the AIS software to the specific requirements of EAPO, and test runs) participated in the implementation of this project.
AIS has been in use since December 1999, and makes the monitoring of Eurasian patent processing at the various stages of examination considerably easier and speeds up decision-making on each application, thus enhancing the quality of examiners' work.
In 1999 a dedicated departmental server containing Databases of normative, legal and referential information on EAPO, Convention member states, WIPO standards, periodicals, documents and materials of foreign patent offices received by EAPO has been put into service as part of the project to establish the Automated System of Patent Information (ASPI) for the collection and maintenance of patent and non-patent documentation on digital media, and for information searches within the Funds.
As an important step towards the introduction of paperless technologies, in 1999 the practice of publishing and distributing to users full descriptions of Eurasian patents and patent applications on CD-ROM media was started.
The development of the Internet site of the Organization with the materials on the activity of EAPO and patent offices of the Convention member states was completed. In order to provide access to information on the status and validity of Eurasian patents on the territory of EAPC member states, information on the status and validity of Eurasian patents is posted and renewed at the Web site of the Organization.
Since January 2000, experts from patent offices of all Convention member states have been on the EAPO staff complement.
As a result of the approval by the Administrative Council and implementation by the EAPO of a series of measures following the coming into effect of the Eurasian Patent Convention and active help and support from WIPO and the European Patent Organization, the main purpose of the Convention has been achieved: the Eurasian Patent Organization established by the Convention has been created to assure the performance at world class level of administrative tasks related to the functioning of the regional Eurasian patent system and grant of Eurasian patents. In the less than five years of its functioning, the Eurasian Patent System, presently used by patent applicants and patent owners from over 45 countries, including the Convention member states and practically all states with developed economies, has acquired wide recognition as an integral part of the world-wide system of legal protection of inventions.