The year of 2019 marked the history of EAPO as the adoption year of the Protocol on the Protection of Industrial Designs to the Eurasian Patent Convention of September 9, 1994.
The Diplomatic Conference held in Nur-Sultan, Republic of Kazakhstan, on September 9, 2019, saw the adoption of the Protocol on the Protection of Industrial Designs to the Eurasian Patent Convention of September 9, 1994. The document laid the foundations for a new course of integration among the EAPC Contracting States as it established the EAPO-based Eurasian system for legal protection of industrial designs.
The activities initiated in the field of industrial designs became the key determinant of the cooperation between the Eurasian Patent Office (EAPO) and the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). The parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding in March 2019, thus outlining the scope and format of interaction throughout the stages of establishment and formation of the new Eurasian system.
In September 2019, the Eurasian Patent Organization’s Administrative Council approved a new initiative related to seeking appointment of EAPO as an International Searching and International Preliminary Examining Authority under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT). EAPC provides for a possible extension of EAPO’s competences under the PCT, which serves the aim of allowing the applicants of the Eurasian region to undergo all stages related to examination of international applications in the international stage within their regional office.
International cooperation with Asian countries remains a priority of the Organization. Within the reporting year EAPO managed to enrich its professional engagements with the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) and the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), as well as to strengthen its functional dialogue with Japan Patent Office and Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO).
As of the end of 2019, representatives of EAPO took part in 141 events related to international cooperation, including 63 events personally attended by EAPO President.
COOPERATION WITH EURASIAN PATENT INTEGRATION COUNTRIES
25th Anniversary of Signing the Eurasian Patent Convention
EAPO celebrated the 25th anniversary of signing the EAPC on September 9, 2019. The festive events on the occasion of this important date took place in Nur-Sultan, Republic of Kazakhstan.
Delegations from EAPC Contracting States, distinguished guests from the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), European Patent Office (EPO), national IP offices and organizations in the IP area from various countries, inventors from the Eurasian region, EAPO veterans and other honorable guests took part in the anniversary festivities.
EAPO and the National Institute of Intellectual Property of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Kazakhstan put up a festive program filled with warm wishes and vivid recollections of the main landmarks and achievements of the first 25 years of EAPC.
EAPO President Saule Tlevlessova addressed her congratulations on the anniversary to the plenipotentiaries of the EAPC Contracting States and presented to each of them a memento gift symbolizing the Organization’s focused aspiration towards sustainable development.
Establishment of Eurasian System for Legal Protection of Industrial Designs
It took less than two years to bring EAPO’s initiative on the foundation of EAPO-based system for legal protection of industrial designs providing for a single Eurasian patent to fruition. This initiative was first approved by the EAPC Contracting States at the thirty-third (twenty-fourth ordinary) session of the EAPO Administrative Council on September 6-7, 2017.
The Working Group exploring the issue of establishment of the EAPO-based system for legal protection of industrial designs completed its mission in 2019.
The final fifth meeting of the relevant Working Group took place on April 29–30, 2019 at the EAPO headquarters. Participants of the meeting finalized the draft of the Industrial Designs Protocol and agreed on its communication to the Contracting States in order to commence domestic procedures duly required for adoption of the said Agreement.
The Preparatory Committee to the Diplomatic Conference on Adoption of the Industrial Designs Protocol held its meeting on July 23, 2019 at the EAPO headquarters. The Committee approved the draft Rules of Procedure of the Diplomatic Conference, as well as other working documents to be further adopted at the Plenary Session of the Diplomatic Conference.
The Diplomatic Conference on Adoption of the Industrial Designs Protocol took place in Nur-Sultan, Republic of Kazakhstan, on September 9, 2019, i.e. on the 25th anniversary of signing of the EAPC.
Delegations of the Governments of the EAPC Contracting States, representatives of regional and national IP organizations and other invitees participated in this historical for EAPO event.
The opening of the Diplomatic Conference was marked by the welcoming speech of EAPO President Saule Tlevlessova and the video address by WIPO Director General Francis Gurry.
The Plenary Session of the Diplomatic Conference proceeded to adopt the Rules of Procedure of the Diplomatic Conference, observed the formalities for verification of mandates of EAPC Contracting States’ delegates and duly elected the officials of the Diplomatic Conference.
Mr. Marat Beketayev, Minister of Justice of the Republic of Kazakhstan, acted as Chairman of the Diplomatic Conference.
The Diplomatic Conference adopted the texts of the Industrial Designs Protocol and the Final Act of the Diplomatic Conference, thus opening them for signature. The statements made by the EAPC Contracting States’ delegations served as a basis for the said actions of the Diplomatic Conference.
EAPO deposited the Industrial Designs Protocol as duly signed by the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Republic of Armenia, the Russian Federation and the Republic of Tajikistan with WIPO Director General Francis Gurry as the Depositary, on October 1, 2019.
EAPO President Saule Tlevlessova and the Chairman of the Diplomatic Conference Marat Beketayev, Minister of Justice of the Republic of Kazakhstan, took part in the ceremony of depositing the Industrial Designs Protocol.
Meetings with Heads of IP Offices
With due account of the EAPO Administrative Council’s decision to hold the Diplomatic Conference on adoption of the Industrial Designs Protocol in Nur-Sultan, EAPO President mostly focused her visit to the Republic of Kazakhstan in 2019 on the key issues related to preparations to the said Diplomatic Conference.
The meeting of EAPO President Saule Tlevlessova with Vice-President of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Kazakhstan Natalia Pan and Almat Madaliev took place in Nur-Sultan, Republic of Kazakhstan, on March 29, 2019. It served as a platform to discuss the Diplomatic Conference. Grigory Ivliev, Head of the Federal Service for Intellectual Property (Rospatent), also took part in the meeting.
The visit of EAPO President Saule Tlevlessova to the National Institute of Intellectual Property of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Kazakhstan (NIIP) on June 17-18, 2019, provided an opportunity for discussion on the priority areas of cooperation between the parties in the course of preparatory works towards the EAPO events in Nur-Sultan.
In 2019 the EAPO headquarters saw the visits of the delegations of the Kyrgyz Republic (January 22), the Republic of Azerbaijan (April 22) and the Republic of Belarus (August 1).
EAPO President Saule Tlevlessova and heads of the national IP offices held negotiations on the establishment of EAPO-based system for legal protection of industrial designs, the state of affairs in the area of protection of inventions in the EAPC Contracting States, among other, under the Eurasian Patent System, as well the priority areas of bilateral cooperation were addressed.
As the result of these meetings, all delegations expressed support for EAPO activities and their commitment in further progress of EAPO.
On September 30, 2019, on the sidelines of the WIPO General Assembly in Geneva, EAPO President Saule Tlevlessova and Kazakhstan NIIP Director Yerbol Ospanov signed an Agreement between EAPO and NIIP on Electronic Exchange of Documents on Eurasian Applications and Eurasian Patents, thus strengthening the cooperation between the institutions in the area of electronic workflow management and establishing the legal foundation for a transition to a full-fledged electronic interaction.
Regional seminars held in EAPO headquarters and in EAPC Contracting States prove to be an efficient method to study best practices in any lines of work that are most relevant to EAPO and the national IP offices of EAPC Contracting States. Speakers from WIPO, regional IP offices and leading national IP offices participate in the national seminars organized by EAPO.
Regional seminars in 2019 covered legal and procedural aspects of national and regional IP offices’ work related to the international patent system under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), activities of EUIPO related to the regional legal protection of industrial designs in the European Union member states.
The State Service of Intellectual Property and Innovation under the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic (Kyrgyzpatent), with the EAPO financial support, hosted a regional seminar on “Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT)”, on September 5-6, 2019, Issyk-Kul, Kyrgyz Republic.
Representatives of EAPO, WIPO and Rospatent delivered speeches during the said seminar. The EAPO representative shared information on the use of the PCT system in the course of the Eurasian Patent System operations, as well as on the practice of EAPO as a designated and elected Office.
Another regional workshop on PCT National Phase Examination and Utilizing Work Products from other National Phases took place on September 16-19, 2019, in EAPO headquarters with support of WIPO.
Lutz Mailänder, Head of International Cooperation on Examination and Training Section of the PCT International Cooperation Division outlined the advantages of the use of the results of patent search and examination obtained by other IP offices in the course of examining PCT applications at the national phase. He also elaborated on the particular aspects of using information and search tools offered by WIPO (WIPO CASE, PATENTSCOPE, etc.) and other services provided by other IP offices (such databases as Espacenet, Global Dossier, Common Citation Document, national registers, etc.) in order to improve the quality of search and examination.
Bilateral Cooperation with IP Offices
EAPO regularly delegates its representatives to participate as speakers in the events organized by the IP offices of the EAPC Contracting States. This serves the purpose of sharing among the EAPC Contracting States experience and knowledge accumulated by EAPO in the course of refining Eurasian patent laws and procedures, transitioning to digital operations within the Office, studying the breakthrough approaches of national and international IP organizations.
A representative of EAPO took part in the national seminar on Patent Law Treaty (PLT) held by the Agency of Intellectual Property of the Republic of Azerbaijan in Baku, Republic of Azerbaijan, on March 5-6, 2019. EAPO shared information on the approaches to introduction into the regional and national law of PLT provisions aiming at avoiding the unintentional loss of rights.
EAPO provided support in organizing the II International Conference of Rospatent “Digital Transformation: Focus on IP” that took place on April 23-24, 2019, in Moscow. The recurrent theme of the conference was the adaptation of the institute of IP to the realities of the digital economy, as well as integration of breakthrough technologies into the practice of IP offices.
In her opening address at the conference EAPO President Saule Tlevlessova underlined the role of new technologies and cooperation between the IP offices in the areas of patent search and examination as the unique tools enabling the examiner to work more efficiently with the patent documents and to reduce patent examination pendency even in the face of a dramatic increase of world patenting documentation every year.
EAPO President spoke about the benefits of introducing Artificial Intelligence in the information systems of IP office and shared her views on the prospects of further technological development, creation of new digital tools and platforms that would allow EAPO to interact with the users of the Eurasian patent system at a completely new level.
The Special Project “Foreign Section” within the conference provided floor to EAPO representatives to share information on the digital platforms offered by the Office, as well as the patent information services available to the users of the system.
It was at the invitation of EAPO that the President of the World Women Inventors and Entrepreneur’s Association (WWIEA) Mi-Young Han took part in the conference and presented her report “Educational Program Contents Focused on Women’s IP” under the section “Education and Personnel in the Digital Economy”.
On June 4-5, 2019, the State Committee on Science and Technologies of the Republic of Belarus and the National Center of IP hosted a regional seminar in Minsk, Republic of Belarus, on “Topical Aspects of the Use of IP Rights” with the support of WIPO.
Among the special guests of the event were WIPO Director General Francis Gurry and EAPO President Saule Tlevlessova.
When giving an opening address at the beginning of the regional seminar, EAPO President Saule Tlevlessova extended her gratitude to WIPO for the support provided to the national IP offices of the EAPC Contracting States in the development of national IP systems. She also took this occasion to underline the high-qualification of IP professionals in Belarus and the governmental concern to the national IP institutions.
The delegation of EAPO took part in the XXIII International Conference of Rospatent “The Role of IP in the Breakthrough Scientific and Technological Development of Societies” in Moscow on October 16-17, 2019. EAPO President Saule Tlevlessova personally headed the delegation.
In her opening speech President Tlevlessova elaborated on the new era in the history of EAPO, which is due to the establishment of EAPO-based system of legal protection of industrial designs based on a single patent. She also highlighted the importance of providing extensive legal protection to goods at the regional level in terms of both, the technical solution incorporated in the goods and its design.
Saule Tlevlessova informed the participants of the event about the latest achievements of EAPO in the field of digitalization and reducing the terms of provision of patenting services, as well as about the Office’s transition to the instant publication of Eurasian patents.
Representatives of EAPO participated in the panel discussion “When is Law More Efficient than Copyright? The Right Way to Protect Your Design”. They informed the audience on the new concept of EAPO-based system of legal protection of industrial designs. Also, the roundtable “Modern Challenges in Patent Law: Pharmaceuticals and Digital Technologies” gave EAPO an opportunity to share its approaches to patentability of crystal forms of known chemical compounds.
July 4, 2019, was the day of the first meeting of the Interdepartmental Working Group on IP issues in the pharmaceutical area which took place at Rospatent headquarters. Rospatent was behind the initiative of the establishment of the Working Group in order to improve legislation and raising standards that regulate evaluation of patentability of inventions related to pharmaceuticals.
The Working Group included representatives of EAPO. Among other topics to be discussed by the Working Group was the practice of policies of regulation of legal relations in the field of pharmaceutical inventions at the level of Eurasian law.
The EAPO representatives covered other aspects of the Office’s activities, including addressing the approaches to extending the term of the Eurasian patent during Rospatent’s meeting on the Extension of Patents for Pharmaceuticals at Rospatent headquarters on November 1, 2019. EAPO experts shared their views on the educational projects for national IP offices of EAPC Contracting States during the webinar “Technical Assistance: Opportunities for Professional Development” at WIPO online platform on October 25, 2019.
Within the reporting year the EAPO executives took part in the meetings of the Rospatent Collegium (March 22/December 10, 2019, Rospatent headquarters).
In her opening speech at the meeting of the Rospatent Collegium (December 10, 2019) EAPO President Saule Tlevlessova expressed her deep appreciation of the Russian colleagues’ constructive collaboration in the area of establishment of the EAPO-based system of legal protection of industrial designs and highlighted the importance of efforts employed by the Russian Federation and other EAPC Contracting States that ensured success of the Diplomatic Conference.
The year of 2019 saw continuation of cooperation between EAPO and national IP offices of the EAPC Contracting States in the area of digital technologies.
On February 21-22 and September 4, 2019 in Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic, EAPO representative provided consultations to the experts of Kyrgyzpatent on the issues related to automation of the office’s operations and development of electronic services. The parties also discussed electronic exchanges between EAPO and Kyrgyzpatent.
The experts from EAPO and the Federal Institute of Industrial Property (FIPS) exchanged information on the technologies of patent documents processing during the working meetings held on February 28, 2019 in EAPO headquarters and on March 4, 2019 at FIPS.
The parties discussed organizational and technical measures ensuring shortening of the time period for publication of patent documents and official periodicals. They also reviewed the working processes at EAPO related to publication of Eurasian patent documents and the experience of FIPS on the management of instant publication and on handling the application materials filed in character-coded form.
It was the studying the Russian experience that contributed to the improvement of the instant publication technology of Eurasian patents developed by EAPO and that helped to ensure a most smooth transition to the use of the said technology starting from November 2019.
Working meetings on online peer-to-peer communications between EAPO and FIPS took place on February 19, 2019 at FIPS and on May 28, 2019 at EAPO. These meetings focused on the issue of data exchange on the EAPO patent search orders and resulted in a conclusion that both parties were technically ready to transition to a full-fledged electronic communication with regard to processes of exchanging materials on the patent search.
EAPO delegation participated in the work of the regular meeting of the Coordination Council for commercial-scale release of CISPATENT, the regional patent information product of the CIS countries (May 30-31, 2019, Moscow). EAPO Vice-President Emil Mammadov headed the delegation.
Participants of the meeting approved the work on production of CISPATENT database in 2018, agreed on the planned expenses and workload required to prepare and issue the database in 2019. The Coordination Council also reviewed the issues related to further development of the said project.
Representatives of the EAPO also took part in the ninth meeting of the Interstate Council on the Issues of Legal Protection and Enforcement of Intellectual Property (MGSIS) held in Issyk-Kul region, Kyrgyz Republic, on September 6, 2019.
Cooperation in Education
The reporting year saw continuation of the trainings provided to representatives of national IP offices of the EAPC Contracting States at the expense of the EAPO funds.
26 people were involved in various forms of training in the Russian State Academy of Intellectual Property (RGAIS) and in the Scientific and Educational Center of FIPS. In particular, 3 people were enrolled in postgraduate studies, 21 persons participated in vocational retraining programs, and 2 people took advanced training programs.
Moscow training center “SoftLine Education”, which specializes in providing additional vocational education, hosted a training course under the title “Upgrading Skills to MCSA: Windows Server 2016” on December 9-13, 2019. The said course contributed to the continuous task of familiarizing IT specialists of the national IP offices of the EAPC Contracting States with Microsoft software products.
More activities related to providing trainings for experts from national IP offices saw their further development. In the reporting year, more than 40 representatives of national IP offices received training organized by EAPO. In addition to the training sessions traditionally provided to patent examiners, EAPO introduced a new type of trainings for representatives of legal departments.
Within the period between February 26 and March 1, 2019 EAPO hosted a training “Legal Basis for the Functioning of the Eurasian Patent System” at the EAPO headquarters. The main goal of the training was to study the nature and mechanisms of legal regulation of relations under the EAPC.
The participants of the training had a chance to look into the statutory documents of EAPO, as well as into the particular aspects of implementation of international and national laws to relations involving EAPO as a party. Also, the participants reviewed the questions of the Eurasian patent law and practical aspects of its implementation at various stages of processing Eurasian applications and patents, discussed the peculiarities of legal protection of inventions and dispute resolutions related to patentability of inventions at regional and national levels.
Between May 20 and 24, 2019, EAPO hosted in its headquarters the first round of training for examiners of national IP offices specializing in processing applications for inventions in the field of mechanics, physics and electrical engineering.
EAPO executives and specialists delivered lectures and provided practical trainings to the students. This allowed the students to look into the methods of determining the patentability criteria of inventions, study the methodology of substantive examination of Eurasian applications, as well as learn about the peculiar aspects of examination in the field of computer technology and information technologies.
Representatives of both EPO and WIPO attended the training. Ciro Pernice, EPO Examiner-Documentarist of the Handling and Processing Directorate, devoted his lecture sessions to demonstration of approaches of the European Patent Office to the use of the Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC) in patent search, as well as to studying particular examples of examination of applications for inventions in the field of mechanics, physics and electrical engineering.
WIPO representatives, William Meredith, Director of IP Office Business Solutions Division, and Adel Baccouche, Project Manager of the same Division, provided the participants of the training with information on the WIPO digital tools and the results of WIPO technical cooperation with regional and national IP offices to automate record-keeping and application processing tasks, to develop the IT infrastructure of offices and to create online services for users of patent systems.
The second round of the training for examines of national IP offices took place at the EAPO headquarters on September 16-24, 2019. The topic of this round concerned peculiar aspects of examination of patent applications for inventions in the field of chemistry, medicine and biotechnology.
The EAPO representatives provided the students with practical examples demonstrating the approaches of the Office to patenting of selective inventions, medicinal uses, pharmaceutical compositions, as well as methods of treatment and diagnostics.
Aliki Nichogiannopoulou, Director of Operations, European and International Cooperation, acted as a lecturer from the EPO. She provided participants of the training with information on the Office procedure of assessment of the patentability criteria for inventions in the field of chemistry and pharmaceutics, determining the compliance of the invention with the requirements of clarity and sufficiency of disclosure, moral aspects of patenting biotechnological inventions.
Jointly with WIPO, EAPO held a regional Workshop on PCT National Phase Examination and Utilizing Work Products from Other National IP Offices.
Starting from 2018, EAPO examiners have been actively participating in educational programs of the FIPS Scientific and Educational Center in order to improve their skills in the field of patent search and examination. In 2019, 18 EAPO examiners took part in the programs “Patent Search” and “Filing applications under the PCT System”.
29 EAPO examiners and experts also participated in the seminar on the PCT issues, during which they learnt about the latest developments in the PCT system, discussed practical issues related to the EAPO activities as a designated/elected office, and harmonization of patent procedures implemented by national and regional offices under the PCT.
International Fora and Conferences
EAPO President and other representatives of the Office regularly participate in major international fora and conferences held in the EAPC Contracting States as speakers and honorary guests highlighting the EAPO activities and the development of the intellectual property system on the regional level.
EAPO President Saule Tlevlessova delivered a welcoming speech at the opening ceremony of the Moscow International Salon of Inventions and Innovation Technologies “Archimedes – 2019” (March 26, 2019, Moscow). She also took part in the discussion of the roundtable “Regional Integration in Central Asia” of the XVI Eurasian Media Forum (May 22-24, 2019, Almaty, Republic of Kazakhstan), where she gave an interview to the media of Kazakhstan.
EAPO Vice-President Armen Azizyan delivered a welcoming speech at the Third International Conference “Practical Issues of Regional and International Intellectual Property” (September 7-8, 2019, Yerevan, Republic of Armenia). EAPO Vice-President Emil Mammadov took part in the official opening ceremony of the Second International Strategic Forum on Intellectual Property IPQuorum 2019 (April 10-12, 2019, Svetlogorsk, Russian Federation) and delivered a speech on the topic “Industrial Property Protection at the Regional Level. The Eurasian Patent System” during the plenary discussion of the Second International Digital Summit 2019 (September 26-27, 2019, Nizhny Novgorod, Russian Federation).
The EAPO discussion section “Actual Aspects of Patent Protection of Medicines in the Eurasian Region” took place at the XII International Forum “Intellectual Property - XXI Century” (April 26, 2019, Moscow) and was dedicated to the World Intellectual Property Day.
The discussion section covered the issues of patent protection of pharmaceuticals and balancing the interests of original drug developers and the society. These are the issues equally relevant for the countries of the Eurasian patent territory and worldwide.
The participants of the section discussed moral and ethical problems related to patenting biotechnological inventions, current aspects of examination of Eurasian applications in the field of pharmaceuticals. Another issue discussed concerned the exclusion from patent protection for the purpose of state registration of medicines and access to information on the legal status of patents for pharmaceutical products.
The issues related to enforcing patent rights for pharmaceuticals at the national and regional levels were the subject of wide discussions in the context of the development of pharmaceutical markets in EAPC Contracting States and the functioning of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) single market of pharmaceuticals.
To present the EAPO approaches to patenting pharmaceutical inventions under the Eurasian patent legislation the Office's representatives participated in the EAEU and CIS X Pharmaceutical Forum's session “Protection of Intellectual Property as a Mechanism for Ensuring Availability of the Newest Medicines in the EAEU and CIS Countries” (February 27, 2019, Moscow), and in the practical session “PharmPravo. Topical issues and current law enforcement practice” of the conference “RosPharma: on the way to technical leadership” (March 27, 2019, Moscow).
During the discussion session “Intellectual Property in the Pharmaceutical Industry. Public Policy” at the IX St. Petersburg International Legal Forum (May 17, 2019, St. Petersburg), a representative of EAPO spoke about the EAPO activities related to studying the impact of patent protection on the development of pharmaceutical markets of EAPO Contracting States, to improve the regulatory framework concerning approaches to assessing the patentability of certain inventions related to pharmaceuticals.
During the special section “Protection of Intellectual Property Rights in the Field of Drug Circulation. The Balance of State, Business and Patients” of the Eurasia Pharmaceutical Forum (November 12-13, 2019, Moscow) a representative of the EAPO informed the participants on the regime of term extension of the Eurasian patent in the EAEU Contracting States and problematic issues related to the differences in the term of validity of the Eurasian patent, as well as in the scope of patent rights during the additional period of patent protection. The need to solve the said problematic issues is crucial for creation of a single market of pharmaceuticals within the common customs territory.
Within the reporting year, EAPO representatives made presentations and took part in discussions organized by patent attorneys in EAPC Contracting States.
EAPO Vice-President Armen Azizyan spoke at the opening of the first joint conference “Modern Regulation of Intellectual Property and Licensing in the Countries of the Eurasian Economic Union” organized by Russian and Belarusian patent attorneys in Minsk, Republic of Belarus, on June 5-8, 2019.
The report of the EAPO representative “Eurasian Patent Law: Development Trends” provided the conference participants with the basics of the system of regulatory legal acts ensuring effective functioning of the Eurasian patent system and the main courses of activities aimed at their improvement.
During the XXV Annual Scientific and Practical Conference “Modern Practices of Patent Attorneys” organized by the Interregional Public Organization for Assistance to Patent Attorneys “Chamber of Patent Attorneys” (November 26-29, 2019, Moscow), an EAPO representative made a presentation “The Eurasian Industrial Design - a New Subject Matter of Regional Legal Protection”.
The participants of the event got acquainted with the results of the Diplomatic Conference on the adoption of the Industrial Designs Protocol, considered the basic principles of creation of a new Eurasian system, discussed the provisions of the Industrial Designs Protocol, which determine the unique character of regional legal protection of this type of industrial property.
EAPO representatives took part in the discussion platforms organized by Gorodissky & Partners Law Firm, which allowed to review the development of EAPO digital platforms for patent filing (17th Annual Seminar “Intellectual Property Protection Strategies for Successful Development of the Company”, April 10-11, 2019, Moscow) and peculiar aspects of the procedure for obtaining a Eurasian patent for a composition (seminar “Obtaining and Commercializing Intellectual Property Rights in Russia”, September 11-12, 2019, Moscow).
Promotion of the Eurasian Patent System
On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the signing of EAPC the Office organized a number of events aimed at encouraging the inventive activity in the territory of the EAPC Contracting States and at drawing attention of students and youth to the issues of intellectual property, recognition of the role of inventions in innovative, economic and social development of the Eurasian region.
The highlight of the year was the Eurasian Inventor Award ceremony held on September 9, 2019, in Nur-Sultan, Republic of Kazakhstan.
The Eurasian Inventor Award was granted to inventors from the EAPC Contracting States, foreign inventors, patent attorneys that were most active in using the Eurasian procedure of patenting inventions, as well as young inventors under the age of 18 who offered original approaches to solving current technical problems.
The Eurasian Patent Universiade “Advancing the Future” also took place under the umbrella of the EAPC anniversary celebration. EAPO hosts the said Universiade to support gifted young people and increase their interest in intellectual property.
On September 16, 2019, at the EAPO headquarters, EAPO President Saule Tlevlessova awarded the medals “Advancing the Future” and prizes to the Universiade winners. To nominate the winners EAPO considered 143 creative projects presented by participants from EAPC Contracting States.
The plenary session of the XII International Forum “Intellectual Property - XXI Century” on April 25, 2019, in Moscow became the venue for the awarding ceremony of the finalists of the XI International Intellectual Property Olympiad by RGAIS for high school students. EAPO medal “Advancing the Future” was awarded to the winners of the Olympiad in such categories as “For Creativity” and “Socially Significant Project”.
EAPO President Saule Tlevlessova became the guest of honor at the awards ceremony of the X International Children’s Competition “School Patent - a Step into the Future!”. The respective awarding ceremony took place in St. Petersburg on the World Intellectual Property Day (April 26, 2019), where EAPO President presented the EAPO medal “Advancing the Future” to the winner of the Grand Prix of the competition.
EAPO representatives gave a speech at the opening of the panel discussion for young inventors “School Patent: IP Leaders” (November 15, 2019), took part in summing up the SPLATalent contest between promising innovative projects among young people (March 23, 2019) and the second contest of biomedical startups Patents Power (October 22, 2019).
In order to raise awareness in the Eurasian patent procedure and the Office’s approach to the examination of Eurasian applications, EAPO regularly sends its representatives to take part as lecturers at educational and scientific events in the field of intellectual property.
The Skolkovo Innovation Centre hosted the International Educational Conference on Intellectual Property “IP Academy” in Moscow on September 18-20, 2019.
EAPO President participated in the opening ceremony of the event. Saule Tlevlessova welcomed the transformation of the Patent School into the IP Academy and noted the importance of this educational project for the dissemination of knowledge concerning the current trends in the development of intellectual property in the era of artificial intelligence, as well as the study of impact that the latest technological solutions have on the IP field.
EAPO representatives held master classes in the sidelines of the IP Academy. The master classes provided participants of the conference with information on the peculiar aspects of obtaining patent protection at EAPO with regard to IT developments and recommendations on drafting Eurasian patent applications for the said inventions, as well as examples of IT developments that are subject to legal protection under patent law.
One of EAPO representatives delivered a report “Protection of Computer Technology Solutions in the Framework of the Eurasian Patent Law - Theory and Practical Cases” during the scientific and practical conference of the Russian State University of Justice “Protection of Intellectual Property in the Context of Technological Development” (November 13, 2019, Tomsk, Russian Federation). The said report explained EAPO approaches to the examination of inventions based on the use of computer programs and algorithms.
EAPO also presented a report during the educational session for youth of the VII Congress of Technology and Innovation Support Centers of the Russian Federation (TISC) at Yaroslav-the-Wise State University, Novgorod (May 30-31, 2019, Veliky Novgorod, Russian Federation). One of EAPO representatives presented the peculiarities of conducting patent search via the Eurasian Patent Information System (EAPATIS).
COOPERATION WITH INTERNATIONAL AND REGIONAL ORGANIZATIONS
WORLD INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY ORGANIZATION (WIPO)
Representatives of EAPO participated in the following meetings of WIPO Governing Bodies and relevant committees: the Fifty-Ninth Series of Meetings of the Assemblies of the WIPO Member States, the Twenty-Third Session of the Committee on Development and Intellectual Property (CDIP), the Thirtieth and Thirty-First Sessions of the Standing Committee on the Law of Patents, the Forty-First Session of the Standing Committee on the Law of Trademarks, Industrial Designs and Geographical Indications, the Seventh Session of the Committee on WIPO Standards and its Task Forces, the Fifty-First Session of the Committee of Experts of the IPC Union, the Fourteenth Session of the Committee of Experts of the Special Union for the International Classification for Industrial Designs, the Twelfth Session Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) Working Group, Forty-First and Forty-Second Sessions of the IPC Revision Working Group, Eighth Session of the Working Group on the Legal Development of the Hague System for the International Registration of Industrial Designs.
The EAPO representatives participated in the following discussions held at the WIPO headquarters:
- WIPO Conversation on Intellectual Property and Artificial Intelligence dedicated to one of the most widely discussed issues of influence of artificial intelligence on the intellectual property system (September 27, 2019);
- WIPO Symposium on Trade Secrets and Innovation (November 25-26, 2019) focused on identifying the relationship between trade secrets and innovations, discussing the potential impact of new technologies on the integration of know-how into the modern innovation ecosystem.
Requesting the Status of an International Authority under the PCT System
Expansion of EAPO competences under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) became a new focus of the international cooperation activities.
It was the decision of the EAPO Administrative Council adopted during its thirty-fifth (twenty-sixth ordinary) session on September 10-11, 2019, that initiated the implementation of the EAPC provision enabling EAPO to perform the functions of the International Searching Authority (ISA) and the International Preliminary Examining Authority (IPEA) under the PCT system.
Starting from September 2019, EAPO has commenced its preparations for filing an application for appointment as an ISA/IPEA. Rospatent and China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) acted as the partner offices that expressed their willingness to assist in the assessment of EAPO compliance with the PCT regulatory framework requirements.
In the course of the visits to the EAPO headquarters in September-October 2019, the delegations of the partner offices learned about the EAPO activities under the PCT system and the Eurasian patent procedures, including patent search and examination of Eurasian applications, the quality management system for search and examination, the extent of automation of technological processes and information support systems, as well as the staff capacity of the office. In return, they shared the experience of the Russian and Chinese IP offices in conducting international patent search and international preliminary examination, implementation of requirements relating to quality management.
WIPO provided comprehensive advice to EAPO regarding procedures required for appointment as an International Authority under the PCT system.
A WIPO delegation led by Michael Richardson, Director of PCT Business Development Division of the Patents and Technology Sector, paid a working visit to the EAPO headquarters on October 17-18, 2019. The consultations took place on the main stages of obtaining the status of ISA and IPEA. The parties considered the approaches and practices of the existing international authorities in quality management, EAPO obtained information on the upcoming changes related to the PCT minimum documentation.
New Collaborative Initiatives in Bilateral Cooperation
The EAPO delegation under the lead of President Tlevlessova, visited the WIPO headquarters on March 12-13, 2019. The President had an opportunity to learn about the activities of the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (AMC) and discuss eventual prospects of cooperation on dissemination of knowledge on mechanisms for preventing and resolving disputes in the field of intellectual property in the Eurasian region.
Director of the AMC Erik Wilbers, Deputy Director of the AMC Ignacio de Castro and representative of the IP Disputes Section of the AMC Andrzej Gadkowski detailed WIPO’s experience in the use of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms in the IP field.
On October3, 2019, WIPO Director General Francis Gurry and EAPO President Saule Tlevlessova signed a Memorandum of Understanding Concerning Alternative Dispute Resolution in the Area of Intellectual Property aimed at utilizing the practice and experience of the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center in the Eurasian system of legal protection of industrial designs.
On May 20-21, 2019, at the WIPO headquarters, the EAPO delegation held a series of meetings and reached a common understanding regarding new areas of cooperation with WIPO in the field of information technologies:
- the meeting with Christophe Mazenc, Director of Global Databases Division of the WIPO Global Infrastructure Sector, resulted in an agreement on technical and organizational aspects of cooperation regarding the introduction of automated OCR technology at EAPO, as well as on provision of training to the EAPO staff to work with the said technology;
- the meeting with Adel Baccouche, Project Manager of the IP Office Business Solutions Division, focused on discussion of joint activities aimed at exploring the possibility of introducing the industrial property administration system IPAS at EAPO in respect of industrial designs.
EAPO held working meeting with William Meredith, Director, and Adel Baccouche, Project Manager, IP Office Business Solutions Division, at the EAPO headquarters on May 23-24, 2019. The detailed negotiations concerned the functional characteristics of the IPAS system and the possibility to customize the system adapting it to the regional nature of legal protection of industrial designs. The parties paid great attention to the issue of compatibility of the IPAS system and related software applications with the EAPO internal information systems.
The negotiations resulted in the agreement on the priority measures required to assess whether the WIPO software responds to the needs of EAPO, which will determine the final decision on the possible implementation of the IPAS system by EAPO.
On July 22-26, 2019, at the EAPO headquarters, based on the results of studying the EAPO automated information systems, the representatives of the WIPO IP Office Business Solutions Division Gabriel Berlicki and Alexander Novikov compiled a draft plan for further development of the IPAS test version at the Office and elaboration on its basis of the proof of concept in respect to industrial designs.
WIPO Director General Francis Gurry and EAPO President Saule Tlevlessova signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Technical Cooperation on October 3, 2019, in order to ensure promotion of IPAS and other WIPO e-tools in the Eurasian region.
On the sidelines of the Assemblies of the WIPO Member States, the EAPO delegation held a number of meetings and negotiations with representatives of selected WIPO departments.
The negotiations held with the Department for Transition and Developed Countries (TDC) headed by Director Michal Svantner concentrated on the results of cooperation for the preceding period and agreement on further cooperation regarding implementation of the activities planned for the subsequent year.
The meeting with Christophe Mazenc, Director of the Global Databases Division, Global Infrastructure Sector, WIPO, was devoted to discussing the possibility of transition of EAPO to the new version of the WIPO Translate neural machine translation system, harmonization of technical and organizational aspects of cooperation on implementation of WIPO OCR technology for patent documents in EAPO.
On November 13, 2019, EAPO and WIPO entered into a license agreement on WIPO’s Artificial Intelligence System allowing to use WIPO Translate in the EAPO information systems. The launch of the new system at EAPO is scheduled for 2020.
The Global Database Division of WIPO’s Global Infrastructure Sector conducted a training at WIPO headquarters on December 9-11, 2019. The said training allowed EAPO IT specialists to learn about WIPO’s technology for automated recognition of the texts of patent documents and to acquire practical skills of using the software.
The EAPO delegation discussed the current status of joint technical cooperation projects with representatives of the Hague Registry of Brands and Designs Sector, IP Office Business Solutions Division and the Global Infrastructure Sector of WIPO on December 17-18, 2019, at WIPO headquarters.
The meetings allowed the EAPO delegation to get acquainted with the electronic interaction tools used within the framework of the Hague System for the International Registration of Industrial Designs. Studying these tools is necessary for EAPO to define its IT development strategy for the coming years. EAPO representatives also learned about the compatibility options of WIPO e-services and IPAS, as well as about plans of WIPO to increase the functionality of IPAS. During the meeting on WIPO Translate system the participants discussed as well steps needed to transfer WIPO Translate tools to EAPO.
Building the Eurasian System of Legal Protection of Industrial Designs
WIPO’s support contributed greatly to the success of the project on establishment of the new regional system. Consultations and prompt interaction with representatives of the Hague Registry of Brands and Designs Sector, WIPO’s Office of the Legal Counsel and the Department for Transition and Developed Countries took place both during the drafting of the Industrial Designs Protocol and in preparation for the Diplomatic Conference for the adoption of the international treaty.
In its February 2019 issue the WIPO Magazine featured an interview with Saule Tlevlessova, President of EAPO, under the title “Eurasian Patent Office set to extend the scope of its operations”. The article thus announced to the worldwide patent community the upcoming changes in the global intellectual property landscape and EAPO’s intentions to establish a regional system of legal protection of industrial designs.
On June 24, 2019, EAPO President Saule Tlevlessova and WIPO Director General Francis Gurry discussed the upcoming Diplomatic Conference and the role of WIPO Director General as depositary of the Industrial Designs Protocol.
Negotiations with WIPO Legal Counsel Frits Bontekoe which took place at WIPO on June 21, 2019 and at EAPO headquarters on August 26, 2019, were devoted to the legal and procedural aspects of WIPO’s activities related to the role of the WIPO Director General as depositary of the Industrial Designs Protocol.
The opening ceremony of the Diplomatic Conference on September 9, 2019, in Nur-Sultan, Republic of Kazakhstan, included a video message of WIPO Director General Francis Gurry to the delegates and guests. The Director General noted the high significance of the ongoing developments related to the inclusion of industrial designs in the Eurasian patent cooperation sphere and its impact on cooperation in the area of intellectual property in general.
EAPO deposited the Industrial Designs Protocol with WIPO Director General, at the WIPO headquarters on October1, 2019. Francis Gurry accepted the Protocol and thus welcomed the start of a new era in the development of EAPO.
On December 6, 2019,at the WIPO headquarters, EAPO President Saule Tlevlessova discussed the progress of the creation of a new Eurasian system with Binying Wang, WIPO Deputy Director General, responsible for the Brands and Designs Sector, Grégoire Bisson, Director of the Hague Registry of Brands and Industrial Designs Sector, and other representatives of the Hague Registry.
WIPO expressed readiness to conduct the necessary legal examination of the draft regulations developed by EAPO detailing the provisions of the Industrial Designs Protocol.
EUROPEAN PATENT OFFICE (EPO)
EAPO continued interaction with the European Patent Office (EPO) in 2019 on the basis of bilateral Memoranda of Understanding and Cooperation Work Plan for 2019-2020. The cooperation activities focused on exploring the Offices’ experience in the field of examination, patent search, appeals, use of relevant digital tools, exchange of patent information.
EAPO officially commenced the use of the Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC) on January 1, 2019. The Memorandum of Understanding on the CPC concluded by the EAPO and the EPO in 2016 defined the starting date of using the CPC as an internal classification system in addition to the International Patent Classification (IPC).
On February 19, 2019, during the 6th CPC annual meeting of IP offices in Geneva, representatives of EAPO announced the start of use of the CPC by the Office and informed the participants about the procedure of using the classification with respect to the currently published documents. They shared EAPO’s experience in the implementation of the classification, including the issues of adaptation of internal information systems to the use of the IPC, quality control of classified documents, training of examiners.
EAPO President Saule Tlevlessova and EPO President António Campinos gave a positive assessment to the progress made in the implementation of the CPC by EAPO during a meeting in Geneva on October 2, 2019. They signed an Addendum to the Memorandum of Understanding on the CPC, thus prorogating the validity period of the Memorandum and extending the functions of EAPO in terms of reclassification of the Eurasian patent documents starting from January 1, 2022.
The EPO is a key partner for EAPO in the area of conducting regional seminars and trainings. Such events allow participants to get acquainted with practical methods applied by the EPO examiners in the course of classifying documents, search and examination, as well as to compare approaches of the two regional IP Offices.
A seminar on patent search strategies for biotechnology and pharmaceuticals was organized for examiners at the EAPO headquarters on June 26-27, 2019.
Gabriela Greif and Elena Schumann, lecturers from the EPO, explained to the participants the approaches to assessing the patentability of inventions in the field of biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, search algorithms and particular aspects of their implementation depending on the nature of the technical solution, specific choice of searching strategies and the tools used for search.
The seminar provided room for studying and discussing the practice of the European and Eurasian Patent Offices related to conducting search when invention lacks unity.
Regular involvement of EAPO examiners in the activities of European Patent Academy makes joint efforts of EAPO and the EPO in the field of education into one of the most productive lines of cooperation.
In 2019, EAPO examiners took part in the training seminar “Assessing clarity and unity in patent applications” (March 25-27, 2019) and “Assessing novelty and inventive step in patent applications” (March 27-29, 2019), as well as the training on the use of the CPC in various fields of technology (June 4-6, 2019) held at the EPO Munich office. 15 EAPO examiners improved their qualification via the distance learning courses of the EPO Academy during the year.
In accordance with its development strategy, EAPO sends the examiners of the Office to participate in the relevant international conferences of the EPO.
In the reporting year, representatives of EAPO took part in the EPO Patent Information Conference (October 29-31, 2019, Bucharest, Romania) that provided room for discussing modern trends and tools of professional work with information on inventions. EAPO representatives also had a chance to examine the practice of the EPO Boards of Appeals and trends of development of the European practice during the annual conference “Boards of Appeal and Key Decisions 2019” (November 20-21, 2019, Munich, Germany).
EUROPEAN UNION INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OFFICE (EUIPO)
Signature of the Memorandum of Understanding on Bilateral Cooperation became an important landmark in the bilateral relations between EAPO and the EUIPO in 2019. The instrument was prepared further to mutual consultations and meetings of the parties in 2018.
On January 24 - 25, 2019 in the EAPO headquarters, EAPO President Saule Tlevlessova discussed the forthcoming signing of the Memorandum with the representatives of the EUIPO delegation.
Working meetings of the EUIPO delegation and EAPO divisions were devoted to the definition of priority areas of cooperation for the preparation of a joint work plan for the subsequent period.
The parties shared their experience in providing legal protection for IP subject matters, creation of IP information search systems and systems of electronic interaction with applicants, use of modern information technologies in IP offices, discussed the current status of the project to create a Eurasian system of legal protection of industrial designs and possible assistance of the EUIPO in the preparation of examination guidelines with regard to industrial designs.
EUIPO representatives described the Office’s practice in mediation activities in the field of intellectual property, provided information on the work of the EUIPO Academy and programs for training examiners of national IP offices.
On March 14, 2019, at the EUIPO headquarters (Alicante, Spain) EAPO President Saule Tlevlessova and EUIPO Executive Director Christian Archambeau signed Memorandum of Understanding on Bilateral Cooperation.
The Memorandum of Understanding was the first cooperation agreement between EAPO and the EUIPO, which laid the foundation for a partnership aimed at developing and strengthening the two regional IP offices, and defined the areas and formats of cooperation between the parties at the stage of creation and establishment of the Eurasian system of legal protection of industrial designs.
On October 1, 2019, EAPO President Saule Tlevlessova took part in the opening ceremony of the photo exhibition organized on the margins of the WIPO General Assembly on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the EUIPO. She took the opportunity to congratulate EUIPO Executive Director Christian Archambeau on the anniversary and handed over a memorable gift during the said conference.
Within the reporting year EAPO representatives took part in the discussion regarding modern trends and areas of intellectual property development during the events held at the EUIPO headquarters:
IP Mediation Conference and IP Seminar on Mediation and Communication (May 29 - 31, 2019) focused on modern trends in the use of mediation as an alternative to litigation for a rapid and cost-effective settlement of disputes over intellectual property rights and on providing information on the rules of constructive communication applied by mediators in the settlement of disputes between the parties;
IP HORIZON 5.0 (September 26 - 27, 2019) provided room for discussing the challenges faced by the IP community in the context of the fourth industrial revolution and globalization of the world economy.
EUIPO Technical Workshop on Industrial Designs Tools took place on December 11 - 12, 2019 at the EAPO headquarters.
It was the first joint project of EAPO and the EUIPO under the Memorandum of Understanding, aimed at training of representatives of national IP offices of the EAPC Contracting States.
In the margins of the said event, President Saule Tlevlessova met with Ignacio de Medrano, Head of the International Cooperation Service of the International Cooperation and Legal Affairs Department (ICLAD) of the EUIPO, and noted the importance of this initiative for EAPO at the initial stage of building work practice related to industrial designs and of studying regional experience in this area.
Representatives of the ICLAD of the EUIPO Ignacio de Medrano, Martin Beckman and Justas Ivanauskas provided the participants with information on the activities of the EUIPO ensuring regional legal protection of industrial designs in the European Union.
A significant part of the training concerned the tools aimed at support of workflow with respect to industrial design and interaction with applicants (DesignView, DesignClass, Front Office for Designs systems) developed and used within the European Union Intellectual Property Network (EUIPN).
Representatives of EAPO and national IP offices of the EAPC Contracting States studied the experience of their European colleagues in developing methodological guidelines on issues related to the provision of legal protection to industrial designs.
AFRICAN INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY ORGANIZATION (OAPI)
October 3, 2019 marked the meeting of EAPO President Saule Tlevlessova and OAPI Director General Denis Bohoussou in the margins of the WIPO General Assembly in Geneva.
OAPI Director General congratulated EAPO on the successful completion of the Diplomatic Conference for the adoption of the Industrial Designs Protocol, welcomed the regional initiative to introduce the Eurasian industrial design protection and new opportunities for cooperation arising from it.
The heads of EAPO and OAPI exchanged information on the ongoing integration processes in Eurasia and Africa, discussed the main directions of bilateral cooperation and expressed readiness to continue the dialogue by signing the Memorandum of Understanding on Bilateral Cooperation.
On December 12, 2019, EAPO President Saule Tlevlessova delivered a welcoming speech at the opening of the 59th ordinary session of the OAPI Administrative Council in N'Djamena, Republic of Chad.
President Tlevlessova welcomed the development of partnership with OAPI and encouraged African colleagues to have a closer interaction, while stressing the importance of mutual support of the two sister organizations that ensure regional character of cooperation.
MEDICINES PATENT POOL (MPP)
The Collaboration Agreement between EAPO and the Medicines Patent Pool on access to patent information concerning the legal status of the Eurasian patent applications and granted Eurasian patents has been in force since March 1, 2019.
The Medicines Patent Pool is a UN-supported public health organization that promotes the access of low- and middle-income countries to essential medicines and medical technologies through voluntary licensing and the creation of patent pools.
The Collaboration Agreement aims to include Eurasian patents in the Medicines Patents & Licences database by providing the Medicines Patent Pool with information regarding the legal status of published Eurasian applications and granted Eurasian patents for pharmaceutical inventions, which will enable persons interested in developing and/or supplying medicines to the market of a certain country, to carry out their activities without violating the rights of the Eurasian patent holders.
COOPERATION WITH NATIONAL IP OFFICES AND OTHER ORGANIZATIONS
EAPO President Saule Tlevlessova participated as a guest of honor in the International Conference “Protection of Industrial Property Rights in Europe” and other celebrations dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Industrial Property Office of the Czech Republic (September 19, 2019, Prague, Czech Republic).
President Tlevlessova congratulated President of the Office, Josef Kratochvíl, on the remarkable event on behalf of EAPO and wished the Eurasian and Czech patent Offices long years of cooperation and strong partnership.
A delegation of the State Agency on Intellectual Property of the Republic of Moldova (AGEPI) visited EAPO in order to find effective forms of mutually beneficial cooperation.
On November 5, 2019, at the EAPO headquarters, EAPO President Saule Tlevlessova and the head of the AGEPI delegation, Acting Director General of AGEPI Andrei Popa discussed the results of bilateral cooperation, including the exchange of patent information, the use of the Eurasian Patent Information System EAPATIS by the Moldovan IP Office examiners, and expressed readiness for a closer cooperation.
At the initiative of AGEPI, possibilities of mutual participation in regional seminars organized by the parties, meetings of specialists of the offices for exchange of experience on patenting of inventions and other enforcement practices were considered.
On November 20-21, 2019 in Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, a representative of EAPO spoke at the IV International Innovation Conference “Intellectual Property and Sustainable Development”, organized by AGEPI and WIPO and dedicated to the opening of the XVI International specialized exhibition INFOINVENT.
The speech of the EAPO representative covered the EAPO achievements over the past 25 years since the signing of the EAPC. The participants of the conference received information on the prospects of development of the Eurasian patent system, EAPO activities to ensure high quality of granted Eurasian patents, improvement of tools aimed at supporting the patent filing and digital platforms for interaction with applicants, professional development of national IP offices staff, as well as promotion of intellectual property in the countries of the Eurasian region.
The year 2019 was marked by a number of activities aimed at further promoting the Eurasian patent system among Japanese manufacturers and patent attorney.
EAPO President Saule Tlevlessova spoke at LESI 2019 International Conference held by the Licensing Executives Society International (LES International) on May 26-28, 2019, in Yokohama, Japan.
LESI 2019 Conference took place under the motto “Create IP Culture – Open for Business”, which emphasized the importance of creating an IP management culture in society to increase the competitiveness of companies, reduce business risks and protect investments.
At a special plenary session dedicated to the Eurasian patent system, with the participation of representatives of business, industry, patent attorneys of Japan and other countries, EAPO President spoke about regional aspects of EAPO activities.
On May 29, 2019, the EAPO delegation visited Tokyo offices of SOEI Patent & Law Firm and SEIWA PATENT & LAW, which are among the most famous Japanese patent law firms. The meetings were also attended by representatives of Gorodissky & Partners law firm from Russia and Japan.
EAPO President met with SOEI President Patent & Law Firm Yoshiki Hasegawa and SEIWA President PATENT & LAW Atsushi Aoki. The EAPO delegation informed representatives of the said firms of the peculiar aspects of the unitary nature of the Eurasian patent and the Eurasian procedure for patenting inventions.
The parties expressed their willingness to cooperate, while noting the importance of raising awareness of Japanese business and industry about the opportunities and benefits provided by the Eurasian patent system to protect investments in innovative products and technologies implemented in EAPC Contracting States.
While visiting Japan, the EAPO delegation held negotiations with representatives of Japan External Trade Organization JETRO to discuss the possibility of joint activities aimed at promoting the Eurasian patent system in Japan.
Vice-president of SOEI Patent & Law Firm Yoshiki Kuroki and Jun Takahashi, Head of Central Asia office of JETRO, were the guests of honor at the EAPO Diplomatic Conference for the Adoption of the Industrial Designs Protocol.
On October 15, 2019, at the EAPO headquarters EAPO President Saule Tlevlessova met with Tetsuya Umetsu - Director of Moscow office of JETRO.
The parties discussed the ongoing integration processes in the Eurasian region and related challenges for Japanese manufacturers and noted the benefits of the regional approach in terms of patent protection of technologies.
Tetsuya Umetsu invited EAPO to participate in events organized by JETRO for representatives of the Japanese companies with branches in Moscow and St. Petersburg to raise awareness of the opportunities offered by the Eurasian patent system.
On July 25, 2019, during the visit of the delegation of the Corporate IP Division of the Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (Japan) and Gorodissky & Partners law firm to the EAPO headquarters the parties discussed peculiar aspects of the Eurasian patent procedure and its differences from the procedures of the European and Russian IP offices. The guests of the Office got acquainted with the organization of the examiners' work and visited the EAPO Examination Department.
On December 3, 2019, a delegation of the Japan Patent Office (JPO) and the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) in Europe visited the EAPO headquarters. The delegation was led by Director General of JPO Patent and Design Department Toshio Taniyama.
Saule Tlevlessova and Toshio Taniyama discussed the results of the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) Pilot Program and, given the experience gained in the pilot project and mutual trust in the quality of the work performed, expressed their willingness to extend the PPH for an indefinite term.
The Japanese party supported the EAPO proposal to continue the examiners’ exchange program for mutual study of the patent practice in the most rapidly developing fields such as pharmaceuticals, information and communication technologies, and approaches to the assessment of the patentability of such subject matters.
People’s Republic of China (PRC)
Cooperation between EAPO and China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA), actively developing in recent years, has reached a completely new and deeper level of professional interaction in 2019.
On November 20, 2019, a CNIPA delegation headed by Gao Shenghua, Deputy Director of Reexamination and Invalidation Department, visited the EAPO headquarters.
The Chinese delegation informed the EAPO representatives about the activities of the Department and expressed interest in a detailed study of the unique aspects of the Eurasian patent procedure and the Eurasian patent opposition procedure.
EAPO experts made presentations on the Office’s activities and the Eurasian patent law approaches related to the oppositions and appeals against the EAPO decisions, answered the questions from the CNIPA’s colleagues and supported the proposal to establish professional contacts for further systematic interaction at the working level.
EAPO representatives participated in the International Symposium on Intellectual Property Awareness Along the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) organized by CNIPA and WIPO in Zhuhai, PRC, on November 5 - 6, 2019.
Republic of Korea
One of the priority interaction areas between EAPO and the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) is cooperation in the field of information technologies and patent information.
On March 15, 2019, an EAPO delegation paid a working visit to KIPO (Daejeon, Republic of Korea).
The EAPO representatives got acquainted with the KIPO system of electronic filing of applications and additional materials and the technology of their further processing and publication. EAPO experts paid a special attention to studying the KIPO experience in instant publication of patent information and documentation, as well as to implementation of WIPO standards on IP information and documentation by KIPO.
The discussion between the parties allowed to clarify KIPO’s approaches to patent search, use of machine translation systems, artificial intelligence tools and technologies. EAPO received information on the KIPO’s short-term plans for IT development.
The meeting helped to establish working contacts with KIPO, which is necessary for further effective information sharing and experience exchange between IP offices.
Cooperation between EAPO and the World Women Inventors and Entrepreneurs Association (WWIEA) is aimed at promoting intellectual property and raising awareness of its importance in the countries of the Eurasian region.
EAPO President Saule Tlevlessova and WWIEA President Mi-Young Han discussed the upcoming participation in the IP events in 2019, on March 4, at the EAPO headquarters.
WWIEA President Mi-Young Han made a report under the section “Education and Personnel in the Digital Economy” of the II International Conference “Digital Transformation: Focus on IP”, held by Rospatent with the participation of EAPO on April 23, 2019, in Moscow.
Han Mi-Young presented the educational programs implemented by WWIEA in the Republic of Korea that contributed to the development of entrepreneurial potential of women inventors, talked about successful business cases on commercialization of educational innovations by women inventors achieved with the support of WWIEA, and shared her vision of further development of individual modules of WWIEA educational programs based on modern information technologies.
In line with the established tradition, EAPO granted awards to encourage innovative creativity of young inventors who became finalists of the 4th Korea International Youth Olympiad KIYO 4I 2019 held by WWIEA in Seoul on October 5-6, 2019.
EAPO medals “Advancing the Future” and memento prizes were awarded to the winners of KIYO 4I 2019 in the categories “Team Award for Creativity” and “Best of the Best Inventions”. The awards were handed over on behalf of EAPO by WWIEA President Mi-Young Han.
Other countries of the region
EAPO President Saule Tlevlessova’s visits to the Republic of Uzbekistan and Mongolia were devoted to discussing the prospects of bilateral cooperation and the role of the Eurasian patent system in ensuring legal protection of advanced technologies in the Central Asian region.
Saule Tlevlessova held negotiations on bilateral cooperation with Deputy Minister of Justice of the Republic of Uzbekistan Akbar Tashkulov on July 29, 2019 (Tashkent, Uzbekistan).
On August 28, 2019 EAPO President visited the Intellectual Property Office of Mongolia (Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia) where she discussed possible options for cooperation with the Director General of the Mongolian Office Erdenebat Erdenesuren.
The EAPO-BRICS cooperation saw new developments in 2019 with the Eurasian Office's participation in a number of events held by BRICS national IP offices.
President Tlevlessova took part in the 11th Meeting of Heads of IP Offices of BRICS countries (IP BRICS format) that took place on April 15-16, 2019, in Cape Town, South Africa.
The South-African party chaired the meeting. EAPO took part in the event in the observer capacity.
In her welcoming speech EAPO President spoke about the dynamics of the EAPO bilateral cooperation with the BRICS IP offices and the use of the Eurasian patent system by the applicants from these countries. She also informed the BRICS IP offices’ representatives on the latest significant changes in the EAPO activities and the EAPO development.
The heads of BRICS IP offices welcomed the participation of EAPO in the events of the meeting and agreed on the importance of cooperation of the IP BRICS format with EAPO.
The EAPO representatives took part in the events aimed at exchange of experience in the field of patent search and examination held in the BRICS countries in the framework of cooperation of the BRICS IP offices on training of IP specialists.
A representative of EAPO participated in the BRICS training for patent examiners, which took place on February 25 - March 1, 2019, in Pretoria, South Africa, and informed the participants on the EAPO approaches to the substantial examination of applications in the field of mechanics, physics and electrical engineering.
The participants of the training exchanged information on peculiar aspects of patent legislation and national practices on examination of applications for invention in the BRICS countries, examined approaches to the choice of optimal patent search strategy and concrete examples of novelty and inventive step analysis, discussed issues of quality management of patent examination and reduction of the backlog.
The Training on Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL) and Patent Search organized by the Patent, Industrial Design and Trademark Office of India on February 4-5, 2019, in New Delhi, India was aimed at equipping EAPO and FIPS examiners with TKDL search skills.
The Training provided practical skills in conducting search in the TKDL, used by examiners from many IP offices to conduct information search in the examination of applications in areas such as medicine and pharmaceuticals, and explored approaches to the establishment of patentability of inventions from traditional knowledge under the Indian patent law.
On May 9 - 10, 2019, a representative of EAPO made a report at the BRICS IP Forum held in Stockholm, Sweden. Participants of the Forum, including representatives of patent attorneys from BRICS countries and Sweden, as well as major Swedish companies, received information on the advantages and specific features of the Eurasian patent procedure, available accelerated procedures for obtaining Eurasian patent, and other aspects of patenting under the Eurasian patent system.
The forum provided opportunity for discussing the most important events and trends in the IP field in the BRICS and Scandinavian countries, national practice of patenting inventions, including those related to artificial intelligence technologies and the Internet of things, as well as the practice of national courts in disputes over patent rights infringement.
On January 23, 2019, a delegation from the Syrian Arab Republic headed by Samir Hasan, Director of the Directorate of Industrial and Commercial Property Protection (DCIP) of the Ministry of Internal Trade and Consumer Protection, paid a study visit to the EAPO headquarters. The meeting was attended by representatives of WIPO.
The parties exchanged statistical data on filing applications for industrial property and the respective examination terms, discussed the EAPO activities within the framework of Patent Prosecution Highway programs (PPH), development of information resources and electronic filing systems and interaction with applicants.
On October 2, 2019, in Geneva, delegations of EAPO and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) bilaterally shared information on the activities of their respective offices, discussed possible cooperation prospects, among other, under the Patent Prosecution Highway program, as well as related to studying by the EAPO examiners the peculiar approaches and practices of the USPTO with regard to the assessment of the patentability of inventions in selected areas of technology.