EAPO Annual Report 2017

Development of Automation

As its core information technologies (IT) priorities in 2017, the Eurasian Paten Office worked to build EAPO resilience and efficiency having to adapt to the evolving legal framework amid the growing data traffic in a situation where the Office had to enhance the timeliness of Eurasian patent document publications and to reach out to wider audiences raising third-party awareness about the Eurasian Patent Organization performance.

More efficient automated information systems (AIS) and advanced IT drove the effort aiming to:

  • save labour based on more efficient electronic workflow management tools and closer AIS integration within the Eurasian Office
  • implement new capability and new data formats driving EAPO AIS performance
  • enhance the quality of data arrays
  • provide latest tool kits to EAPO partners and third parties for more efficient interface with the Eurasian Patent Office
  • implement electronic data two-way communication
  • implement outreach programmes to raise third-party awareness about latest events and legal framework amendments and addenda on a timely basis
  • deliver timely coverage of Eurasian Patent Office events and performance.

The Eurasian Patent Office automation and data management programmes rely on integrated automatic information systems running on latest software and hardware, network infrastructure and benefit from the three core process flows listed below.

  • Electronic workflow management for Eurasian application and patent purposes.
  • Evolving Eurasian patent IT space.
  • Automation of EAPO backend processes.

Electronic workflow management of eurasian applications and patents

Eurasian electronic application filing and electronic document exchange

Integrated with the other Eurasian Office automatic information systems, EAPO-ONLINE, as an automated system for electronic filing and electronic exchange takes care of electronic data two-way communication with the applicants, patent owners and their representatives.

The Eurasian Patent Office has recorded an ever-growing inflow of electronic documents. In terms of numbers, 2017 saw 2,683 applications filed electronically with the Eurasian Office, or more than 81 per cent of total filings, and the transfer of 18,656 batches of additional data on applications filed earlier. Overall, the Eurasian Office received a total of 87,996 documents in electronic form.

The year in review saw new functionality integrated into EAPO-ONLINE for electronic exchange and filing application-related documents in situations compliant with the Eurasian procedure, where the system user may not be an official representative. The audience has benefited from advanced tool kits and formats implemented to leverage the user interface, such as MS WORD complementing PDF (running in parallel) for invention descriptions launched on a test basis. Aiming to decrease the number of documents filed by error, the Eurasian Office developed and implemented tools that cut down relevant lists of documents and fees subject to the current status of an application. Also, the Eurasian Office upgraded and rolled out EAPO-ONLINE capability based on web services for direct communication with the automatic systems of its partners from among the Eurasian patent attorney firms.

Diagram 1

Applications filed in electronic form

Applications filed electronically / Per cent of total number
Applications filed in electronic form
Table 1

Applications filed in electronic form

Documents Year
2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Filed electronically 17 909 42 130 52 213 62 003 87 996
Per cent of total number 15,3 33,6 38,5 39,5 50,3

Electronic workflow management of Eurasian applications and patents

The Eurasian Patent Office relies on its procedure automation system (PAS) underlying electronic workflow management of Eurasian applications and patents. The corporate PAS includes SOPRANO complete with additional modules and a tool kit for statistics running on SAP Business Object platform.

The Eurasian Patent Office electronic workflow management relies on an electronic dossier system running on ePHOENIX platform.

All the amendments and addenda to the legal framework that underlies the Eurasian patent procedure are invariably captured in SOPRANO functionality. Thus, the reporting year saw a package of tools integrated to administer new rules for processing timeline extensions, to manage batch-processing of outgoing mail and to deal with franchising agreements as a new type of licence contracts.

Also, the year 2017 saw groundwork done for a tool kit that is in the pipeline for subsequent integration into SOPRANO to deal with the Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC) awaiting implementation within the EAPO as an obligation under the Memorandum of Understanding between the Eurasian Patent Office (EAPO) and the European Patent Office (EPO) on Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC).

Also, the year 2017 saw groundwork done for a tool kit that is in the pipeline for subsequent integration into SOPRANO to deal with the Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC) awaiting implementation within the EAPO as an obligation under the Memorandum of Understanding between the Eurasian Patent Office (EAPO) and the European Patent Office (EPO) on Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC).

Seeking to save labour in generating electronic dossiers for Eurasian applications and patents, the Eurasian Patent Office is having a dry run of an IT solution for automatic saving and dispatching outgoing mail for the Examination Department (EA304, EA106) and the Eurasian Patents Register Department (R10, R50, R53, R51). Also, the team developed tools for automatically reloading low quality descriptions in order to enhance the quality of documents in ePHOENIX.

SOPRANO and ePHOENIX are deeply integrated with EAPO-ONLINE for electronic filing and electronic exchange.

Table 2

EAPO-processed documents

Documents Year
2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Incoming documents 117309 125561 136190 158531 174948
digital versions 17924 42193 52386 62688 87996
as per cent of total number 15,3 33,6 38,5 39,5 50,3
Outgoing documents 39861 46375 49549 59898 78580
digital versions 3142 8696 10650 16841 37596
as per cent of total number 7,9 18,8 21,5 28,1 47,8

Electronic publication of Eurasian patent documents and official editions

The Department for Patent Information and Automation saw its main objective for 2017 in issuing the Eurasian Patent Office publications, including all forwarded application/patent descriptions on a timely basis, with a window of opportunity for fast-track publication.

The team made good progress with complete descriptions of Eurasian patents published in the reported year. Specifically, the Office reported the publication of 3,282 Eurasian patents, up 6.4 per cent. The average size of one patent is 64 pages. Aiming to optimise the character-coding of Eurasian patent descriptions, the team implemented a more efficient algorithm of distributing patents for processing among relevant OCR operators.

Ever-growing volumes of patent descriptions that require character-coding drive the need for having primary documents from the applicants in a required format in a situation where the applicants use mostly MS WORD for their descriptions filed electronically. With this in mind, the Eurasian Office joined forces in 2017 with such corporate patent attorneys and IP lawyers as Gorodissky & Partners and Papula-Nevinpat to develop tools for uploading MS WORD documents in the EAPO publishing systems. The exercise called also for relevant adjustments to the adjacent systems, i.e. SOPRANO and ePHOENIX.

Table 3

Totals of published Eurasian applications and patents

Year Applications (A1+A2) Search reports (A3) Patents (B1) Title page corrections (A8/B8) Complete text corrections (A9/B9) Per cent of complete text corrections
2013 3875 44 1581 22 19 0,3
2014 3635 32 1600 32 29 0,6
2015 3367 31 1757 28 26 0,5
2016 3592 83 3081 45 43 0,6
2017 3307 106 3282 47 83 1,3

In addition to the published applications and patents, the year under review saw the publication of the EAPO Annual Report for 2016 (2.5 author’s sheets) available on the web portal of the Eurasian Patent Organization.

Full descriptions of Eurasian applications and patents are available on the Eurasian publications server in PDF and as raw data in XML, TIFF and PDF in an authorized access section.

In the year under review, the EAPO decided to phase out hardcopy versions of complete Eurasian patent descriptions traditionally attached to a Letters Patent. Instead, a Letters Patent will have a QR code for direct reference to the electronic publication of a relevant Eurasian patent on the EAPO web portal. In the reported year, patent holders or their representatives had to file a special request for refusing a hardcopy version of the complete description. Starting from 2018, all the Letters Patents will be granted to the patent holders without complete descriptions attached to them; these will be available for free view on the Eurasian publications server of the EAPO web portal.

Building eurasian patent information space

EAPO web portal maintenance and enhancement

The Eurasian Patent Organization web portal provides to the Eurasian patent system users timely updates on the Organization and Office performance, legal status of the Eurasian applications and patents, gives access to regulatory and methodology guidance documents, latest information on fees including relevant forms to complete and calculate relevant rates, plus information about Eurasian patent attorneys.

The EAPO web portal users benefited in the reported year from:

  • timely updates on all Eurasian patent procedure changes
  • timely published official announcements and bulletins of IP Office news and events
  • a service tool implemented for calculating fees payable for extending the time limit to respond to examiner's request for applications
  • a new section dealing with procurements of goods, works and services and other objects of civil law rights of the Eurasian Patent Organization
  • newly updated editable forms for requests and calculation of fees for various procedural actions
  • a new web service developed and implemented to provide updates on the legal status of Eurasian applications and patents
  • regular database updates for the Register of Eurasian Patents, Register of Eurasian Patent Attorneys and the Eurasian publications server.

Furthering its outreach in 2017, EAPO published regulatory framework updates, coverage of latest events and corporate performance on the EAPO web portal and on such social media as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. To celebrate the 50,000th application received as a significant landmark, the Eurasian Patent Office made an “EAPO Performance in 2017” video which proved the first ever corporate promo voiced over in Chinese in addition to English.

EAPATIS maintenance and enhancement

As a Eurasian patent information system, EAPATIS was developed as a core tool for Eurasian Patent Office examiners and EAPC Member State users to tap into the global collection of patent documents. The audience also includes national IP Office examiners, users from leading universities, libraries, science and technology centres who benefit from free access to EAPATIS as part of the Eurasian Patent Office initiative going strong since 2011 to promote innovation in the EAPC Member States.

Table 4

National IP Offices' frequency of accessing EAPATIS

State Annual frequency of access
2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Armenia 687 500 348 945 466
Azerbaijan 6 990 14 090 20 295 29 447 54 291
Belarus 63 523 50 813 60 690 69 809 56 434
Kyrgyzstan 7 448 5 242 5 661 4 001 3 038
Kazakhstan 53 013 71 929 78 522 102 083 85 764
Moldova 20 542 19 602 11 288 7 067 7 076
Russia 41 465 32 961 46 851 41 802 46 192
Tajikistan 3 923 5 168 3 625 4 200 5 508
Turkmenistan 480 7 389 2 562 340 143
TOTAL: 198 071 207 694 229 842 259 694 258 912

The EAPATIS search data arrays are continuously augmented with up-to-date information and soaring collections of patent documentation. More than half Russian, 160 organizations have benefited since 2012 from access to EAPATIS as formalised under a relevant decision by the Administrative Council and agreements with national IP Offices authorizing such access for libraries, leading universities, science and technology centres.

Table 5

EAPATIS performance numbers

Key Performance Indicators Year
2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Number of documents uploaded in to EAPATIS (mln) 52,5 54 60 65 72
Number of universities, libraries, science and technology centres linked to the system 36 89 132 142 162
Number of completed system access sessions (thou) 932 1 077 1 063 1403 1978

Diagram 2

Frequency of accessing EAPATIS

thou. of access
Frequency of accessing EAPATIS

The EAPO Examination Department benefits from EAPATIS-based Search Report Processing (SRP) by having significantly wider access to references cited in international search reports. The increase is due to a longer list of document citations by category for selecting materials by default. The team draws upon EAPATIS or other free access information retrieval systems, such as Patentscope, Espacenet, etc., for selecting patent documents. For non-patent literature, they tap into the Internet or pay databases, mostly Russian. The corporate users can benefit from non-patent literature by accessing mostly pay-free sources or in-house electronic collections. This approach cuts down Eurasian Office expenditure on pay databases and improves the overall level of examiners' satisfaction with the information provided.

As part of the Rospatent/EAPO collaborative programme, five workstations were LAN-connected to PatSearch.

Table 6

Reference documents retrieval performance

Year Applications Total references Patents and applications Non-patent literature Retrieved Per cent of total number
2013 2533 8685 7238 1447 8440 97,2
2014 2323 8119 6714 1405 7915 97,5
2015 2304 8032 6577 1455 7899 98,3
2016 2346 8077 6612 1465 7951 98,4
2017 2316 11318 9036 2072 11078 97,9

Information technology cooperation

Committed to supporting the national IP Offices of EAPC Member States, in the first place, the Eurasian Patent Organization is heavily involved in information technology cooperation. The results include:

  • support for Dedicated Internet Access (DIA) and Internet access to benefit EAPC Member States’ IP Offices
  • joint participation in information initiatives
  • participation in the international exchange of patent documentation.

Most notable benefits for many IP Offices included Dedicated Internet Access (DIA) maintained for and Internet access services accorded to the IP Offices of EAPC Member States, both implemented as a project in the year under review.

The Dedicated Internet Access was provided to the national IP Offices of EAPC Member States in 2017 on equitable terms for all the parties to the project to draw equally beneficial performance from the exercise. Therefore, as the dominant DIA principle, each IP Office had equal technical opportunities, with due allowance for disparity in the levels of maturity of their national network infrastructure and specificities of the EAPC Member States' administrative and legal frameworks and arrangements.

The release of CISPATENT discs with patent information was amongst other longstanding collaborative efforts for the Eurasian Office in the reporting year. Under the project arrangements, the Federal Institute of Industrial Property (FIPS) is the recipient of Eurasian patent descriptions for the end product. The national IP Offices of the EAPC Member States are financed to partake in the project. The Eurasian Patent Office maintains the CISPATENT database as part of EAPATIS whose data is integral to the information on the optical discs released.

As part of its collaborative commitment and with due account of the local needs and conditions, the Eurasian Patent Office maintains in-house developed and used tool kits for the electronic gazette prepared and issued in the patent offices of the Azerbaijan Republic, the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Republic of Tajikistan.

As a corporate participant of the international patent documentation exchange, EAPO contributes complete descriptions of Eurasian applications and patents, and makes its Gazette available to 52 countries and international patent organizations. Starting from 2017, the Eurasian Patent Office draws on secure Internet resources for posting electronic images of its discs provided also as raw data.

Also in 2017, EAPO began disseminating arrays of its retrospective Eurasian patent documentation images in publication quality. Even though part of the international exchange between patent offices, the initiative is open to commercial providers, too.

Automation of EAPO backend processes

The Eurasian Patent Office backend processes rely on the Office intranet and general workflow management system running on such software platforms as CompanyMedia, Parus (“Parus-Predpriyatiye 8”) and ConsultantPlus, a regulatory search and retrieval system.

EAPO intranet site

The Eurasian Patent Office intranet site (a) keeps the EAPO staff updated – on a timely and comprehensive basis - on all the current corporate news and advancements based on relevant statistics, and (b) allows the EAPO staff to tap into regulatory and methodology guidance documents as well as different corporate information resources, such as the electronic library, regulatory documents archive and the internal register of Eurasian patents. The internal forum handles sizeable volumes of today’s internal data exchange (a) allowing EAPO staff to access customised personal information as needed and (b) provides an IT environment for feedback and information exchange between departments, including requests for IT system improvements and corrective action in an emergency.

Licensed product support to advance EAPO business and accounting performance. Expanding product application space

As a result of relevant IT implementations, the Eurasian Patent Office runs an array of business, personnel and general workflow management systems based, inter alia, on such software platforms as CompanyMedia, Parus (“Parus-Predpriyatiye 8”) and ConsultantPlus, a regulatory search and retrieval system.

All the systems functioned normally in 2017. Relevant contractors and EAPO IT personnel provided maintenance services as needed.

EAPO runs its workflow system managing electronically all documents other than related to Eurasian applications and patents. The system allows registration, sorting and dispatch of documents to officers in charge, entry of resolutions and assignments as well as tracking progress of work.

As an improvement initiative for the general workflow management system, the year in review saw around 2,000 documents scanned and uploaded in to the data system. These cover contracts concluded in the past but still valid.

The year in review saw practical steps towards budgeting process automation. For the Organization to have accurate budget revenue information, the Eurasian Patent Office developed tools for data on the proceeds from fees and duties to be downloaded from Soprano and uploaded in to Parus (“Parus-Predpriyatiye 8”). The initiative improves the efficieny of the Office financial units, saves labour and reduces errors at data entry.

Information security management

In 2017, EAPO continued to advance its information security management practices in all core areas of corporate operation to raise the level of vital data security in compliance with relevant protection priority requirements. The team has all the internal controls in place to tackle on a timely basis any information security breaches and to run a relevant emergency remediation plan.

For further advancement in information security management and technical protection of its single corporate information infrastructure the Eurasian Patent Office relies on the Eurasian Patent Organization Development Programme 2017/2021.