The year 2018 saw the Eurasian Patent Office embracing new areas of international cooperation.
Further progress was recorded in the implementation of the Eurasian Patent Office’s initiative for the establishment of an EAPO-based legal protection system for industrial designs. In collaboration with EAPO Member States, a draft Protocol to the Eurasian Patent Convention of September 9, 1994 on the Protection of Industrial Designs was developed, with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) offering its input in terms of methodology. In fact, this is a new international treaty governing legal aspects of the protection of industrial designs in the Eurasian region. The draft Protocol was approved by the EAPO Administrative Council in October 2018.
The format of cooperation between the Eurasian Office and the patent offices in the Asian region has broadened. In 2018, Memoranda of Understanding on Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) Pilot Programme and on Bilateral Cooperation were signed with the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), as well as the Memorandum of understanding with the State Intellectual Property Office of the People’s Republic of China (currently, National Intellectual Property Administration, PRC (CNIPA).
The aim of EAPO’s participation in the PPH Programmes is to enhance the appeal of the Eurasian patent system. It is also an evidence of high appraisal by the leading national and regional patent offices of EAPO examiners’ performance record and the high quality of the Eurasian patent examination. The year 2018 saw the launch of a pilot PPH Programme with CNIPA, while the pilot project for the PPH Programme with the Japan Patent Office (JPO) was extended for a new term.
EAPO’s cooperation with the European regional IP offices received an added momentum. A new Memorandum of Understanding on Bilateral Cooperation was signed in 2018 with the European Patent Office (EPO). Also, the cooperation activities towards the establishment of a Eurasian system for the legal protection of industrial designs set the stage for partnership with the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).
Viewing the cooperation with European countries as an important collaborative commitment, the Eurasian Office representatives took part in conferences, seminars, round tables and other encounters highlighting current trends in the evolution of the intellectual property concepts and their role in the modern global economy. Such discussions offer a good opportunity to become familiar with the approaches of regional and leading national IP offices to the provision of legal protection for inventions, exchange experiences in handling the workflow and, ultimately, help countries in developing coordinated approaches to the challenges in the field of intellectual property.
The number of such professional events in the field of intellectual property in the States party to the Eurasian Patent Convention (EAPC), attended or contributed to by EAPO representatives, is increasing each year. These events raise the level of legal literacy in the field of intellectual property, promote the awareness about Eurasian patent system and extend the Eurasian Office’s outreach to broader audiences in Eurasian patent integration countries by promoting its activities and services in the field of legal protection of inventions across the region.
Overall, in 2018 representatives of the Eurasian Patent Office participated in 108 events in various fields of international cooperation, with EAPO President taking part in 39 of them.
Cooperation with Countries of the Eurasian Patent Integration
Of late, representatives of the EAPO Member States have spoken highly of personal contribution by EAPO President Saule Tlevlessova to the advancement of cooperation between the EAPO and national IP Offices – the sign of a high level of mutual understanding reached among the States party to the Eurasian Patent Convention about the ways of EAPO’s progressive development.
On August 22, 2018 at EAPO headquarters EAPO President S. Tlevlessova was awarded with the Merit badge of the Russian Federal Service for Intellectual Property (Rospatent) “For the Good of Russia”. The award was handed over to her by Chairman of the EAPO Administrative Council, Plenipotentiary Representative of the Russian Federation in the EAPO AC and Head of Rospatent Grigoriy Ivliev.
Presenting the award, the Head of Rospatent G. Ivliev praised Ms S. Tlevlessova’s contribution towards the development of cooperation among the EAPC Member States and her personal role to promoting greater convergence of views of Member States on the most complex issues on the EAPO agenda.
On the margins of the thirty-fourth (twenty-fifth ordinary) meeting of the EAPO Administrative Council held on October 22-23, 2018 in Dushanbe, the Republic of Tajikistan, EAPO President S. Tlevlessova was presented with the medal of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
This highest award of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Kazakhstan was handed over to Ms S.Tlevlessova by Deputy Plenipotentiary Representative of the Republic of Kazakhstan in the EAPO AC, Director of the National Institute of Intellectual Property of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Kazakhstan Yerbol Ospanov.
In his congratulatory letter to EAPO President, First Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan Askar Mamin stressed the importance of EAPO activities for further improvement of the intergovernmental system for the protection of inventions in the territories of EAPC Member States, to keep pace with the rapid advancement of integration processes there.
The Minister of Justice of the Republic of Kazakhstan Marat Beketayev in his congratulatory letter paid tribute to EAPO President for her many years of experience in the field of protection of intellectual property rights. He also believed that Ms S. Tlevlessova will lead the Eurasian Office to new heights in the advancement of the Organization.
Building a Eurasian Legal Protection System for Industrial Designs
A major focus in the cooperation between EAPC Contracting States in 2018 was the collaborative effort for the establishment of a Eurasian legal protection system for industrial designs, in line with the decision by the Administrative Council taken at its thirty-third (twenty-fourth ordinary) session (September 6-7, 2017).
A Working Group made up of representatives of the Eurasian Office and national IP Offices of EAPC Contracting States met on 30 – 31 January, 13 – 14 June and 10 – 11 December at EAPO headquarters to discuss the issue. Summing up the outcome of the discussion, the Working Group prepared a draft Protocol to the Eurasian Patent Convention of 9 September 1994, on the Protection of Industrial Designs.
The substantive and procedural norms of the regional law on industrial designs, as laid down in the draft Protocol, suggest that a new regional system be established on the basis of EAPO, compatible with the system of international registration of industrial designs, in line with the provisions of the Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs.
The draft Protocol was approved by the EAPO Administrative Council at its thirty-fourth (twenty-fifth ordinary) session on October 22 – 23, 2018 and, on the recommendation of the Working Group, forwarded to the national IP offices of the EAPC Member States so that preliminary approvals at the national level could be obtained, whenever necessary.
EAPO's activities in creating a new regional system were based on a study of existing systems and procedures for the legal protection of industrial designs at the national and international levels.
During 2018, the heads and experts of national IP offices of the EAPC Member States met in person or engaged via video conferences and other formats to discuss various aspects of future interaction between the proposed regional system and national systems for the protection of industrial designs.
To study the specifics and the evolution of the Hague system for the international registration of industrial designs, EAPO representatives took part in the seventh session of the WIPO Working Group on the Legal Development of the Hague System and the WIPO seminar on the Hague System, held July 16 – 19, 2018 in Geneva, Switzerland.
In its efforts to bring into reality a Eurasian system of legal protection of industrial designs, the EAPO benefitted greatly from WIPO’s methodology made available by the staff of that Organization’s Hague Registry, Brands and Designs Sector, and its Office of the Legal Counsel. During the negotiations in Geneva, Switzerland, on February 19 – 20 and November 19 – 20, 2018 the Eurasian Office’s delegation led by EAPO President S. Tlevlessova discussed with the WIPO counterparts the past and upcoming stages in the establishment of a new regional system. Also on the agenda of the negotiations was WIPO's participation in performing a legal expert examination of the draft Protocol and various aspects of interaction between the two organizations as the EAPO embarks on a new field of industrial property protection.
In order to obtain knowledge and first-hand expertise in the functioning of the regional system of legal protection of industrial designs, on October 9 – 10, 2018, the EAPO delegation made a study visit to the to the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) in Alicante, Spain.
During the visit, the EAPO representatives studied the legal framework of the regional system, including the interaction between regional and national protection systems, the approaches to the examination of applications on industrial designs, the procedures for registration of industrial designs and challenging of the validity of such registration, as well as resolution of disputes concerning the violation of rights to industrial designs in the territories of the European Union member states.
EUIPO counterparts have demonstrated to their Eurasian colleagues the electronic tools and interfaces facilitating their Office’s communication with the applicants, the information systems underlying the EU Office’s internal electronic workflow, and the methodology for performing the examination of industrial designs.
Meetings of Heads of IP Offices
Various aspects of EAPO activities and bilateral cooperation were discussed in 2018 during the meetings of EAPO President S. Tlevlessova with the Heads of national IP offices of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Republic of Armenia, the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Russian Federation.
Prospects for the advancement of cooperation in electronic filing of Eurasian applications and promotion of the Eurasian patent system have been discussed during the visit to the EAPO by the delegation of the State Service of Intellectual Property and Innovation under the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic (Kyrgyzpatent) led by the Chairman of Kyrgyzpatent D.A. Moldosheva on July 4, 2018.
During the negotiations at the EAPO headquarters with the Head of Rospatent G. Ivliev on August 22, 2018, the participants acknowledged the importance of harmonizing the approaches of IP Offices to providing industrial property protection and stated their readiness to continue the dialogue on the issues common to the Russian and Eurasian Offices.
As part of his visit to the Eurasian Office headquarters on 22 August 2018, Head of the Intellectual Property Agency of the Ministry of Economic Development and Investments of the Republic of Armenia Yerem Chakhoyan was briefed on the main areas of cooperation between the national patent offices of the two EAPO Member States.
On November 8 – 9, 2018 in Astana, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the EAPO delegation led by EAPO President S. Tlevlessova met with the top officials of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the National Institute of Intellectual Property under the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
The Minister of Justice of the Republic of Kazakhstan M. Beketayev acknowledged the role of EAPO President S. Tlevlessova in facilitating the signing by EAPO and major national and regional IP offices of international agreements on Patent Prosecution Highway Programmes, which reduce the pendency period for Eurasian applications and enhance the attractiveness of the Eurasian patent system. Mr Beketayev confirmed that the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Kazakhstan would be ready to host a diplomatic conference in Astana in 2019 with a view to signing the Protocol to the Eurasian Patent Convention of September 9, 1994, on the Protection of Industrial Designs as well as the regular meeting of the EAPO Administrative Council.
The meeting with the leadership of the Intellectual Property Department of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Kazakhstan focused on the interaction between the parties within the framework of the nascent Eurasian system of legal protection of industrial designs.
The encounter with senior officials of the National Institute of Intellectual Property under the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Kazakhstan led to an agreement to hold series of events with a view to promote the Eurasian patent system in the Republic of Kazakhstan. The parties also agreed to engage in consultations to contribute to the advancement of Kazakhstan’s national legislation on patenting inventions and disseminate EAPO’s experience in performing patent examination and transition to paperless workflow management.
The ways of promoting the Eurasian patent system were also on the agenda of the meeting between EAPO President S. Tlevlessova and Chairman of the Board of the Intellectual Property Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan K. Imanov and other representatives of that country’s IP protection system held on December 4, 2018 in Baku, Republic of Azerbaijan. The participants also agreed to organize a series of training workshops for specialists of the Azerbaijani Intellectual Property Agency, national patent attorneys and major applicants.
EAPO President S. Tlevlessova met with the heads of the national IP offices of Russia and Kazakhstan on December 11, 2018 in Moscow. The participants in the discussion expressed satisfaction with the level of cooperation within EAPO’s framework and acknowledged the importance of a coordinated stand by the EAPC Member States for a productive interaction in international formats.
On December 12, 2018 EAPO President S. Tlevlessova met with the delegation from Kazakhstan led by K. Esembaeva, Director of Department of Intellectual Property Rights of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Kazakhstan. The two officials discussed bilateral cooperation and the prospects for closer collaboration between the Eurasian and Kazakhstan IP offices.
The parties discussed the potential benefits of a possible arrangement whereby the Kazakhstan agency would forward to the EAPO the Eurasian applications filed by national applicants. The discussion also touched upon such issues as more extensive exchange of patent documentation, joint projects to increase the filing activity by applicants in Kazakhstan, promotion of the Eurasian patent system in Kazakhstan and other formats.
Experts from national IP offices of the EAPC Contracting States have benefitted from professional development workshops organized as part of the internship programme. This initiative is active since 2017 which EAPO views as one of its important collaborative international commitments. Recruited to take part in such workshops as lecturers and instructors, representatives of international and regional organizations and leading national patent offices brought to the trainees first-hand knowledge of specificities of patent legislation and practical experience in patent examination, patent search and patent information systems, accumulated by countries and organizations.
Information and communication technologies is one of the most dynamic fields of activity, and national patent offices move to embrace the opportunities offered by ICTs and streamline their procedures for the examination of applications for computer-implemented inventions.
On May 28 – 30, 2018, as part of the spring training session for examiners of national IP offices of EAPC Contracting States, the EAPO hosted a Seminar on “Computer-Implemented Inventions”.
The Seminar covered a broad range of topics, such as legal protection of solutions related to computer programmes, databases, payment tools and user interfaces, including blockchain technologies and artificial intelligence. The participants reviewed the approaches by patent offices to performing patent search and examination of subject matters based on the use of computer, as well as the basics for taking decisions in this area. As a separate item on the agenda, examples of decisions made upon examination of oppositions and appeals concerning the above subject matters were discussed.
The Seminar drew participation from the European Patent Office (EPO), China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) and the Federal Institute of Industrial Property of the Russian Federation (FIPS). Representatives of the national IP offices of the EAPC Member States and EAPO experts took part in the discussion.
Also in 2018 the EAPO provided institutional resources and financial support to organizers of the two regional events, in the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Republic of Tajikistan, both focusing on global trends and new challenges in the field of economy and intellectual property.
A regional conference held in Baku, Republic of Azerbaijan on June 5, 2018 focused on “Intangible Capital and Global Value Chains: How Can Economies Capture the Benefits of Innovation?” The encounter was timed to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the establishment of Azerbaijan’s patent system.
EAPO President Saule Tlevlessova, WIPO Director General Francis Gurry, heads and representatives of national patent offices of such EAPC Member States as the Kyrgyz Republic, the Republic of Belarus, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Republic of Tajikistan, the Russian Federation and Turkmenistan took part in the conference as guests of honour.
On top of the conference’s agenda were the ways whereby economies could capture the benefits of innovation and the role of intellectual property in that process. As a starting point for discussion the participants reviewed the WIPO study on global value chains and discussed the role that intangible capital, in the form of technologies, designs and brands, plays in the functioning of value chains.
On October 24, 2018, a regional seminar was organized in Dushanbe, Republic of Tajikistan, to discuss economic dimensions of intellectual property rights.
The seminar drew the attendance of representatives of EAPO, WIPO, national patent offices of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Republic of Armenia, the Republic of Belarus, the Republic of Tajikistan, the Russian Federation and Uzbekistan, as well as financial organizations, large companies and enterprises in Tajikistan.
The reports presented at the seminar dealt with the management of intellectual property rights. EAPO representatives spoke at the seminar about the importance of regional protection of inventions based on a strong patent that, in terms of competitive advantages, such protection offers to economic actors. Also, based on EAPO own experience, they highlighted the role of modern digital infrastructure in enhancing the efficiency and improving the quality of patenting.
2018 was a special year for the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Republic of Tajikistan and the Kyrgyz Republic, as the three countries celebrated the 25th anniversary of their national intellectual property systems. Heads and representatives of the EAPO, IP offices of the EAPC Member States, and WIPO took part in the anniversary celebrations.
On April 27, 2018 the city of Dushanbe, Republic of Tajikistan, played host to an international conference and a parallel forum of inventors organized by the National Centre for Patent and Information under the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of the Republic of Tajikistan.
As part of the programme of this special event awards were presented to inventors, innovators and organizations in Tajikistan who made a significant contribution to the innovative development of the country. On behalf of the Eurasian Patent Organization, the V.I. Blinnikov Gold Medal “For Promoting Invention and Patent Practice” was awarded to the state institution “Metallurgy Research Institute” under the state unitary enterprise “Tajik Aluminum Company”.
EAPO President S. Tlevlessova took part in the regional conference “Intangible Capital and Global Value Chains: How Can Economies Capture the Benefits of Innovation?” held in Baku, Republic of Azerbaijan, on June 5, 2018. Sponsored by the Intellectual Property Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Conference was part of the celebratory programme to observe the 25th anniversary of the establishment of Azerbaijan’s patent system.
In her speech at the conference, EAPO President hailed the initiatives by the leadership of the Intellectual Property Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan to develop the national intellectual property system. She noted a significant progress in using by applicants from Azerbaijan of the Eurasian patent system to protect their inventions and acknowledged the country's commitment to the development of modern innovative economy.
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the intellectual property system of the Kyrgyz Republic, Kyrgyzpatent hosted a regional seminar on Lake Issyk-Kul on 2 – 3 September 2018, with a focus on the legal protection of traditional knowledge. The event was also held in the run-up to the Third World Nomad Games.
Speaking at the seminar, EAPO President S. Tlevlessova congratulated the Kyrgyzpatent team on the anniversary, acknowledging the great importance the Kyrgyz Republic has been attaching to intellectual property rights. She praised Kyrgyzpatent’s achievements in providing legal protection to intellectual property rights and developing innovations, adding that EAPO remained committed to contributing to the advancement of the national patent system and economy of Kyrgyzstan.
Every year EAPO representatives take part in celebrations in the EAPC Member States organized as part of the observance of World Intellectual Property Day.
On April 26, 2018 representatives of the Eurasian Office attended special ceremonies of awarding the finalists of international IP Olympiads and competitions among schoolchildren.
EAPO’s Medal “Advancing the Future” has been awarded to the winner of the Ninth International Competition “School Patent – a Step to the Future.” The competition was sponsored by the Institute of International Business and Law under the St. Petersburg National Research University of Information Technologies, Mechanics and Optics. The award ceremony was part of the programme for the Intellectual Property Days, which were observed for the tenth consecutive year in St. Petersburg.
The award ceremony for winners of the 10th International Intellectual Property Olympiad for high school students organized by the Russian State Academy of Intellectual Property (RGAIS) was held in Moscow on April 26, 2018 as part of the plenary session of the XI International Forum “Intellectual Property - XXI century”. The winners of the Olympiad received the EAPO Medal “Advancing the Future” in two nominations: for originality and creativity and for practical value of inventions.
On October 12 – 13, 2018, a representative of EAPO took part in special events which were part of the programme of the first republican contest – festival of young inventors and innovators of Tajikistan, held in Dushanbe, the Republic of Tajikistan.
The competition – festival was sponsored by the National Centre for Patents and Information under the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of the Republic of Tajikistan with a view to supporting talented and creative young people active in the field of science and technology, and promoting the concept of intellectual property among the country’s younger generation.
The Eurasian Office representatives handed over EAPO’s awards to the winners in individual and team competitions.
The Eurasian Office delegated its representatives to the eighth session of the Interstate Council on Legal Protection and Enforcement of Intellectual Property (MGSIS) held in Moscow on October 15, 2018.
The participants in the session reviewed the situation in the CIS countries – members of MGSIS in the field of protection, enforcement and management of intellectual property rights, and measures to counter offenses in that area. They also discussed the progress in the review by CIS supreme bodies of draft documents submitted by MGSIS, including the Draft Agreement on Building and Promotion of a CIS Market for Intellectual Property.
On May 29 – 30, 2018, Moscow hosted the meeting of the Coordination Council for commercial-scale release of CISPATENT CD-ROM, the regional patent information product of the CIS countries. This project is implemented within the framework of MGSIS. Along with the review of the outcomes already achieved and plans for the future, the participants discussed further advancement of the project.
Representatives of the Eurasian Patent Office, IP offices of the Republic of Belarus, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Russian Federation, the Republic of Tajikistan and the Republic of Moldova continued to discuss various aspects of having CISPATENT information array expanded by incorporating into it the data reflecting changes in the legal status of patent documents.
EAPO President S. Tlevlessova and Member of the Board - Minister in charge of Economy and Financial Policy of the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) Timur Zhaksylykov met in two occasions in 2018, on February 13 at the EEC headquarters and on March 1 at EAPO headquarters. The meetings resulted in the adoption of a coordinated action plan for the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Eurasian Patent Organization and the Eurasian Economic Commission for 2018.
Bilateral cooperation among national patent offices of the EAPC Member States in 2018 was aimed at facilitating the development of common approaches in patent law and patent search and examination, embracing of digital workflow by IP Offices, advancement of electronic
inter-agency communication, patent information support of users and promotion of the concept of intellectual property rights among national applicants in the Eurasian region.
The meeting of examiners of the EAPO and Rospatent in Moscow on September 14, 2018 focused on the consideration by the Chamber of Patent Disputes of objections against the validity of Eurasian patents in the Russian Federation. On November 28, 2018 EAPO representatives visited Rospatent Federal Institute of Industrial Property (FIPS) to draw upon their Russian colleagues’ best practices in organizing electronic communication with applicants in filing and examining the materials of applications for inventions submitted in character coded format.
As part of the visits by the EAPO delegations to Kyrgyzpatent in Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic, on August 29 – 30 and November 14, 2018, the two parties had consultations on legal and procedural issues of patenting inventions in accordance with the Eurasian Patent Convention. They also discussed law enforcement practices related to the examination of objections against the Eurasian Office’s decisions and objections against the grant of Eurasian patents, the specifics of internal workflow for Eurasian applications and Eurasian patents, and the use by applicants of EAPO’s electronic services for filing Eurasian applications and communicating with the Eurasian Office.
As a traditional way of collaboration in the framework of EAPO, the IP Offices of Member States participated in each other’s IP events on intellectual property issues. Thus, representatives of Rospatent and FIPS are usually invited as lecturers for internships and training sessions organized by the EAPO for examiners and other specialists of national IP Offices in the region on various aspects of legal protection and management of rights to inventions in the Russian Federation. The EAPO staff who professionally keep track of global trends in patent law and information technologies and formalize the changes in patent workflow procedures and services provided to users of the Eurasian patent system, reciprocate by sharing their experience and best practices during the events organized in Eurasian Patent Integration Countries.
On February 1, 2018 the President of EAPO S. Tlevlessova, took part in the International Conference “Intellectual Property in the New Technological Order”, a collaborative project of WIPO, the Skolkovo Foundation and Rospatent held in the Skolkovo Innovation Centre.
The conference focused on the likely ways of the global patent system’s evolution in the context of rapid advancement of technologies and a major upswing of digital economy.
In her remarks at the first session of the conference which reviewed new trends in the field of intellectual property, S. Tlevlessova spoke about the changes occurring in the patent system in the era of burgeoning digital economy and rapid technological advances. She also stressed the continued relevance of the current “classical” system of legal protection of inventions, considering the reliability of protection it offers, high qualification of patent examiners, as well as the fact that at least for the time being the work of a patent examiner cannot be taken over by artificial intelligence.
On March 24, 2018, EAPO representative spoke at the official opening ceremony of the Russian-Chinese Intellectual Property Centre “IP Silk Road” in Beijing, People's Republic of China (PRC).
The opening of the Centre was a collaborative initiative by Russia’s Federal Institute of Industrial Property (FIPS) and the All-Russian Society of Inventors and Rationalizers (VOIR), supported by Rospatent and China National Intellectual Property Administration, CNIPA. It aims to promote innovative activity in Russia and China and facilitate for Russian and Chinese inventors and producers of innovative products the access to each other's markets.
EAPO President S. Tlevlessova spoke at the opening of the international conference “Digital Transformation: Intellectual Property and Blockchain Technology” on April 16 - 17, 2018 in Moscow. Organized by Rospatent with the WIPO and BRICS involvement, the conference analysed the evolution of global intellectual property systems amid the upswing in digital economy and the use of blockchain technology in the field of intellectual property rights.
S. Tlevlessova highlighted the importance of international cooperation in addressing the issues related to the advancement of intellectual property rights in the modern technological world. She also called for more harmonious approaches by countries to the patenting of inventions in high-growth industries.
On May 16, 2018, an EAPO representative participated in the discussion on “Patent Examination: From Monopoly to Competition” organized by Rospatent on the margins of St. Petersburg International Legal Forum, held in St. Petersburg, Russian Federation.
The discussion focused on possible ways to create in Russia a competitive market for information search services and a preliminary assessment of patentability of industrial property subject matters, and to involve accredited organizations in such information search and expert examination of the proposed inventions.
The EAPO representative outlined the modern formats of cooperation among patent offices over the world in sharing the results of patent search and examination, before presenting a summary of successful cooperation between the Eurasian Office and FIPS in performing patent search for a part of Eurasian applications for invention.
On another occasion in St. Petersburg, Russian Federation, EAPO representatives spoke at the panel session of the VI Congress of Technology and Innovation Support Centres (TISC), organized by Rospatent and WIPO on September 3 – 4, 2018.
Conferences in TISC format aim to enhance the professional level of specialists in the field of intellectual property dealing with patent information and patent information services, and enable them make optimal decisions in identifying priority areas of scientific and technological development and ensuring effective legal protection and management of patent rights.
The EAPO representatives explained to the participants the functionality of the Eurasian Patent Information System EAPATIS, to which EAPO provides free access for government organizations promoting innovation. They also spoke about the advantages and practical aspects of the applicant-EAPO electronic interaction through the EAPO-ONLINE system.
The EAPO delegation led by President S. Tlevlessova took part in the programme events of Rospatent-brokered 22nd International Conference on “The Role of Intellectual Property in the Breakthrough Scientific and Technological Development of Society” held on September 19-20, 2018 in Moscow.
In her remarks at a plenary session on global challenges to the world intellectual property system, the EAPO President spoke about patent activity in the countries of the Eurasian region. She welcomed the efforts by Rospatent to support innovation activities in Russia and called for closer integration and collaboration in the field of intellectual property among the countries of the region for joint response to global challenges in the modern technological world.
EAPO representatives took part in thematic sections of the conference on the legal protection and expert assessment of intellectual property subject matters, including patenting pharmaceuticals. They also commented on the use of artificial intelligence and other modern technologies by the Eurasian Patent Office, and their application in the field of intellectual property at large.
On November 15 – 16, 2018 a representative of EAPO made a presentation at the seminar organized in Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic, by Kyrgyzpatent with the participation of WIPO, to address the issues of exceptions and limitations to patent rights relating to inventions in the pharmaceutical field.
The seminar was devoted to the issues of patent rights in the field of pharmaceutical industry and provision of access to medicines; the role of exceptions and limitations to patent rights as a tool for regulation of patent monopolies by the state, and their use as mechanisms to improve public health.
On November 28, 2018 a national workshop on the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) and the international application system was held in Astana, Republic of Kazakhstan. The event was organized by the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Kazakhstan and WIPO with a view to raising the awareness of inventors and patent attorneys in Kazakhstan about practical aspects of securing legal protection for inventions in the PCT Contracting States on the basis of one international application.
Attending a round table discussion which was part of the workshop, a representative of the Eurasian Patent Office shared EAPO’s work experience in using the electronic filing system for international applications ePCT as a Receiving Office for international applications, as well as for Eurasian applications filed by applicants from the Republic of Kazakhstan.
Cooperation in Education
IP staff education programs to benefit national patent offices of states party to the EAPC is one of the major collaborative work commitments within the Eurasian Patent Organization.
In 2018 EAPO provided funds to cover study programmes of 24 staff members of national IP Offices of EAPO Member States at the Russian State Academy of Intellectual Property (RGAIS). Some of the students attended post graduate programme in jurisprudence, others pursued a course in intellectual property and patenting as part of professional development programme, while still others attended advanced training programme in management of intellectual property rights and their use for commercial purposes.
Specialists from national IP Offices of EAPC Member States benefited from two sessions of customised training at the EAPO headquarters throughout 2018.
The programme of the first session of training, assisted by lecturers from the EPO and the Chinese and Russian patent offices and completed in the period May 28 to June 8, 2018, included a regional seminar on computer-implemented inventions. The participants learned the approaches of regional and national patent offices in performing patent search and examination of subject matters in the field of information and communication technologies.
The training programme also included hands-on experience in the examination of Eurasian applications in the field of mechanics , physics and electrical engineering. The trainees reviewed EAPO’s approaches to the assessment of patentability of inventions in a given field, their industrial applicability, novelty and inventive step. Practical examples helped the trainees grasp the specifics of the examination of inventions related to the use of computer programmes or algorithms, inventions in the field of physics, modelling, computer technology, as well as solutions that are not recognized as inventions.
Lectures and practical classes of the second session of training, from October 1 to October 12, 2018, were facilitated by EAPO, EPO and FIPS representatives.
Department Heads and experienced experts of the Eurasian Office explained to the trainees the practical aspects of examining inventions in the fields of medicine, chemistry and pharmaceuticals, including the specifics of examining applications related to drugs, antibodies, cell technologies, vaccines and other subject matters of protection. The curricula helped the trainees better understand the approaches of EAPO examiners to determining the patentability of various subject matters, examining the materials of Eurasian applications and conducting patent search.
The EPO representative who facilitated one of the training sessions used numerous practical examples to explain the specificity of patent examination of applications in the field of biotechnology, in accordance with European patent law.
Lectures by FIPS representatives helped the trainees be better acquainted with the methodology for the examination of applications for medicines and the modalities for the examination of objections to the grant of patents for inventions in the Chamber of Patent Disputes.
On November 26 – 30, 2018, Moscow played host to a regular training session for specialists in the field of information technology from among the staff of national IP Offices of the EAPC Member States. The participants benefitted from Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programme in Windows PowerShell-based automation of administration, developed and implemented by SoftLine Education training centre. On completion of the CPD course the participants received certificates of advanced training.
Cooperation with Patent Attorneys
EAPO stepped up its efforts to facilitate the expansion of the Eurasian patent attorney community in the EAPC Contracting States. Thanks to a new electronic service which became functional in 2018, candidates may take the qualification exam for Eurasian patent attorney off-site, using modern telecommunication tools. The service is intended for candidates for Eurasian patent attorneys residing in areas away from the EAPO headquarters.
Meetings with Eurasian patent attorneys at the EAPO headquarters, which have now become a tradition, are both a format for professional communication and a tool to foster mutual understanding among specialists working for a common goal of advancing the Eurasian patent system.
Two such meetings with Eurasian patent attorneys and other members of the patent community were held at EAPO headquarters on April 24 and December 18, 2018.
Opening the meetings, EAPO President S. Tlevlessova spoke about the most important developments and achievements of the Eurasian Office over the period since the previous encounter, and briefed the participants about the Office’s work and immediate plans for the future.
EAPO experts briefed the audience on the latest changes in the Eurasian patent law and the patent procedure, and explained how the applicants can benefit from PPH Programmes which allow the benefit of fast-track processing in EAPO of applications already reviewed by the national patent offices of China, Korea, Japan or by EPO. The Eurasian Office’s electronic services, including the use of the system for electronic filing and exchange of documents, EAPO-ONLINE, and broadening the circle of patent attorneys communicating with EAPO in electronic format only, was another important subject of discussion.
Such meetings and discussions provide EAPO with high-quality professional feedback on the practical use of the Eurasian patent procedure and patent information services.
Participation of EAPO specialists in “St. Petersburg collegial readings”, an annual professional forum organized by the St. Petersburg Patent Bar to discuss current theory and practice of legal protection of intellectual property rights, is yet another tradition.
The presentation by EAPO representative at the 20th jubilee research-to-practice conference “St. Petersburg collegial readings – 2018” in St. Petersburg, Russian Federation, June 27 – 29, 2018, focused on topical aspects of the examination of Eurasian applications for Eurasian patent in pharmaceutics.
Viewing the promotion of national institutes of patent attorneys and the advancement of professional market for patent services as one of its important missions, EAPO is routinely involved in training arrangements for the benefit of patent attorneys and candidates for patent attorneys in the EAPC Contracting States.
An EAPO representative participated in the Summer School of Patent Examination in Veliky Novgorod, Russian Federation (July 30 through August 3, 2018), organized by the inter-regional Patent Bar. The aim of the Summer School was to improve the skills of patent attorneys and facilitate the training of young professionals from Russia’s regions aspiring to become patent attorneys.
As a tutor at the Summer School the EAPO expert used theory and exercise formats to review the latest changes in the Eurasian patent law as regards the procedures for the examination of applications, the grant of patents and the examination of objections. She presented an outline of the modalities and procedures used by the Eurasian Office while assessing the patentability of inventions relating to medical drugs and extending the validity of Eurasian patents. Based on the analysis of decisions taken by the Chambers of Patent Disputes and the Intellectual Property Rights Court, the EAPO representative reviewed issues challenging the validity of Eurasian patents.
At meetings in Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic with patent attorneys from Kyrgyzstan and specialists of Kyrgyzpatent on August 29 – 30 and November 14, 2018, the EAPO representatives briefed their colleagues and counterparts about the Eurasian procedure for patenting inventions and the measures the Eurasian Office staff are taking to maintain high quality of patents granted. The issues the EAPO specialists were asked to comment on included law enforcement aspects arising from the examination of objections against EAPO decisions or against Eurasian patent grants; EAPO’s internal workflow for Eurasian applications and Eurasian patents; the use of the EAPO electronic services for filing Eurasian applications and exchanging correspondence with the Office.
On April 5 and September 25, 2018, responding to requests from the users of its electronic tools and interfaces, the Eurasian Office hosted training seminars on the use of EAPO information systems. The programme of training focused on the advantages and opportunities of using the EAPO information systems, backed up by practical examples.
The participants became familiar with the functionality of the electronic interface for communication with the Eurasian Office as part of the workflow for Eurasian applications and patents. They also learned how to use the EAPO-ONLINE system, perform patent searches via the Eurasian patent information system EAPATIS, and use the resources and services based on the EAPO web portal.
In 2018 training seminars in the use of electronic tools and EAPO services were also held in the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Republic of Belarus, and the Republic of Kazakhstan.
On November 6, 2018, as part of the visit by EAPO President S. Tlevlessova to the Republic of Kazakhstan, the EAPO delegation met with the representatives of Almaty branch of the National Institute of Intellectual Property (NIIS) of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Kazakhstan and Kazakhstan patent attorneys.
The EAPO delegation briefed the participants in the meetings on the functionality and practical methods of using the EAPO-ONLINE system for filing Eurasian applications and exchange of correspondence with the Eurasian Office in electronic format. The EAPO representatives also shared successful experience of securing integration between EAPO-ONLINE and in-house information systems of major Russian patent attorney firms.
On November 21 – 22, 2018 in Minsk, Republic of Belarus, a team of EAPO experts met with representatives of the local patent attorney firms, while on December 19, 2018 EAPO organized a training seminar in Baku, Republic of Azerbaijan, for specialists of the Intellectual Property Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Centre for Examination of Patents and Trademarks and Eurasian and Azerbaijani patent attorneys. The focus of those training sessions was on the procedure for electronic communication with the EAPO and the techniques of using the EAPO-ONLINE.
The issues of two-way electronic communication via EAPO-ONLINE were also on the agenda of the meetings on September 3 – 4, 2018 which were part of the working visits by EAPO representatives to Russian patent attorney firms in St. Petersburg, Russian Federation.
The Eurasian Patent Office views its participation in international fora and engagement in discussions on various intellectual property issues in EAPC Contracting States as an important driver of its international cooperation strategy.
Attended by representatives of business, academia, government, judicial system and patent offices, such discussions on various aspects of intellectual property, and the way it is influenced by modern economy, help to take balanced decisions in this field, just as they promote the Eurasian patent system.
EAPO representatives took part in the 19th Conference “Intellectual Property Forum. Russia and the CIS Countries” held in Moscow on March 22 – 23, 2018, as well as in the programme of the 21st Moscow International Salon of Inventions and Innovation Technologies “Archimedes – 2018”, also in Moscow, on April 5 - 8, 2018. On yet another occasion, EAPO experts attended and contributed to the programme of the International Strategic Forum on Intellectual Property “IPQuorum 2018”, which explored the IP strategies and trends from the standpoint of the current globalized market and the upswing in digital economy. This latter conference took place in Svetlogorsk, Russian Federation, on April 11 – 12, 2018.
On April 25, 2018 in Moscow, within the frameworks of the XI International Forum "Intellectual Property - XXI Century" EAPO participated with its section "Industrial Property Protection at the Regional Level: The Eurasian Patent System".
The participants were briefed on the modern challenges facing the global patent community and discussed the role of regional organizations in addressing those challenges. They reviewed the specifics of the procedure for obtaining a Eurasian patent, including the applicant’s rights in the process of examination of Eurasian applications, and the possibilities for using fast-track examination procedures. The EAPO representatives explained the approaches of the Eurasian Office to the assessment of patentability of inventions and the procedure for the examination of objections against the grant of Eurasian patents. More specifically, they clarified the issues of patent protection of medical drugs and ensuring access to medicines, the benefits and technical aspects of working with the Eurasian patent information system EAPATIS, and the use of electronic services provided by EAPO to users of the Eurasian patent system.
On November 1 – 2, 2018, Eurasian Office’s delegation led by EAPO President S. Tlevlessova took part in the programme of the Skolkovo Patent School, an annual international conference on intellectual property held in the Skolkovo Innovation Centre, Moscow.
In her opening address at the Conference, EAPO President S. Tlevlessova focused on the current global upward trend in the volume of patenting and registration of industrial properties, and ever greater share of intangible assets in the market value of high-tech companies. Having acknowledged Russia’s significant scientific potential, the EAPO President drew the participants’ attention to the advantages of the Eurasian patent system as a means of securing effective protection of innovations in the EAPO Member States.
EAPO representatives commented on the underlying principles of the Eurasian patent system and explained to the participants the specific features of patenting inventions in pharmaceutics. They held a master class for pharmaceutical startups focusing on the basics of drawing up an invention formula with a view to obtaining optimal patent protection of medicines. As part of the round table on patent analytics, EAPO specialists shared their techniques of working with data arrays of the Eurasian patent and information system EAPATIS, and gave recommendations for the use by applicants of EAPO’s electronic services. As members of the expert jury, EAPO representatives took part in the selection of winners in PatentsPower contest, the competition of biotechnological startups with high potential in intellectual property protection.
Various aspects of the reform of pharmaceutical market in the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and building of a unified supranational regulatory framework were high on the agenda at international fora in 2018.
Among the key topics of such discussions was proper patent protection of intellectual property rights of developers and manufacturers of innovative medicines in the EAEU Member States. As part of their contribution to the programme of the 10th research-to-practice conference “Government Regulation and Russian Pharmaceutical Industry – 2018: Continuing the Dialogue" (Moscow, April 11, 2018), the EAPO representatives highlighted the issues associated with the protection of patent holders’ rights in registration and marketing of generic drugs. Taking part in the 24th Russian Pharmaceutical Forum (St. Petersburg, May 15 – 16, 2018), the Eurasian Office’s specialists focused on the importance of patent protection of innovative medical drugs. At yet another important international engagement (International Pharmaceutical Forum “Eurasia”, Moscow, November 20 – 21, 2018), EAPO representatives explained the benefits of obtaining a Eurasian patent, especially for the companies actively involved in the EAEU Member States. They also drew parallel between the examination of inventions in the EAPO and the same practice that applies to examining inventions related to medicines.
Contributing to the programmes of various specialized events held in Moscow in 2018, representatives of the EAPO provided comments on different aspects of legal protection of inventions in the field of biotechnology (round table “Civil Law in the Age of New Technologies”, June 29), digital and artificial intelligence technologies in the workflow of patent offices (international conference on intellectual property, September 13 –14, 2018), and patenting of computer-implemented technical solutions (round table on December 14 which considered the legal protection and law enforcement aspect of intellectual property rights in the modern world).
COOPERATION WITH INTERNATIONAL AND REGIONAL ORGANIZATIONS
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
In 2018, EAPO representatives participated in the following meetings of the WIPO specialized working bodies in Geneva, Switzerland: the Twenty-Eighth and Twenty-Ninth Sessions of the Standing Committee on the Law of Patents, the sixth session of the Committee on WIPO Standards and its Task Forces, the Thirty-Ninth and Fortieth Sessions of the Standing Committee on the Laws on Trademarks, Industrial Designs and Geographical Indications, the Seventh Session of the Working Group on the Legal Development of the Hague System for the International Registration of Industrial Designs, the Eleventh Session of the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) Working Group and the Fiftieth Session of the Committee of Experts of the IPC Union.
The EAPO delegation contributed to the discussion on WIPO Standard ST.96 “Recommendation for the Processing of Industrial Property Information using XML” and follow-up activities of the XML4IP Task Force of the Committee on WIPO Standards at the 18th session of the Task Force held in Moscow on May 14 – 18, 2018. The Eurasian Office considers as promising the application of WIPO Standard ST.96, both as a format for the exchange of patent data and in terms of filing patent information for several industrial property subject matters, taking into account the ongoing work for the establishment of a Eurasian system of legal protection of industrial designs.
The delegation of the Eurasian Office, led by EAPO President S. Tlevlessova took part in the Fifty-Eighth Series of Meetings of the Assemblies of the Member States of WIPO held in Geneva, Switzerland, September 24 through October 2, 2018.
The following documents were signed by EAPO President S. Tlevlessova on September 25, on the margins of Meetings of the Assemblies of WIPO Member States:
EAPO President S. Tlevlessova was among the guests of honour at the opening on September 25, 2018 of the exhibition “Cultural Convergence: Unity in Diversity”, organized by Caucasian, Central Asian and Eastern European Countries (CACEEC) regional group and WIPO to contribute to the dissemination of information about unique traditions and distinctive crafts of the countries in the Eurasian region.
On the sidelines of the Assemblies, the EAPO delegation had working meetings with representatives of regional organizations in the field of intellectual property and WIPO departments.
On September 27, 2018 the Eurasian Office was involved in brief negotiations with the delegation of the African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI). The parties discussed the major activities of the Eurasian and African regional organizations and expressed interest in drafting a memorandum of understanding. They agreed that they may be able to arrange for a signing ceremony in 2019.
On top of the agenda of the meeting with representatives of EUIPO on September 27, 2018 was the progress in the drafting of a Memorandum of Understanding on Bilateral Cooperation that would define the mechanisms for collaboration between the two Offices in the implementation of joint projects in the field of examination, administration tools, advancement of information infrastructure of both Offices, staff training and dissemination of knowledge in the field of intellectual property.
The parties discussed reciprocal visits, including a study tour by EAPO specialists to the EUIPO headquarters in October 2018 whereby the Eurasian side could draw upon the experience of their European colleagues in establishing a regional system of legal protection for industrial designs.
As the Eurasian Office was preparing to embrace a new subject matter of intellectual property, EAPO President S. Tlevlessova discussed the issue with WIPO Director General F. Gurry on July 30, 2018 and with representatives of The Hague Registry, Brands and Designs Sector, and WIPO’s Office of the Legal Counsel on February 19 – 20 and November 19 – 20, 2018.
At a meeting on October 26, 2018 with representatives of WIPO’s Department for Transition and Developed Countries (and during their
follow-up encounter at WIPO headquarters on November 19 - 20, 2018) the two parties discussed the programme of joint activities for 2019, including regional seminars in the EAPC Member States; the participation of WIPO lecturers in EAPO-hosted regional workshops as part of internships for examiners and other specialists of national IP offices in the Eurasian region; as well as the collaboration between the EAPO and WIPO within the framework of the Eurasian project for the establishment of a system for legal protection of industrial designs.
On November 14, 2018 the Eurasian Office hosted a round table discussion on the protection of artificial intelligence (AI) related inventions and the use of AI tools in the workflow of IP Offices. The round table benefitted from the participation of E.P. Sesitsky, Programme Officer at WIPO Department for Transition and Developed Countries, as well as EAPO experts and specialists working in the field of information and communication technologies.
The participants discussed various issues related to the provision of legal protection to the subject matters created by the use of artificial intelligence, the definition of authorship and verification of such subject matters from the standpoint of patentability criteria, and the development of legal framework in this area. They reviewed WIPO’s initiatives and activities in the areas related to artificial intelligence and other most recent advances in information technology, and identified the areas and issues most relevant to the work of IP Offices and, specifically for EAPO.
The working meetings and consultations the EAPO staff attended in 2018 helped them get familiar with the achievements of WIPO in the application of modern information technologies in the field of intellectual property.
On May 17, 2018, EAPO played host to the visit by A. Aloui, Senior Analyst with WIPO PCT Business Development Division, Patents and Technology Sector. The Eurasian Office staff benefited from the presentation of the latest version of ePCT electronic filing system. The presenter focused on the new features the system offers to applicants when filing documents, and to the Receiving Office when processing them. The EAPO specialists appreciated the opportunity to learn the working specifics of the new system.
On December 13 – 14, 2018, in the course of the consultations at WIPO headquarters organized by PCT International Cooperation Division, WIPO Patents and Technology Sector, and WIPO’s Department for Transition and Developed Countries, the EAPO delegation was given an overview of the strategy and approaches of the international organization to embracing automation at all stages of the workflow management of international applications.
The specialists of WIPO’s Patents and Technology Sector assisted EAPO representatives in mastering the tools for electronic filing of international applications for which the materials were provided in character coded format. The EAPO staff reviewed individual stages of processing the received materials, became familiar with the operations performed by experts in the electronic application file, studied quality control, the techniques for scanning hard copy documents, and other operational aspects.
Members of the EAPO delegation engaged with the staff of WIPO’s Global Databases Division to discuss the progress of mutual information exchange. The two parties have discussed the modalities of collaboration in the process of EAPO’s transition to WIPO Standard ST.96 and agreed on the communication to WIPO of the Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC) symbols and the registers of published patent documents.
European Regional and National IP Offices
The signing by EAPO President S. Tlevlessova and EPO President A. Campinos on September 25, 2018 in Geneva, Switzerland, of the Memorandum of Understanding on Bilateral Cooperation marked the beginning of a new phase in the long-term cooperation between the Eurasian and European regional Patent Offices.
The decision to develop and strengthen bilateral cooperation came about as a result of the meeting between the President of the EAPO S. Tlevlessova and the President of the EPO A. Campinos, in July 2018 on the margins of the Administrative Week on Intellectual Property, organized by EPO and EUIPO on July 9 – 12, 2018 in Munich, Germany.
When discussing the documents to be signed, the parties agreed on the priority areas of cooperation for the near term. Among these were the training opportunities (customized on the basis of the European Office’s comprehensive multilevel training programmes) for EAPO examiners in the use of EPO’s information search and retrieval systems, exchange of best practices in the examination of applications in biotechnology, joint events for European applicants with a view to promote Eurasian patent system and clarify the possibilities of fast-track processing of applications in EAPO and EPO, in line with the PPH Programmes.
Along with the agreements reached, in 2018 the Eurasian and European regional patent offices cooperated within the framework of the Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC) programme of activities.
In conformity with the Memorandum of Understanding between EAPO and the EPO on CPC issues signed in October 2016, the Eurasian Office will commence, as of 1 January 2019, classifying the newly published Eurasian applications and patents in accordance with the Cooperative Patent Classification. CPC symbols will be assigned in addition to the International Patent Classification (IPC) symbols and will form part of patent information. The use of the CPC symbols will enhance the quality and efficiency of the search for Eurasian patent documents.
The delegation of the Eurasian Patent Office took part in the fifth annual conference of patent offices on CPC issues on February 6, 2018 in Geneva, Switzerland. The meeting was organized by the two IP Offices which initiated the Cooperative Patent Classification project, the EPO and the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
The participating Offices became familiar with the progress and prospects of the project. They reviewed possible options for the dispatch to the EPO of classification data and discussed the formats and channels for the transmission of the data in question. The EAPO delegation presented a brief progress report on the implementation of CPC in the Eurasian Office.
The EAPO and EPO delegations set up a separate meeting on the margins of the CPC Conference in Geneva to discuss the overall work progress, as EAPO was preparing to start using the CPC classification in Eurasian patent documents. The parties also discussed the details of the training in CPC implementation for EAPO examiners in 2018.
On June 5 – 7, 2018, EAPO representatives took part in a training seminar in The Hague, the Netherlands. Organized by the EPO, the training event focused on CPC classification applied to inventions in the field of mechanical engineering, information technology, medicine and chemistry.
On July 24 – 26, 2018 Mr E. Molina Galan, EPO Director for Medicine, Biotechnology and Chemistry, and Mr. Frédéric Lequeux, Team Manager of EPO Classification & Documentation, conducted training workshop on CPC issues at the EAPO headquarters.
The participants in the workshop reviewed some of the programme items of the basic CPC course held at the EAPO headquarters in June 2017, before proceeding to in-depth training in the application of CPC classification in the fields of mechanical engineering and physics, electrical engineering, chemistry and biotechnology. The hands-on part of training included numerous examples of CPC-based classification of inventions, special features of CPC classification and CPC-specific search in certain areas of technology.
In the course of the working visit to EAPO by EPO Administrator for International Cooperation Ms E. Mece on November 28, 2018 the parties were able to discuss further collaboration. They considered the possibility of participation of EPO representatives in the programme of activities to ensure fault-free adoption by EAPO of the CPC classification for newly published patent documents, including test run of the CPC tech support and quality control of data classified under CPC.
In 2018, EAPO and the EPO expanded the scope of their cooperation in the use of search systems and means of accessing patent information.
On March 23, 2018, EAPO representatives attended the EPO-sponsored meeting of users of the information retrieval system EPOQUE Net in Munich, Germany. The participants got familiar with the latest changes in the functionality of the EPOQUE Net and the system development roadmap for 2018.
On September 17 - 21, 2018, EAPO representatives took part in the advanced training workshop on the use of EPOQUE Net search functionality, organized by the European Patent Academy in The Hague, the Netherlands. Along with the search in patent documents, the training focused on specific features of performing search in non-patent literature databases.
During three months, September 3 through December 3, 2018, EAPO examiners benefited from of the European Patent Academy’s distant learning course, mastering the skills in performing patent search in the EPOQUE Net.
The exchange of expertise and study of each other’s best practices in such matters as classification and search for patent information, examination of inventions and processing objections and appeals, is a major field of activity where EAPO and the EPO join efforts to harmonize their approaches to the provision of legal protection to objects in information technology, biotechnology, genetic engineering, telecommunications and other fast-growing high-tech industries.
As regular participants in regional seminars, which EAPO organizes for the staff of national IP offices of EAPC Contracting States, lecturers from the EPO educate the students on various aspects of the European Office’s activities in providing regional legal protection to inventions.
In 2018 the EAPO examiners and other specialists took part in EPO-sponsored conferences and seminars on the following subjects: patenting inventions related to artificial intelligence (May 30, 2018, Munich, Germany); patent information (November 12 – 14, 2018, Brussels, Belgium); boards of appeals and key decisions (November 14 – 15, 2018, Munich, Germany); patenting in blockchain technology (December 4, 2018, The Hague, Netherlands); green technologies and renewable energy (November 20, 2018, Oslo, Norway); and patenting new technologies in automobile industry (December 18, 2018, Munich, Germany).
In the course of the working visit to EAPO headquarters by EPO Administrator for International Cooperation Ms E. Mece on November 28, 2018, the parties discussed the progress of ongoing joint projects and the details of joint activities stipulated in the programme of cooperation between EAPO and the EPO for the coming years.
2018 marked the starting point in the cooperation between EAPO and the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).
In the wake of the kick-off videoconference on July 6, 2018, the parties produced, in that same year, a draft Memorandum of Understanding on Bilateral Cooperation between EAPO and the EUIPO. The document establishes mechanisms for the cooperation between the parties in joint projects which may focus on such issues as the examination of applications, managerial tools, advancement of information infrastructure, staff training, raising IP awareness and other areas of activity.
On October 9 – 10, 2018, EAPO specialists benefited from a team learning exercise in Alicante, Spain, studying EUIPO experience in functioning as part of a regional system of legal protection of industrial designs.
On December 13 – 14, 2018, EAPO delegation visited Budapest, Hungary, where they held talks with the management and representatives of the Visegrad Patent Institute and the Hungarian Intellectual Property Office.
The EAPO representatives had an overview of the legal framework and functioning of the Visegrad Patent Institute as International Searching Authority and a International Preliminary Examining Authority under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT). They also were acquainted with the activities of the Hungarian Intellectual Property Office, focusing on such issues as patent search, patent search quality management and patent examination.
Members of the EAPO delegation met with representatives of the Hungarian Chamber of Patent Attorneys and the Hungarian pharmaceutical company Gedeon Richter. They answered questions from their counterparts concerning the Eurasian patent procedure, the procedures for challenging Eurasian patents and accessing information about the legal status of Eurasian applications and patents.
The Hungarian side expressed satisfaction with the quality of Eurasian patents and demonstrated interest in following the Eurasian procedure for patenting the inventions by Hungarian applicants in the countries of Eurasian region.
The interest in the Eurasian patent system brought to the EAPO headquarters delegations of the American pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly and Company (August 14, 2018) and the Swedish company Alfa Laval (September 26, 2018).
The discussions involving specialists of the patent department of Alfa Laval, European patent attorneys and representatives of Gorodissky & Partners law firm were focused on the specific features of the Eurasian patenting procedure and the way it differs from the patent procedure adopted by the EPO.
At the invitation from the heads of the European regional and national IP Offices, EAPO President S. Tlevlessova took part in major international events in the field of intellectual property held in Europe in 2018.
On June 7, 2018 a Eurasian Office’s delegation led by EAPO President S. Tlevlessova took part in the European Inventor award 2018 ceremony organized by the EPO in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France.
EAPO President S. Tlevlessova attended the celebration of 100th anniversary of establishment of the Polish national system for the protection of industrial property rights, and foundation of the Polish Patent Office, November 26 – 27, 2018, Warsaw, Poland. She congratulated President of the Patent Office of Poland A. Adamczak on the anniversary and presented her with a memorable gift from EAPO. Ms. Tlevlessova also took part in the award ceremony to honour the winners of the DesignEuropa Awards, a contest established by the EUIPO for the best solution in the field of industrial design.
On October 12, 2018 an EAPO representative took part in the conference in Warsaw, Poland on the occasion of 100th anniversary of the creation of the Polish National Institute of Patent Attorneys as an integral part of the Polish intellectual property system. The conference focused on the role of patent attorneys and trademark attorneys in the knowledge-based economy.
COOPERATION WITH PATENT OFFICES AND ORGANIZATIONS IN ASIAN REGION
In 2018 the Eurasian Office made strenuous efforts to expand the cooperation with the IP Offices in Asia and advancing EAPO’s outreach in the region, with a view to attracting more applicants to the Eurasian patent system from among Asian countries.
People's Republic of China (PRC)
On September 20, 2018, as part of the official visit to EAPO headquarters by the delegation of China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA), EAPO President S. Tlevlessova and CNIPA Commissioner Shen Changyu signed a Memorandum of Understanding between EAPO and CNIPA and a Plan of Action for 2019-2020 for the Implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding.
In his speech Commissioner Shen Changyu noted that over the past two years, under S. Tlevlessova’s leadership, the cooperation between CNIPA and EAPO grew stronger, and the success achieved as a result of that cooperation became more tangible.
The parties discussed the progress of bilateral cooperation and the prospects for implementing new agreements related to mutual participation in the coming events. CNIPA Commissioner invited EAPO President to take part in major international events to be held in China in 2019.
The cooperation with China’s IP Office in 2018 has also been in progress along the lines of the Memorandum of Understanding on PPH Programme and the Intellectual Property Data Exchange Agreement signed in September 2017.
On April 1, 2018, the three-year PPH Pilot Programme between EAPO and CNIPA was launched. During 2018 the parties regularly exchanged the arrays of current patent documentation, and the exchange of retrospective data arrays between EAPO and CNIPA has also been arranged.
Reaching out to broader audiences in Asia with a view to having more applicants from the region interested in patenting their inventions under the Eurasian procedure, the EAPO management and staff participated in major conferences on intellectual property issues held in China in 2018.
The EAPO delegation led by President S. Tlevlessova took part in the 2018 High Level Conference on Intellectual Property for Countries along the Belt and Road, jointly organized by CNIPA and WIPO in Beijing, China, on August 28 – 29, 2018.
On the margins of the Conference, Ms. Tlevlessova, took part in a meeting with the Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China Li Keqiang as part of the delegation of high-ranking guests of the Conference. The meeting focused on the importance of intellectual property for enhancing the technology transfer and stimulating the economic development of the countries participating in the One Belt, One Road initiative.
One of the key-note speakers at the conference, EAPO President S. Tlevlessova made an overview of the efforts of the EAPO Member States to steer their economic development along innovative paths, and to develop their national intellectual property systems. She cited statistics to illustrate the use of the Eurasian patent system by applicants from countries, main trading partners of the region, for the protection of their investments. S. Tlevlessova urged Chinese applicants to make more active use of the Eurasian patent system.
EAPO President spoke at a round table on intellectual property issues organized on the margins of the conference on intellectual property for heads of IP offices for countries along the Belt and Road. In her remarks she stressed the importance for the countries of the region to share information with a view to promoting awareness of intellectual property issues, particularly among young people.
The participation of EAPO President in the Conference and its side events received broad coverage in the Chinese media.
Representatives of EAPO and Gorodissky & Partners law firm contributed to “China Intellectual Property & Innovation Summit 2018”, held on April 11 – 13 in Shanghai, People’s Republic of China. The participants were introduced to the basics of the Eurasian patent system and the key advantages of the Eurasian patent procedure. The EAPO speakers explained to the participants the procedure for obtaining legal protection of inventions in Russia under the national procedure, before citing comparative indicators describing the Eurasian regional and Russian national patenting procedures. They also briefed the participants on the specific features of the regional and national phases of examination of international applications filed with EAPO and Rospatent under the PCT system.
A representative of EAPO spoke at one of the sessions of the 9th China Patent Annual Conference (CPAC) held August 30 – 31, 2018 in Beijing, PRC, and took part in the question-and-answer session.
Republic of Korea
The year 2018 marked a breakthrough in the cooperation between EAPO and the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO).
EAPO President Saule Tlevlessova and KIPO Commissioner Sung Yun Mo met on June 21, 2018 at EAPO headquarters and on August 9, 2018 in the Republic of Korea. The focus of both meetings was on various aspects of cooperation and progress in drafting new agreements to be signed between EAPO and KIPO.
On September 25, 2018 in Geneva, Switzerland, EAPO President S. Tlevlessova and KIPO Acting Commissioner Kim Tae Man signed the Memorandum of Understanding on Bilateral Cooperation and the Memorandum of Understanding on the Patent Prosecution Highway, providing for the launch of the PPH pilot programme as of January 1, 2019.
In the course of the negotiations in the wake of the signing, the parties expressed satisfaction with the progress of the bilateral cooperation between EAPO and KIPO in recent years. They acknowledged the important personal role EAPO President S. Tlevlessova played in putting back on track the dialogue between the two Offices, and the role of KIPO Commissioner Sung Yun Mo in preparing the two memoranda for signature.
In identifying priority areas of collaboration, the parties agreed to study each other’s approaches to the examination of applications in the field of chemistry and biotechnology. (The underlying logic being that a good understanding of these approaches is especially important in the light of mutual recognition of the results of patent examination under the PPH Programme.) The parties also agreed to cooperate in the field of information technology and patent information.
Participation of EAPO President S. Tlevlessova in the programme of the 3rd Korea International Youth Olympiad (KIYO) 4I 2018, organized by the World Women Inventors and Entrepreneurs Association (WWIEA) on August 10 – 12, 2018 in Seoul, Korea, became a landmark event.
As guest of honour, S. Tlevlessova took part in the opening ceremony of KIYO 4I 2018 and addressed the organizers and participants in the Olympiad with welcoming remarks.
In the course of the award ceremony, to honour the finalists of KIYO 4I 2018, EAPO President handed over special EAPO prizes to the winners of individual and team competitions of KIYO 4I 2018, and presented the EAPO medal “Advancing the Future” to WWIEA President Han Mi-Yong. The WWIEA was awarded the EAPO Medal for its great contribution to promoting intellectual property among young people; encouraging invention and entrepreneurship, specifically in the Eurasian region; its fruitful cooperation with EAPO and for the occasion of the WWIEA 10th anniversary.
Japan and Other Countries
The year 2018 saw further progress in the cooperation between EAPO and the Japan Patent Office (JPO).
By mutual agreement of the parties, the PPH pilot Programme between EAPO and JPO, which has been in effect since 2013, was extended till February 14, 2021.
On September 25, 2018, a delegation of Asia Study Group at the Licensing Executives Society Japan (LES Japan ) visited the EAPO headquarters.
The visiting Japanese experts sought first-hand information about EAPO’s activities, including the specifics of patenting inventions under the Eurasian patent law and the procedural details of examining Eurasian applications. They were also interested in obtaining statistics illustrating the use of the Eurasian patent system by applicants from Japan, as well as the areas of cooperation between the EAPO and major national and regional IP offices.
On December 4, 2018, EAPO headquarters welcomed a visiting representative of the Japanese company Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation together with a delegation of the law firm Gorodissky & Partners.
EAPO experts presented the Eurasian patent procedure, including legal regulation, economic efficiency, the applicant-oriented approach and certain aspects of the EAPO activities towards reducing the processing period of Eurasian applications while maintaining the high quality patents.
The guests were briefed about the main areas of cooperation between EAPO and the Japanese Patent Office. They also learned how applicants from Japan can benefit from the fast-track procedure for obtaining Eurasian patents under the PPH Programme, which allows the use in the Eurasian Patent Office of the results of search and examination performed by the Japan Patent Office.
On April 16, 2018, the EAPO headquarters played host to delegations of the national Patent Offices of India and Brazil, which sought to familiarize themselves with the activities of the Eurasian Office.
In the course of brief negotiations, the guests became familiar with the advantages of the Eurasian patent system and the Eurasian patent, as well as the activities of EAPO in ensuring the legal protection of inventions in Eurasian countries. Members of the visiting delegations expressed their interest in establishing bilateral cooperation with EAPO. They were also willing to contribute to raising awareness about the specifics of Eurasian patent system among the applicants in India and Brazil, so that they could benefit from its advantages in obtaining legal protection for their inventions in Eurasian countries.
On September 19 – 22, a representative of the EAPO took part in the formal ceremony of awarding the winners of the fifth International Exhibition of Young Inventors IYIA-2018 2018 in Bali, Indonesia, organized by the Indonesian Invention and Innovation Promotion Association (INNOPA).
The representative of EAPO presented the Eurasian Office’s special awards to the winners in individual and team competitions.