The Eurasian Patent Office begins accepting applications for the grant of Eurasian patents for industrial designs from June 1, 2021.
The Eurasian Patent Organization (EAPO) began work in 1995, and since 1996, applications for Eurasian patents for inventions have been accepted.
Gradually, Eurasian patents became an increasingly attractive instrument for protecting their rights on the territory of the participating countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan.
In 2020, EAPO received 3,377 patent applications. Rospatent is the only national office of the EAPO member countries that receives more patent applications.
Thus, we can conclude that for applicants who are interested in the market of several post-Soviet countries participating in the EAPO, Eurasian patents have become a convenient mechanism. In addition to the ability to cover 8 countries at once with a single patent, the Eurasian Patent Office recommended itself as an effective body: if there are no requests or objections, the term for obtaining a patent is only one year from the filing of the application.
It took the Eurasian countries 25 years to move only from patents for inventions to another instrument for the protection of intellectual property. This is partly due to the fact that Eurasian patents for inventions began to enjoy good demand only in recent years. Partly due to the intensification of integration processes within the Eurasian Economic Union (it is planned to launch unified EAEU trademarks and a unified Customs register of intellectual property objects already in 2021).
Will Eurasian industrial designs gain popularity?
For manufacturers and suppliers of consumer and industrial goods, the markets of the EAPO member countries have a lot in common:
- These are all countries of the former USSR.
- The economies of almost all countries are highly dependent and oriented towards Russia.
- Russian remains the language that the majority of the population speaks or can understand well.
- Large territory (in total, countries occupy 15% of the world’s land area) – the complexity of logistics and the benefits of covering several countries in the region at once.
This all makes consumer preferences similar in all these countries and the way of doing business in them.
Unlike the EU, the EAPO member states have a peculiarity – the region is strongly oriented towards one country, and the Russian economy has much larger volumes compared to other Eurasian countries. At the same time, the markets of other countries in the region are small enough and rarely interesting for doing business in only one country.
For example, in 2019, 94% of applications for trademarks in Kyrgyzstan were submitted by non-residents. In Tajikistan, this number is 91%, 71% in Azerbaijan, and 58% in Kazakhstan. Whereas in Russia it is only 20%.
Similar statistics for design patents. Except that foreign applicants dominate for this object even in Russia – 60% of applications are submitted from abroad.
Therefore, it can be expected that Eurasian industrial designs will benefit from one certificate for the convenience of covering the entire region.
Will Eurasian industrial designs be better financially than national applications?
The fee for filing an application will be 20 thousand Russian rubles (about $270). If several designs are submitted in one application – 10 thousand rubles for each subsequent industrial design from the second to the tenth and 5 thousand rubles for the subsequent ones.
For registration and publication, the fee will be 15 thousand rubles and an additional 7.5 thousand rubles for each industrial design from the second to the tenth and 3.75 thousand rubles for each subsequent one.
Thus, the official fees for filing an application with one design will be $470-480.
The maintenance fee will be 7 thousand rubles for the first renewal period and 14.5 thousand for the renewal for the fifth period.
The official fees of national applications are significantly lower. So, filing application and registration of an industrial design in Russia is about $90, in Belarus and Kazakhstan – $120, Azerbaijan – $25.
But, in addition to official fees, there are costs for the services of lawyers. And in the case of national applications, this is payment for services in each country separately.
Professional services for filing and further registration cost $400-600 in each country. Thus, the difference in fees pays off already on the example of simultaneous filing in 2-3 EAPO member countries.
Therefore, Eurasian design patents are becoming more profitable from a financial point of view.
How will the registration process for Eurasian industrial designs look like?
An application for registration of an industrial design should be submitted to the Eurasian Office. It is also possible to file an application through the national patent offices, which will send the application materials to the EAPO.
The registration process and correspondence for Eurasian applications are conducted exclusively in Russian.
One application can contain up to 100 variants of an industrial design.
A priority date can be set for the application within 6 months from the filing date of the first application.
If the applicant is not a resident of one of the EAPO member states, a representative Eurasian patent attorney is required.
After checking the application for compliance with the formal requirements, the Eurasian Office publishes the application to accept objections/oppositions to such an application from others.
Also, the department checks for the presence of similar previously filed or registered industrial designs and trademarks in the national databases of the EAPO member countries.
Until the moment of the decision on registration, and in case of receipt of a refusal in registration by the Office, the applicant can convert the Eurasian application into a national application for an industrial design.
The maximum period of validity of a Eurasian patent for an industrial design is 25 years. The renewal of rights occurs every five years.
Eurasian design patents have every chance of becoming popular. First of all, for foreign applicants supplying their products to several Eurasian countries.
Demand for single patents will be lower among national applicants due to the significant difference in official fees.
And foreign applicants, on the contrary, will be able to save on the services of representatives by submitting a single application and then more conveniently and cheaper administering the rights to one certificate.
If you have any additional questions as to the Industrial designs registration procedure in Eurasia, please contact us firstname.lastname@example.org