Dear colleagues and friends,
In 2018, the Eurasian Patent Office (EAPO) continued to refine the procedure for filing and examination of applications for the grant of Eurasian patents for inventions, improve conditions for applicants and patent owners and promote the Eurasian patent system.
In order to improve the system of providing incentives to pay fees for legally significant actions performed by the Eurasian Office with respect to Eurasian applications and Eurasian patents, the Administrative Council of the Eurasian Patent Organization (EAPO), chaired by Plenipotentiary Representative of the Russian Federation and Head of Russia’s Federal Service for Intellectual Property G.Ivliev, approved amendments and addenda to the Patent Regulations to the Eurasian Patent Convention (EAPC) and the Statute on Fees of the EAPO.
In line with the Eurasian Office’s initiative to establish, on the basis of the Eurasian Patent Organization, a Eurasian system for legal protection of industrial designs, several meetings were held of the special working group, which comprises representatives of EAPO and national IP Offices of the EAPC Contracting States. The working group took account of the interests of the Contracting States when preparing a draft Protocol to the Eurasian Patent Convention, on the Protection of Industrial Designs, which was then approved by the EAPO Administrative Council.
We are pleased to note that the number of applications for the grant of Eurasian patents for inventions filed in 2018 increased by 5.6 per cent over the preceding year, amounting to 3,488 applications. The share of Eurasian applications and documents received in electronic form increased by 1.5 per cent reaching 81.5 per cent of the total number of applications filed in the reporting year.
As in previous years, the largest number of Eurasian applications were filed by applicants from the United States of America (24.5 percent of all the applications filed with the EAPO). Among the EAPC Member States, the Russian Federation, the Republic of Belarus and the Republic of Kazakhstan were traditional leaders in the number of Eurasian applications filed.
The largest number of Eurasian patent grants in 2018 went to applicants from the United States of America (20.65 per cent); Russian Federation (9.47 per cent); Germany (8.59 per cent); France (6.20 per cent); the Netherlands (5.78 per cent); Switzerland (5.55 per cent); the Republic of Belarus (4.14 per cent); Italy (3.50 per cent); Japan (3.38 per cent); and Finland (3.04 per cent).
To make the Eurasian patent system more attractive for the potential users, the Eurasian Office took further steps to reduce the pendency period for applications for the grant of Eurasian patents for inventions. By the end of last year, the period of time that usually passes between the acceptance date of the application for substantive examination and the date of the first notice of examination, was essentially reduced by more than three months, whereas in 2015 this period was almost 15 months.
The international cooperation has always been one of the Eurasian Office’s top priorities. So, in 2018 EAPO stepped up its efforts in this area, broadening the horizons of cooperation. The Office signed memoranda of understanding on bilateral cooperation with the European Patent Office (EPO), China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) and the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO). Also, EAPO continued to work with the leading national IP Offices on the implementation of Patent Prosecution Highway Programmes (PPH).
Thus, the PPH programme with China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) has come into effect as of April 1, 2018.
The Eurasian Patent Office and the Japan Patent Office (JPO) have agreed in 2018 that the PPH pilot programme be extended through February 14, 2021.
As a first step to launching PPH programme with the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), EAPO and KIPO signed the Memorandum of Understanding on the Patent Prosecution Highway Programme on September 25, 2018.
Considering the groundwork completed in 2018, EAPO plans to prepare a memorandum of understanding on bilateral cooperation to be signed with the African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI) in 2019. The Eurasian Office is also interested in studying the administrative aspects of the regional system of legal protection of industrial designs established on the basis of OAPI.
Capacity-building and skill enhancement of national IP Office professionals in the EAPC Member States has been a special focus in 2018. In line with this policy, EAPO organized advanced training events on various subjects of patent examination, including such complex issues as patenting inventions in the field of biotechnology and computer-implemented inventions. To ensure that such issues receive professional and exhaustive coverage, EAPO recruited lecturers from the European Patent Office and China National Intellectual Property Administration.
In the reported year, the Eurasian Patent Office introduced a new service for candidates for Eurasian patent attorneys, the opportunity to take the qualification examination for Eurasian patent attorney off site, using communications technology tools. In 2018, thirty-nine patent attorneys from the Republic of Belarus, the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Russian Federation were certified and registered as Eurasian patent attorneys, of which seven passed the qualification examination in the remote mode. In total, as of December 31, 2018, EAPO has 470 active Eurasian patent attorneys registered.
In conclusion, I would like to express my appreciation to the national IP Offices of the EAPC Contracting States for their support of the EAPO initiatives to advance the Eurasian patent system, since all these efforts are aimed at achieving economic stability and prosperity of the Eurasian region.