The year 2017 saw not only the targets met by the Eurasian Patent Organization as set for us in 2016, but also new accomplishments that we achieved.
I am proud to report the conclusion of two international patent prosecution highway agreements that capped the work towards this goal. In April 2017, the Eurasian Patent Office and the European Patent Office signed the Memorandum of Understanding on Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) Pilot Program. September 2017 saw the signatures affixed to the Memorandum of Understanding on Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) between the Eurasian Patent Office (EAPO) and the State Intellectual Property Office of the People’s Republic of China (SIPO).
The Eurasian Patent Office received the 50,000th application for the grant of a Eurasian patent for invention in 2017, which indisputably underscored the significance of the EAPO operation for the benefit of states party to the Eurasian Patent Convention (EAPC) and further emphasised the appeal of the Eurasian patent system for the applicants. Notably, the geographical source of the aforementioned application is the People’s Republic of China whose national patent office and the EAPO benefit from close professional ties established between them. Furthermore, the Eurasian Patent Office and the State Intellectual Property Office of the People’s Republic of China signed the Intellectual Property Data Exchange Agreement in September 2017.
The year 2017 stands out for the advancements achieved by the Eurasian patent system in adding value to its professional ties and programme implementation on the international arena in the first place. Last year, representatives of the Eurasian Patent Office paid working visits to the World Intellectual Property Organization, the European Patent Office, national patent offices of individual countries and took part in events they ran, including educational formats. The objective was to come up with collaborative solutions for developing an industrial property protection system, to exchange knowledge and best practice as well as to promote the EAPO efficiencies.
It is not an overstatement to describe 2017 as a year of revitalised resilience for the Eurasian patent system. We are encouraged to report a healthy trend in the filing activity, more decisions taken to grant Eurasian patents and a greater total of Eurasian patents granted throughout the year. Moreover, it was a year of breakthrough solutions that boosted the results achieved. Suffice it to say that total applications filed via EAPO-ONLINE hit the 82 per cent mark and the average Eurasian application pendency period for Eurasian patent protection has become practically a month and a half shorter.
The regional system of industrial property protection at large and the Eurasian patent system in particular entered a new stage of development in the reported year. Thus, the thirty-third (twenty-fourth ordinary) session of the EAPO Administrative Council (6-7 September 2017) endorsed and formalised the initiative of the Eurasian Patent Office to explore possibilities for establishing an EAPO-based legal protection system for industrial designs. To take the initiative further as part of the groundwork, the Eurasian Patent Office set up a relevant Working Group to incorporate representatives of the EAPC Member States whose major objective is to draft a relevant international agreement.
We fully realise that all the aforementioned EAPO achievements would have been and further accomplishments will be impossible without the dedication and commitment on the part of the EAPC Member States, our corporate partners and applicants. We are thankful for their support and value-added cooperation for the benefit of the parties involved. For its part, EAPO will exert every effort to promote the regional invention protection system to foster innovation and sharpen the competitive edge of national economies of the EAPC Member States.