In 2021, work on the development of the automated systems and information technologies of the Eurasian Patent Office was aimed at the launch of operation of a set of tools for workflow and publication in relation to Eurasian industrial design applications and patents, the improvement of paperless workflow tools and technologies, as well as the introduction of new Eurasian Patent Office information products — a pharmaceutical register, a mobile application, a search system for sequences of nucleotides and amino acids, and a system for the preliminary automatic classification of Eurasian applications using artificial intelligence tools and technologies.
The maintenance and ongoing development of the Eurasian Patent Office’s automated information systems have remained relevant. These activities are aimed at improving efficiency for users and expanding the opportunities available to them, improving the quality of information arrays, and ensuring the stable operation of the Eurasian Patent Office’s information infrastructure.
WORKFLOW AND PUBLICATION IN RELATION TO APPLICATIONS AND PATENTS FOR EURASIAN INDUSTRIAL DESIGNS
In 2021, the entire set of tools and technologies for workflow and publication in relation to Eurasian industrial design applications and patents began productive operation.
The filing of Eurasian applications, the forwarding of Eurasian applications filed through the national patent offices of the EAPO member states, the transmission of further documents and outgoing correspondence on Eurasian industrial design applications and patents were carried out using the EAPO-ONLINE electronic filing and electronic document exchange system (EAPO-ONLINE). Eurasian industrial design applications submitted on paper were also imported into the internal information systems of the Eurasian Patent Office through EAPO-ONLINE, which allowed the standardization and simplification of workflow procedures.
The internal management of paperless records for Eurasian industrial design applications and patents was carried out using upgraded versions of the SOPRANO Administrative Information System (AIS) and the ePHOENIX electronic dossier system (EDS). The control of operations and internal data exchange in the preparation of official publications of Eurasian industrial design applications and patents was implemented using the SOPRANO AIS and the ePHOENIX EDS, which also simplified the information infrastructure.
The publication of information on Eurasian industrial design applications and patents was carried out exclusively in electronic form on the EAPO web portal. For this purpose, the Eurasian Publication Server was upgraded and means for maintaining and publishing the EAPO Industrial Designs (Eurasian Applications and Patents) Gazette were introduced. Also, as a component of the EAPO web portal, a tool kit for maintaining a Web Register of Eurasian industrial design patents was installed.
As part of the procedures for exchanging data on Eurasian applications with the national patent offices of the EAPO member states, interaction with the Federal Institute of Industrial Property (FIPS) of the Russian Federation and the National Institute of Intellectual Property of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Kazakhstan was carried out using EAPO-ONLINE.
DEVELOPMENT OF PAPERLESS WORKFLOW TOOLS AND TECHNOLOGIES FOR EURASIAN APPLICATIONS AND PATENTS
Electronic filing of Eurasian applications and electronic document exchange
Integrated with the other automated information systems of the Eurasian Patent Office, EAPO-ONLINE is an automated system for electronic filing and electronic exchange which carries out two-way communication of electronic data with applicants, patent owners and their representatives.
The Eurasian Patent Office has recorded an ever-growing inflow of electronic documents. In terms of numbers, 2021 saw 3,348 applications filed electronically with the office, or more than 92 per cent of total filings.
Number of Eurasian applications for inventions filed in electronic form
|Filed in electronic form||2683||2842||2889||2998||3348|
|Percentage of total number||81||81,5||82,9||88,7||92|
The number of EAPO-ONLINE users who have completely switched to electronic interaction with the Eurasian Patent Office has continued to grow. In total, at the end of 2021, there were 59 agreements for the receipt of correspondence from the Eurasian Patent Office in electronic form. All of the leading firms of Eurasian patent attorneys work with the office on the basis of such agreements.
Not only has the share of Eurasian patent applications filed in electronic form increased during the reporting year, but the entire share of documents submitted using EAPO-ONLINE has also grown.
Number of documents submitted in electronic form
|Filed in electronic form||87996||94661||118436||125321||164496|
|Percentage of total number||50,3||56,4||67,4||77,9||80,0|
The increase in the share of applications filed in electronic form is due to the transition of the national patent offices of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus to electronic interaction with the Eurasian Patent Office on the basis of agreements on the electronic exchange of documents on Eurasian applications and patents, as well as due to applicants’ active transition to electronic interaction with the Eurasian Patent Office under the restrictions imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Electronic management of workflow with Eurasian applications and patents
The Eurasian Patent Office relies on a set of procedure automation tools for the electronic management of workflow with Eurasian applications and patents. These tools include the SOPRANO AIS, complemented by additional modules, and a tool kit for statistics running on the SAP Business Objects platform.
The electronic workflow management of the Eurasian Patent Office also relies on an electronic dossier system running on the ePHOENIX platform.
SOPRANO and ePHOENIX are deeply integrated with EAPO-ONLINE for electronic filing and electronic exchange.
In order to ensure the effective remote work of the office staff with AIS, in 2021, technology was introduced for the approval of the decisions of examiner panels in electronic form using electronic digital signatures. The interface of the SOPRANO AIS has been improved, and functionalities have been developed for configuring correspondence, automatically saving electronic forms of documents in the repository, electronic signing, stamping visual confirmation of electronic signatures, previewing and uploading sent correspondence to ePHOENIX, as well as promptly informing panel members of the need to coordinate correspondence.
Number of documents processed by the Eurasian Patent Office
filed in electronic form
|percentage of total number||50,3||56,4||67,4||77,9||80,0|
filed in electronic form
|percentage of total number||47,8||55,0||79,7||85,0||87,0|
Outgoing documents / including filed in electronic form
The mobile application developed by the Eurasian Patent Office has become a new element of electronic interaction with applicants and third parties. It provides access in a modern format to regulatory documentation and the open information resources of the Eurasian Patent Office, and also allows the office to promptly inform applicants about the availability of new correspondence and the filing of requests for the maintenance of Eurasian patents. The mobile application is designed for devices running the Android and iOS operating systems and can be freely downloaded from the Google Play and App Store platforms. For registered users of EAPO-ONLINE, the application provides access to a mobile version of their accounts.
Electronic publication of Eurasian patent documents
The development of the tools and technologies introduced in 2019 for the instant publication of information on Eurasian patents granted, full descriptions of them, and notices of changes in the legal status of Eurasian applications and patents for inventions has continued. The work performed resulted in a reduction in the average time for preparing descriptions for publication to 47 days. The publication of Eurasian industrial design applications and patents was also carried out using the technology of instant publication.
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)|
|2017||3307||106||3282||47||83||1,3 per cent|
|2018||3005||137||2637||85||96||1,7 per cent|
|2019||3554||206||2697||33||64||1,0 per cent|
|2020||3710||246||2754||22||67||1,0 per cent|
|2021||3509||179||2416||26||57||0,9 per cent|
Full descriptions of Eurasian applications and patents are available on the Eurasian Publication Server in PDF format and as raw data in XML, TIFF or PDF format in the authorized access information resource.
BUILDING THE EURASIAN PATENT INFORMATION SPACE
Maintenance and enhancement of the EAPO web portal
The Eurasian Patent Organization’s web portal is an electronic resource that provides users of the Eurasian patent system with timely updates on the performance of the EAPO and the legal status of Eurasian applications and patents, access to regulatory and guidance documents, the latest information on fees, including online forms for their calculation and payment, and also information about Eurasian patent attorneys.
In the reporting year, users of the EAPO web portal benefited from work to restructure the information content on the web portal and from the translation of the interfaces of new information resources into English — the EAPO Industrial Designs (Eurasian Applications and Patents) Gazette and the Web Register of Eurasian Industrial Design Patents.
Maintenance and enhancement of EAPATIS
EAPATIS, the Eurasian patent information system, was developed as a core tool for Eurasian Patent Office examiners and users from EAPC Contracting States to tap into the global collection of patent documents. The audience also includes examiners from national patent offices and users from leading universities, libraries, and science and technology centers, who benefit from free access to EAPATIS as part of a Eurasian Patent Office initiative which has been going strong since 2011 to promote innovation in EAPC Contracting States.
Requests of National IP Offices to EAPATIS
The EAPATIS search data arrays are continuously augmented with newly published information and growing collections of patent documentation. Since 2012, more than 180 organizations (over half of them from the Russian Federation) have benefited from access to EAPATIS as formalized by a corresponding decision by the EAPO Administrative Council and agreements with national patent offices authorizing such access for libraries, leading universities, and science and technology centers.
EAPATIS performance numbers
|Number of documents uploaded to EAPATIS (million)||72||76||81||84||86|
|Number of universities, libraries, and science and technology centers||162||167||172||173||179|
Number of universities, libraries, and science and technology centers
Retrieval of documents cited in search reports (Search Report Processing subsystem – SRP) is carried out to ensure the examination of Eurasian applications using EAPATIS. The team draws upon EAPATIS or other open-access information retrieval systems, such as PATENTSCOPE, Espacenet, etc., for the retrieval of patent documents. For non-patent literature, they tap into the Internet or paid databases, which are mostly from the Russian Federation. A significant amount of non-patent literature is available via open-access sources or in-house electronic collections. This approach cuts Eurasian Patent Office expenditures on paid databases and improves the overall level of examiners’ satisfaction with the information provided.
Considerable attention is paid at the Eurasian Patent Office to providing access to up-to-date external expert-level databases, as well as to the information systems of leading commercial providers. In 2021, Eurasian Patent Office examiners used the EPOQUE Net (European Patent Office) and PatSearch (Rospatent) systems, as well as a number of Elsevier products — Reaxys, Reaxys Medical Chemistry and Embase.
Cited documents retrieval performance
|Year||Applications||Total citations||Patents and applications||Non-patent literature||Retrieved||Percentage|
Introduction of artificial intelligence tools and technologies
In 2021, the Eurasian Patent Office introduced automatic classification tools for Eurasian applications received without assigned International Patent Classification (IPC) classes. These include tools for the building of datasets for training an artificial intelligence system, performing the training of the system, as well as the selection of classification symbols. 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. The automatic classification system was integrated into the tool kit for preparing a search array for unpublished Eurasian applications as part of EAPATIS.
Introduction of new information products
A significant result achieved in 2021 was the introduction of a new information product on the EAPO web portal – the Pharmaceutical Register of the Eurasian Patent Office (EAPO Pharmaceutical Register). The register contains information about granted Eurasian patents related to active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) with assigned international nonproprietary names (INN). The EAPO Pharmaceutical Register was opened for free use by third parties on March 1, 2021 and at the end of the reporting year contained information on 290 Eurasian patents relating to 196 INN and their combinations. To implement the project, an analysis of previously granted Eurasian patents for inventions was carried out, and the structure and technology for maintaining the database of the EAPO Pharmaceutical Register, search services and display of results, as well as means of integrating the EAPO Pharmaceutical Register with open Eurasian Patent Office web resources were developed. The information in the EAPO Pharmaceutical Register is provided in Russian and English and includes the titles of inventions, information about patent owners, license agreements and the validity of Eurasian patents on the territory of the EAPO member states, as well as information about registered medicines related to substances protected by Eurasian patents included in the EAPO Pharmaceutical Register.
In order to ensure that Eurasian Patent Office examiners conduct searches for sequences of nucleotides and amino acids contained in Eurasian applications for inventions, in 2021, the office introduced a search system on the basis of the FASTA software package (open source software of the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI)). For this, means were developed for the building of datasets for uploading to the database of this system, together with means for displaying search results.
Information technology cooperation
The release of a CISPATENT patent information product was among the Eurasian Patent Office’s longstanding collaborative efforts in the reporting year. Under the arrangements of the project, the Federal Institute of Industrial Property (FIPS) receives the Eurasian patent descriptions for processing and inclusion to the end product, and the Eurasian Patent Office provides financial support to the national patent offices of the EAPO member states for participation in the project. In addition, the Eurasian Patent Office maintains the CISPATENT database as part of EAPATIS, the data of which is integral to the information on the optical disc images released.
As a participant in international patent documentation exchange, the Eurasian Patent Office provides full descriptions of Eurasian applications and patents in the format of raw data, in the form of electronic images of optical disks in MIMOSA format, as well as an official gazette.
Front file publication data, as well as retrospective arrays of information, are distributed through international exchange between patent offices, but they can also be acquired by interested commercial providers.
Support for Dedicated Internet Access (DIA)
In order to maintain and develop the unified Eurasian patent information space, the Eurasian Patent Office continued to ensure the provision of high-speed Internet access services to the national patent offices of the EAPC Contracting States in the reporting year.
AUTOMATION OF BACKEND PROCESSES OF THE EURASIAN PATENT OFFICE
The Eurasian Patent Office intranet site keeps Eurasian Patent Office staff updated, on a timely and comprehensive basis, on all current office news and advancements, and allows Eurasian Patent Office staff to tap into regulatory and methodological documents, as well as different internal information resources, such as the electronic library, the archive of regulatory documents, and the internal register of Eurasian patents. The internal forum handles sizeable volumes of current internal data exchange, which allows Eurasian Patent Office staff to access customized personal information as needed and provides an IT environment for feedback and information exchange between departments, including requests for IT system improvements and corrective action in emergencies.
Licensed product support to advance Eurasian Patent Office business and accounting performance. Expansion of sphere of product application
As a result of relevant IT implementations, the Eurasian Patent Office operates a range of business, personnel and general workflow management tools based on Parus (Parus-Predpriyatiye 8), on the regulatory search and retrieval system ConsultantPlus and general workflow management system.
All systems operated normally in 2021. Relevant contractors and Eurasian Patent Office IT personnel provided all necessary maintenance.
The Eurasian Patent Office runs its general workflow system using electronic management of all documents not related to Eurasian applications and patents. The system allows the registration, sorting and dispatch of documents to officers in charge, the entry of resolutions and assignments, as well as tracking of the progress of work.
Information infrastructure of the Office
In 2021, the Eurasian Patent Office infrastructure ensured the confidentiality and integrity of data, as well as the continuity of the activities of the office both in terms of the examination of Eurasian applications and the granting of Eurasian patents, and in the processing of external requests from users of Eurasian Patent Office digital services, thanks to management systems implemented in the field of information and communication technologies, to the monitoring and early detection of faults in operation, to a set of technical information protection measures, to the operation of backup sites, and to the implementation of information backup procedures.
Work continued on the creation of the Eurasian Patent Office’s modular intelligent information infrastructure, carried out on the basis of the results of risk analysis and in accordance with modern international practices and standards. The approaches used in the office allow us to flexibly, quickly and financially efficiently develop the Eurasian Patent Office’s information infrastructure to ensure the necessary performance following the changing needs of the structural units of the office.
An approach to the use of distributed infrastructure has been widely applied, allowing infrastructure to be adapted in accordance with any threats to information security or unforeseen circumstances.
Information security management
In 2021, the information security system ensured the confidentiality and integrity of the organization’s information assets through the constant monitoring of information flows in office management systems, the development of information security management processes, and the maintenance of the information security systems in an up-to-date state and based on the results of an analysis of information security risks.