The main priorities of 2019 for EAPO with regard to automation and informatization were reducing the period of grant and publication of the Eurasian patents, transition to instant publication of descriptions of the Eurasian applications and patents, notifications on the change of their legal status, expanding the options and scope of electronic interaction with the users of the Eurasian patent system, Eurasian patent attorneys and national IP offices, as well as developing patent search tools and expanding searchable documents collections.
The Eurasian Patent Office automation and data management rely on integrated automated information systems and information technologies (IT) running on latest software and hardware, comprising EAPO’s electronic information infrastructure.
The Office has been upgrading and advancing its automated information systems and IT systems based on the EAPO Development Programme for 2017 – 2021 and requests from users of the Eurasian patent system on the three main topics:
AUTOMATION AND ADVANCEMENT OF PAPERLESS TECHNOLOGY FOR PROCEDURAL WORKFLOW MANAGEMENT
Electronic Filing of Eurasian Applications and Electronic Document Exchange
Integrated with the other automated information systems of the Eurasian Office, EAPO-ONLINE is a system for electronic filing of applications and electronic exchange of documents, which takes care of the bilateral electronic communication with the applicants, patent owners and their representatives.
EAPO recorded a stable inflow of electronic applications and electronic documents. In terms of numbers, 2019 saw 2,889 applications filed electronically with EAPO, or more than 82.9 per cent of total filings.
Applications Filed Electronically
|Applications filed electronically||2308||2558||2683||2842||2889|
|Percentage of total number||67||75||81||81,5||82,9|
The number of EAPO-ONLINE users entirely relying on electronic communication with EAPO increased more than twice. By the end of 2019, as many as 42 Agreements on EAPO Correspondence Received in Electronic Form came into effect.
The reporting year witnessed a dramatic increase not only in the number of applications filed electronically, but also in the total number of documents submitted through EAPO-ONLINE.
Documents Filed Electronically
|Documents filed electronically||52213||62003||87996||94661||118436|
|Percentage of the total number||38,5||39,5||50,3||56,4||67,4|
In 2019, EAPO adopted a new standard for filing application materials that requires all documents to be submitted in character-coded form in DOCX format. In order to make a transition to the new standard, a number of filing systems had to undergo an upgrade, including EAPO-ONLINE, electronic dossier system ePHOENIX (integrated with EAPO-ONLINE), as well as the pre-publication system HIVE used for preparation of the materials for publication.
In conjunction with introduction of the new tools, EAPO held extensive consultations with the major Eurasian patent attorney firms to notify them of the arising opportunities and for harmonization of technical requirements. The consultations resulted in adoption of new Technical Regulations, in development of mechanisms aimed at verifying conformity of the filed materials to the requirements of the new Technical Regulations, as well as in preparation of guidelines for the users.
The end-of-the-year meeting with the Eurasian patent attorneys served as a platform for presentation of the new option to file in DOCX format and for making public the current filing statistics for 2019.
The communication between the users of EAPO-ONLINE and the Office saw an upgrade with the integration into the personal account of the electronic system allowing notifications to be sent from the examiners to the users, as well as with the addition of the folder “Unread” for new notifications from EAPO and the Q&A section containing answers to the most frequently asked questions arising in the course of using the system.
In addition to the above, the reporting year also saw introduction of new features into the system of electronic filing and exchange EAPO-ONLINE that provided new opportunities for the users not appointed as the main representatives under the respective applications, but still entering into communication with EAPO on various procedural issues. Such users acquired the possibility to have a bilateral electronic interaction with EAPO, e.g. to enjoy access to selected materials of the applications in the personal account and to be timely informed of any incoming correspondence.
Electronic Workflow Management of Eurasian Applications and Patents
EAPO relies on its procedure automation system (PAS) underlying electronic workflow management of Eurasian applications and patents. The corporate PAS includes automation (administrative information) system SOPRANO complete with additional modules and a toolkit for statistics running on SAP Business Object platform.
EAPO’s practical electronic workflow management also uses an electronic dossier system running on ePHOENIX platform.
SOPRANO and ePHOENIX are deeply integrated with EAPO-ONLINE for electronic filing and electronic exchange.
Upon adoption of the Industrial Designs Protocol, EAPO came to face the task of getting prepared to receive applications for the new for EAPO subject matter of industrial property rights. Solving this task requires development of a complex information technology ensuring automation of all procedural actions on receipt and examination of the Eurasian applications for industrial designs, grant and publication of patents and provision of processes for their maintenance in force.
The implementation of the project has to be based on the study of the universal best practices of operations in the area of industrial designs. In 2019, EAPO arranged for a number of activities to learn about the tools and procedures used by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), as well as about the options offered by the IPAS project developed and supported by WIPO.
EAPO also took a set of technical measures under the IPAS project in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding on Technical Cooperation signed on October 3, 2019, by WIPO Director General Francis Gurry and EAPO President Saule Tlevlessova.
In collaboration with the WIPO the EAPO IT team created a test environment incorporating the IPAS software, including IPAS-web and IPAS-admin. IPAS features underwent due probation, the system processed some applications in the testing mode and a preliminary diagram for each application’s movement through the procedural stages was deployed.
The IT team also installed the Nuxeo and WIPO Publish software, studied the available settings for the outgoing documents in IPAS and generated documents in the testing mode.
The project will be continued in 2020.
|Including digital form||52386||62688||87996||94661||118436|
|As percentage of total number||38,5||39,5||50,3||56,4||67,4|
|Including digital form||10650||16841||37596||43466||68302|
|As percentage of total number||21,5||28,1||47,8||55||79,7|
Outgoing documents / Including Digital form
EAPO Official Publications, Electronic Publication of Eurasian Patent Documentation
One of the main objectives of EAPO in 2019 was to improve the timeliness of EAPO official publications, including the publication of full descriptions of Eurasian applications and patents, in particular, by way of introduction of fast-track publication option.
EAPO took a three-fold approach to resolve the above stated task by implementing the following projects: preliminary preparation of descriptions for publication, transition to instant publication of information on Eurasian applications filed and Eurasian patents granted, as well as of notifications on changes in their legal status, and choice of applications in character-coded form in DOCX format as the main filing format.
Under the first project, EAPO proceeded to the preparation of descriptions immediately after the applicant was notified of the readiness to grant Eurasian patent, before obtaining consent with the decision of EAPO and paying the corresponding procedural fee. The implementation of the project allowed reducing the average time for preparation for publication of full descriptions of Eurasian patents by about a month.
Under the second project, information on the grant of Eurasian patents and full descriptions of Eurasian patents, descriptions of Eurasian applications and patent search reports, as well as notifications of changes in the legal status of Eurasian applications and patents, are posted on the Eurasian publication server immediately after completion of their technical preparation for publication. The Gazette is being formed online starting from the first calendar day and closes on the last calendar day of the respective month. To implement the project, improvements were made to the HIVE, the Eurasian Publication Server, and the SOPRANO, which allowed to automate a number of actions previously carried out in manual mode, as well as to ensure the publication of all information upon actually being ready.
Transition to instant publication of information on granted Eurasian patents, full descriptions, and notifications on changes in the legal status of Eurasian applications and patents became effective as of November 5, 2019, while instant publication of information on registered Eurasian applications and patent search reports started since December 30, 2019.
Implementation of these projects resulted in a major decrease in time required for preparation of descriptions for publication, which dropped almost by half, i.e. from 111 to 61 days.
The fruit of the third project was transition of EAPO to new standard for filing application materials in character-coded form (DOCX) as the main format. This measure aims at reducing the labor costs by eliminating the stage of optical recognition of application materials, as well as at allowing EAPO to improve the quality and speed of processing and preparation of application materials for publication and, ultimately, at reducing the time until the grant of patent. The project prompted introduction of the updated version of the EAPO-ONLINE system and of the new Technical Regulations regarding EAPO-ONLINE, as well as EAPO’s activities aimed at informing the users of the system on respective changes.
Totals of Published Eurasian Applications and Patents
|Year||Applications (A1+A2)||Search reports (A3)||Patents (B1)||Corrections||Percentage of full text corrections|
|Title page corrections (A8/B8)||Full text corrections (A9/B9)|
EAPO prepared and published its Annual Report for 2018 (total size of 4.5 author’s sheets), which is available on the web portal of the Eurasian Patent Organization.
Full descriptions of Eurasian applications and patents are available on the Eurasian publication server in PDF format and as raw data in XML, TIFF and PDF formats, in the authorized access section. In addition to that, starting from 2019 EAPO launched publication of nucleotide and amino acid sequence listings in accordance with WIPO Standard ST.25.
Roll-out of the Cooperative Patent Classification Toolkit
EAPO officially commenced using the Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC) for classification of patent documents on 1 January, 2019. The Memorandum of Understanding relating to the CPC concluded by the EAPO and the EPO in 2016 defined the said date as the starting date of using the CPC as an internal classification system in addition to the International Patent Classification (IPC).
EAPO developed tools to support use of the CPC in order to classify the ongoing published Eurasian patent documents and the procedure for distribution of the CPC data. The said technology takes into account the experience of the Office on introduction of the classification, in particular, in adaptation of internal systems for handling the classification, verification of the quality of classification work and training of examiners.
Information of the assigned CPC symbols is shared with the EPO and is available for download at the EAPO’s data exchange resources.
The users of the system jointly with the IT specialists regularly monitor the quality of classification. The upgrades introduced into the information systems of EAPO also took into account the new tools adopted for handling CPC, as well as respective changes made to the structure of data storage and in the display of classification data using CPC symbols.
CREATION OF THE EURASIAN PATENT INFORMATION SPACE
EAPO Web Portal Maintenance and Enhancement
The EAPO web portal is an electronic resource which provides the Eurasian patent system users with timely updates on the Organization and Office performance, legal status of the Eurasian applications and patents, fees and rates, including online forms for their calculation and payment, as well as information on Eurasian patent attorneys.
The reporting year saw a major upgrade of the English version of the web portal design and information structure, an introduction of a support mechanism for a single multi-lingual structure of the web portal and creation of tools for online posting Authority File (list of the patent documents issued by the Office) in Russian and in English in accordance with WIPO Standard ST.37.
The main changes affected the Eurasian publication server and online version of EAPO Gazette “Inventions (Eurasian applications and patents)”. Transition to instant publication called for development and introduction of the tools enabling the following:
To further its public outreach, EAPO continued to make extensive use of such social media as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
EAPATIS Maintenance and Enhancement
The Eurasian patent information system EAPATIS was developed as one of the core tools for Eurasian Patent Office examiners and EAPC Contracting States users to have access to the global collection of patent documents. The audience also includes national IP office examiners, users from leading universities, libraries, centers of science and technology 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 Contracting States.
Requests of National IP Offices’ to EAPATIS
|TOTAL:||229 842||259 694||258 912||209 137||167 391|
The EAPATIS search data coverage are continuously augmented with up-to-date information and soaring collections of patent documentation.
170 organizations (over half of them coming from Russian Federation) have benefited since 2012 from access to EAPATIS as formalized under a relevant decision by the Administrative Council and agreements with national IP offices authorizing such access for libraries, leading universities, centers of science and technology.
EAPATIS Performance Numbers
|Number of documents loaded into EAPATIS (mln.)||60||65||72||76||81|
|Number of universities, libraries, centers of science and technology linked to the system||132||142||162||167||172|
|Number of requests (thou)||1063||1403||1978||2546||2139|
Number of requests (thou)
For the purposes of examination of Eurasian applications, EAPATIS-based Search Report Processing (SRP) has been relied upon for retrieving documents cited in international search reports. The retrieval of patent documentation has been based on EAPO’s own patent information resources and free access search and retrieval systems, such as PATENTSCOPE, Espacenet and others. For non-patent literature, the team draws upon the Internet free access or commercial databases, mostly Russian. 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.
Cited Documents Retrieval Performance
|Year||Applications||Total citations||Patents and applications||Non-patent literature||Retrieved||Percentage|
The EAPATIS system saw important upgrades in 2019 to meet the wishes of EAPO examiners and the requirements for information support of patent search applied to International Searching Authorities. The new version of EAPATIS caters for the following tasks:
Information Technology Cooperation
Cooperation in the field of information and technology focused, first and foremost, on assisting the national IP offices of the EAPC Contracting States, was carried out in the following areas:
With a view to maintaining the unified Eurasian patent information space in 2019, the national IP offices of EAPC Contracting States continued to enjoy broadband Internet access via dedicated Internet lines.
As part of collaborative information projects, EAPO assisted in the release of CISPATENT, a regional patent information product. Under the project arrangements, the Federal Institute of Industrial Property (FIPS) is the recipient of Eurasian patent descriptions for the end product. EAPO covers the costs allowing the national IP offices of the EAPC Contracting States to partake in the project. EAPO also maintains the CISPATENT database as part of EAPATIS that is integrated to the information product released on the optical discs.
As a corporate participant in the international patent documentation exchange, EAPO makes it available for the interested IP offices to receive arrays with descriptions of Eurasian applications and patents as raw data or as optical disk images utilizing MIMOSA retrieval software, as well as its electronic Gazette.
The Office shares the actual publication data (Front File) and retrospective data arrays (Back File) with interested national IP offices as part of the international patent data exchange. These data are also available for purchase for interested commercial providers.
2019 also saw the beginning of a new project aimed at exploration of the prospects of the automation of IP offices functions. Based on the Memorandum of Understanding between EAPO and WIPO on Technical Cooperation, EAPO is to ensure promotion of WIPO e-tools and mechanisms in the Eurasian region, in particular, participation in the advancement of the IPAS integrated information product developed by WIPO and used to automate the technological processes of national IP offices for receiving and examining applications and granting and maintaining patents for various industrial property.
AUTOMATION OF EAPO BACKEND PROCESSES
The Eurasian Patent Office backend processes rely on the Office intranet, automated general workflow management system, Parus software package (“Parus-Predpriyatiye 8”) and regulatory search and retrieval system ConsultantPlus.
EAPO Intranet Site
The Eurasian Patent Office intranet site keeps the EAPO staff updated (on a timely and comprehensive basis) on all the current corporate news and advancements based on relevant performance indicators, and allows the EAPO staff to have access to regulatory and methodology guidance documents, as well as to various corporate information resources, such as the electronic library, regulatory documents archive and the internal register of Eurasian patents. The internal forum handles a considerable volume of day-to-day data exchange, which allows the EAPO staff to access customized personal information and provides for information exchange between the users of the EAPO automated systems, for instance, for the purpose of filing requests for IT system improvements and corrective action in case of incidents.
Licensed Product Support to Advance EAPO Business and Accounting Performance. Expanding Product Application Scope
In order to provide for the operating and financial, personnel and general workflow management, EAPO adopts and makes use of a number of electronic systems including, among others, on such software platforms as general workflow management system, Parus (“Parus-Predpriyatiye 8”) and regulatory search and retrieval system ConsultantPlus.
In 2019, all the systems were in normal operation, while the EAPO IT personnel and contractors provided all necessary maintenance services in accordance with the respective technical maintenance agreements.
EAPO relies on its general workflow management system for electronic processing of all documents other than those relating to Eurasian applications and patents. The system takes care of the registration, sorting and dispatch of documents to the staff, input of resolutions and assignments and tracking the progress of work. In 2019, the Office transitioned to a new 1C-based and fully automated general workflow management system. During 2019, the IT team managed to introduce the means for electronic approval of internal EAPO documents, to form a retrospective list of all agreements and to ensure the prompt notification of the responsible personnel of the resolutions made and tasks allocated.
Information Infrastructure of the Office
In order to ensure the operational activities of the Office, EAPO took measures in 2019 to manage, maintain and upgrade the core of the network infrastructure constituting the basis for the electronic services of the Organization and ensuring smooth interaction with the users of the Eurasian system, effective examination process and maintenance of patents in force. Implementation of the said measures took into account the current trends towards global digital economy, including adherence to new standards of information access.
At present, the information technology infrastructure fully caters to the current global trends, such as round-the-clock availability and continuity of information, as well as its usability. In the reporting year, the Organization employed great efforts to make sure that the information infrastructure is able to keep up with the toughening requirements of international standards for data processing centers, in particular, in the field of information security. EAPO applied the necessary infrastructure changes to meet international requirements and ensure a flexible information security response and adaptation to modern threats.
Information Security Management
In the reporting year, EAPO continued to employ efforts to advance its information security management practices. This enabled the Organization to achieve top results in ensuring continuity of the information systems.
In order to enhance protection measures, EAPO implemented a number of projects aimed at introduction of advanced systems for technical protection of information.