In 2021, the Eurasian Patent Office was appointed as an International Searching Authority and an International Preliminary Examining Authority under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT). The decision on the appointment was made on October 7, 2021 during the fifty-third (twenty-third ordinary) session of the Assembly of the PCT Union.
On November 22, 2021, President of the Eurasian Patent Office Saule Tlevlessova and Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Daren Tang signed the Agreement between the EAPO and the International Bureau of the WIPO in relation to the functioning of the Eurasian Patent Office as an International Searching Authority and International Preliminary Examining Authority under the Patent Cooperation Treaty.
On March 17, 2021, the Protocol on the Protection of Industrial Designs to the Eurasian Patent Convention (the Protocol) entered into force with respect to the Kyrgyz Republic, the Republic of Azerbaijan, and the Republic of Armenia. The Protocol’s entry into force made the functioning of the Eurasian system of legal protection of industrial designs possible.
On April 11 and 12, 2021, the Protocol entered into force for the Russian Federation and the Republic of Kazakhstan, respectively.
On November 30, 2021, the Republic of Tajikistan became a party to the Protocol.
On June 1, 2021, the receipt of Eurasian industrial design applications was opened. The main regulatory legal acts that make it possible to support the filing and examination of Eurasian industrial design applications were adopted by the Eurasian Patent Organization’s Administrative Council at the thirty-seventh (tenth extraordinary) meeting on April 12, 2021. After the said meeting, the Eurasian Patent Office opened the filing of requests from patent attorneys from the States party to the Protocol for certification and registration as Eurasian patent attorneys specializing in industrial designs.
In 2021, the Eurasian Patent Office received 92 Eurasian industrial design applications, and 7 Eurasian industrial design patents were granted.
In the reporting year, productive operation of the entire set of tools and technologies for workflow and publication in relation to Eurasian industrial design applications and patents began.
Compared to 2020, the number of international events involving Eurasian Patent Office participation in 2021 increased by about 10 per cent and amounted to 103 events; 30 events were held with the participation of the Eurasian Patent Office President.
In 2021, the Eurasian Patent Office and the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) agreed to extend the current Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) Pilot Program on an indefinite basis from January 1, 2022.
In 2021, electronic data exchange agreements on Eurasian applications and patents were signed with the patent offices of the Republic of Belarus and the Russian Federation. Thus, as of the end of the reporting year, fully electronic data flow on Eurasian applications and patents was carried out with the patent offices of four States party to the Eurasian Patent Convention (EAPC), including the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Kyrgyz Republic.
The positive trend in Eurasian patent application filings has been restored, and the increase relative to 2020 was 8 per cent.
In 2021, Eurasian Patent Office received 3,643 Eurasian applications for inventions. In total, 64,374 Eurasian patent applications were filed in the period from 1996 to 2021, inclusive.
The number of Eurasian applications for inventions filed in electronic form reached 92 per cent of the total number of Eurasian applications filed in 2021 (in 2020 — 89 per cent).
In 2021, 2,416 Eurasian patents for inventions were granted. In total, 39,298 Eurasian patents were granted in the period from 1996 to 2021, inclusive.
In 2021, 491 Eurasian patents for inventions were granted to applicants from States party to the EAPC, which amounted to 20.32 per cent of the total number of Eurasian patents issued in the reporting year.
In 2021, 1,925 Eurasian patents for inventions were granted to applicants from States not party to the EAPC, which amounted to 79.68 per cent of the total number of Eurasian patents granted in the reporting year.
On March 1, 2021, a new information and search resource, the EAPO Pharmaceutical Register, containing information on Eurasian patents for inventions related to active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) with assigned international nonproprietary names (INN), was posted with open access on the EAPO web portal.
As of the end of the reporting year, the EAPO Pharmaceutical Register included 196 INNs and information on 290 Eurasian patents protecting these APIs.
The mobile application developed by the Eurasian Patent Office has become a new element of electronic interaction with applicants and third parties. The application provides access in a modern format to regulatory legal acts and other documentation, as well as the open information resources of the Eurasian Patent Office, and allows for the prompt notification of applicants about the availability of incoming correspondence from the Office and for the filing of requests for the maintenance of Eurasian patents.
In order to ensure that Eurasian Patent Office examiners conduct searches for sequences of nucleotides and amino acids contained in Eurasian applications, in 2021 the office introduced a search engine using the FASTA software package. For this, means for building information arrays for this system were developed, together with means of displaying search results.
In 2021, the Eurasian Patent Office introduced methods for the automatic classification of Eurasian applications using artificial intelligence tools and technologies. Based on the results of a comparison of the classification symbols selected by the automatic classification system and those assigned by patent examiners, the automatic classification system demonstrated an 80 per cent degree of coincidence of results at the level of the main IPC groups.