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Annual Technical Report 2011 on Patent Information Activities submitted by Estonia (CWS/ATR/PI/2011/EE)

 

Where URLs are requested below, it is preferred that either URLs which are likely to remain stable over time (three years or more) are provided, or home (main) page URLs are provided with a short explanation of how to access the corresponding information.

The term "patent" covers utility models and Supplementary Protection Certificates (SPCs). Offices which issue design patents should report their design patent information activities in their Annual Technical Reports on Industrial Design Information Activities.

 

I. Evolution of patent activities

Changes experienced in terms of application filings and grants with respect to the previous year

Patent protection is granted to all scientific and technological inventions, including medical products. Plant or animal varieties and methods for treatment of the
human or animal body and diagnostic methods practiced on the human or animal body are not patentable.

In November 2008 the Estonian Patent Office began electronic reception of patent applications. The address of the portal is http://online.epa.ee/.
The Estonian ID card is required for the entry into the portal. An application can only be filed with the Estonian Patent Office after it has been digitally signed by the
applicant or the patent attorney. Upon request the Estonian Patent Office issues a notification about the acceptance of the patent application. The notification can be saved or printed. 28 applicants used the possibilities of electronic filing of an application in 2011.

From the patent applications received in 2011 83% were from Estonian applicants, 10% from the member states of the European Union (excluding Estonia) and 5% from the USA.

By fields the largest number of patent applications filed by Estonian applicants were related to physics and electronics (including IT) – 14, agriculture – 12, medical products and medical science – 6 and construction – 4.

Trends or areas experiencing rapid changes with respect to the previous year


TOP 5 Patents granted in 2011

Estonia 32
USA 22
Germany 17
Sweden 8
Switzerland 6

TOP 5 Patents valid on 31December 2011

Sweden 251
USA 190
Germany 183
Finland 127
France 102

URLs of web pages of the Office’s website that provide statistics related to patents

http://www.epa.ee/client/default.asp?wa_id=565&wa_object_id=1&wa_id_key=

II. Matters concerning the generation, reproduction, distribution and use of primary and secondary sources of patent information

Publishing, printing, copying (main types of publications of the Office in the field of patent information, etc.)

The Estonian Utility Model Gazette – a quarterly, published since October 1994;
The Estonian Patent Gazette – 6 issues annually, published since December 1995;

Since 1 January 2003 the official gazettes of the Estonian Patent Office are available also electronically (in pdf-format, http://www.epa.ee/default.asp?id=512 and http://www.epa.ee/default.asp?id=513 ):

Techniques as recording, microfilming and photocomposing are not in use.

Main types of announcements of the Office in the field of patent information

The Estonian Patent Office homepage at www.epa.ee was currently updated. Rss-reader was added. The homepage enables access to patent, utility model, industrial design, trademark and geographical indication registration information both in Estonian and English. It also contains all legal acts (Estonian legal acts are in Estonian), regulations and international agreements by the Government of the Republic and Minister of Economic Affairs, and other legislation as well as material on legal protection of industrial property, relevant links, current news and the public databases of subjects for legal protection of the Estonian Patent Office, EPO, WIPO, OHIM.

(New) techniques used for the generation of patent information (printing, recording, photocomposing, Optical Character Recognition (OCR), etc.)

Databases: http://www.epa.ee/client/default.asp?wa_id=915&wa_object_id=1&wa_id_key=

URLs of web pages of the Office’s website that provide access to online publication of patent documents and gazettes, and to other primary and secondary sources of patent information, including patent publication servers and download of bulk patent data

http://www.epa.ee/default.asp?wa_id=512
http://www.epa.ee/default.asp?wa_id=513

III. Matters concerning abstracting, classifying, reclassifying and indexing of technical information contained in patent documents

Abstracting, reviewing, translating

Translation of the IPC into Estonian is available on the Internet at the address http://wipo.int/classifications/ipc/ipc8/

Classification1, preclassification2 (if applicable), and reclassification3 activities; Classification system used, e.g., International Patent Classification (IPC), other classification (please indicate whether or not patent documents are classified by your Office and, if so, which classification is used)

Applications are classified in accordance with the International Patent Classification, core level.

Bibliographic data and full-text processing

In the Patent Gazette there are published the most important bibliographic data (including patent classification, excluding abstracts and figurative accessories) of the patent applications laid open to public inspection after the lapse of 18 months from the filing date and bibliographic data (including patent classification, abstracts and figurative accessories) of the granted patents. The first pages of patent specifications contain the abstracts in Estonian and in English.

IV. Search file establishment and upkeep

V. Activities in the field of computerized and other mechanized search systems

In-house systems (online/offline)

The databases of the office are the core subject of the information system. These databases are administered by the Common Software (CS). CS is a system with client server architecture, based on the database software Informix and operation system UNIX. Automated data entry software SPIRIT-MECA is also integrated to CS. To facilitate trademark examination procedure the software ACSEPTO of figurative and verbal searches is in use. The search base is quite large containing data of trademarks valid in Estonia and Community trademarks, also data of the emblems, official control and warranty signs and names of international intergovernmental organizations under protection in compliance with Article 6ter of Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property. In cooperation with the European Patent Organization there is a direct connection (Patnet2) that enables the examiners to use the databases of EPO in their work.
Several e-services are available at our homepage. The portal of electronic filing of trademarks has been accessible since April 2007, in 2008 software for the electronic filing of patent, utility model and industrial design applications was added, as well as software for filing the Estonian-language patent specifications of the European patents validated in Estonia. So digitally signed applications can be filed without coming to the Office. The portal is available at the address online.epa.ee. In addition, the services of the databases of electronic searches have been available on the web page of the Estonian Patent Office (www.epa.ee) for a long time.

External databases

EPOQUE, Delphion, Espacenet, USPTO, Derwent, ROSPATENT, SciFinder, Chem.Abstr., PubMed, EBSCOhost, DEPATISnet, Epoline, Google Patent Search-BETA, PCT Applications, Estonian Patent Applications and Patents, European Patents Validated in Estonia, Estonian Utility Models, Vivisimo.

Equipment used (hardware, including the types of terminal and network used, and software), carriers used

In the beginning of 2011the Department of Information Technology of the Patent Office was liquidated in the framework of the consolidation project of the services supported by the state and all information technological activities not directly related with the processing of the applications for legal protection of industrial property were transferred to the Information Systems Department of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications. Therefore the Patent Office does not deal with the development and improvement of client oriented information technological services (incl. public databases, portal of electronic filing of applications etc.).

VI. Administration of the industrial property office library, and information products and services available to the public (relating to facilities, e.g., for lodging applications, for assisting clients on searching procedures, for obtaining official publications and registry extracts)

Estonian Patent Information Centre is an independent centre financed from the state budget. The Estonian Information Centre provides services to the general public. As the centre works in close cooperation with the Estonian Patent Office its main task is to serve the examining and professional staff of the Estonian Patent Office. The Information Centre acquires, processes and maintains patent documents, patent gazettes and other patent and non-patent literature. The older part of the collections is on paper, microfilm or microfiche. Now the majority of patent documents are on CD/DVD-ROMs. The library collections are acquired by purchases (the financial resources for it are allocated from the state budget) and by exchange of publications with other industrial property offices under international agreements.
The Estonian Patent Information Centre is the only library that collects and processes patent literature in Estonia. Information Centre participates in the interlibrary lending at the national or the international level. Lending requests are satisfied by e-mail, ordinary mail or by fax.
The patent and trademark gazettes as well as reference literature are kept in the public reading rooms; other materials, i.e. patent documents, are stored in the stock-rooms and are lend at the request of the users. The library also stores the collection of the official gazettes and specifications of the Estonian Patent Office.
The users can carry out searches using CD/DVD-ROMs at 9 workstations.
The following CD/DVD-ROM collections are available:
ESPACE ACCESS A and B
ESPACE-ACCESS-EPC
ESPACE FIRST
ESPACE BULLETIN
ESPACE LEGAL
ESPACE EP
ESPACE WORLD
ESPACE AT
ESPACE CH
ESPACE DK (1990-1998)
ESPACE FI
ESPACE FR A
ESPACE UK
German databases:
DEPAROM KOMPAKT
DEPAROM ACT
DEPAROM U
US databases:
US Patents BIB
US Patents Class
US Patents Assist
US Patents & TM Assign
USA App
USA Pat
Other countries:
PAJ Patent Abstracts of Japan
PAJ/INDEX
Patents of Russia (Full specifications)
ESPACE-ACCESS-RFD
Utility models of Russia (1994-2004, first pages)
The inventions protected in the Republic of Moldova (1993-2007)
CNPATE-ACCESS
China Patent Applications
The Information Centre has the direct Internet access to the INPADOC databases through Open Patent Services interface. In-house online access is established to the commercial databases Derwent Innovations Index and Questel-Orbit via the Internet connection. These databases are charged on the bases of annual fees, Questel-Orbit is also charged on the bases of usage.
The Information Centre offers copying services from paper or microforms . The users can order printouts of the documents on CD/DVD-ROMs. These services are offered for a moderate price. Information Centre also offers more advanced services – patent information researches. User can claim for an advanced research in his favourite technical field, results will be printed and analysed and added to research report dossier.
Other services are free of charge: in the reading rooms the readers can use reference materials, monographs, other books and periodicals and carry out searches in patent documents on paper.

VII. Matters concerning mutual exchange of patent documentation and information

The Estonian Patent Information Centre has agreements with 19 patent offices and 1 organization on exchange of patent gazettes and with 20 patent offices and 1 organization on exchange of utility model gazettes, (aasta lõpus) with 11 patent offices and 1 organization on exchange of patent gazettes and with 11 patent offices and 1 organization on exchange of utility model gazettes.

VIII. Other relevant matters concerning education and training in, and promotion of, the use of patent information, including technical assistance to developing countries (please indicate URLs of web pages of the Office’s website wherever appropriate)

Training courses for national and foreign participants, use of audiovisual means

2011 was the sixth year of operation for the Small-sized Enterprise Support Division. The main goal of the Division is to arrange events for entrepreneurs and the public in order to rise the awareness about the legal protection of intellectual property as well as to ensure that the Estonian Patent Office attends events (lectures, presentations etc.) introducing intellectual property arranged by other institutions.

The year brought along several changes. There was much work as well as success. Many activities undertaken in the previous years continued.

In 2011 the seminars held in the classroom of the Patent Office played an essential role. Namely the Division arranged 7 seminars in the classroom (2 seminars on the legal protection of inventions, 2 on registration of trademarks, 1 on protection of industrial designs and 2 on protection of both the trademarks and industrial designs). Demand for such seminars is very high.

In 2011 the Small-sized Enterprise Support Division of the Patent Office did cooperation with the development centres of the counties. This cooperation is of important to support the regional development of Estonia and the main aim is to raise the awareness about industrial property in the whole republic. This year the Division arranged an info day on intellectual property in Põlva. Besides the lecturers of the Patent Office also a patent attorney gave a presentation on the services provided by the patent agencies and Põlvamaa Development Centre shared its experience in registration of a trademark.

In addition, cooperation with other institutions is still important for the Small-sized Enterprise Support Division. So the examiners of the Patent Office gave presentations on inventions and trademarks for the second year student of economy at Pärnu College. The total number of students, who attended the lectures, was 73.

From 3-9 October 2011 an Entrepreneurship Week took place all over Estonia. Its aim was to raise the awareness of the society on entrepreneurship and to increase the knowledge of the entrepreneurs. In the framework of the Entrepreneurship Week a seminar “Which Benefits Does the Legal Protection of Intellectual Property Provide?“ was arranged by the Patent Office in cooperation with the Entrepreneurship Department of Tartu City Government in Tartu on 5 October. Besides the presentations made by lecturers from the Patent Office experience on protection of inventions was shared by a local entrepreneur from Leidi Consult Ltd.. By the was the Patent Office was invited to the seminar at Võrumaa Entrepreneurship Week on 5 October, where our examiners disseminated their knowledge on protection of inventions and registration of trademarks. Cooperation with Tallinn City Enterprise continued successfully as well. On 5-6 October there was a subsequent Tallinn Entrepreneurship Day, where the Patent Office participated. On both days the Patent Office was there with an info desk providing consultations, information and publications on intellectual property. The Patent Office arranged also a seminar ”Industrial Property and Entrepreneurship Culture” in the framework of Tallinn Entrepreneurship Day.
Traditionally the Small-sized Enterprise Support Division arranged two big seminars for SME-s in Tallinn: in April a seminar "Intellectual Property in SME-s“ celebrating the World Intellectual Property Day and in October a seminar "Possibilities of Legal Protection of Industrial Property in the European Union".

Promotional activities (seminars, exhibitions, visits, advertising, etc.)

Since May 2003 the examiners of the Patent Department have arranged free consultations to small-sized enterprises as well as natural persons on how to prepare patent and utility model applications. 181 persons were given 141hours of consultations in 2011.

IX. Other general information related to the Office that is available on the Internet -- URLs of web pages of the Office’s website that:

provide information on legislation related to patents

http://www.epa.ee/client/default.asp?wa_id=456&wa_object_id=1&wa_id_key=
(mainly in Estonian)

contain the Annual Report of the Office

http://www.epa.ee/client/default.asp?wa_id=922&wa_object_id=1&wa_id_key=

contain patent-related news regarding the Office

http://www.epa.ee/rss.asp?wa_site_id=2

X. Other relevant matters

 


1.Classification is allotting one or more classification symbols (e.g., IPC symbols) to a patent application, either before or during search and examination, which symbols are then published with the patent application.

 

2.Preclassification is allotting an initial broad classification symbol (e.g., IPC class or subclass, or administrative unit) to a patent application, using human or automated means for internal administrative purposes (e.g., routing an application to the appropriate examiner).  Usually preclassification is applied by the administration of an office.

 

3.Reclassification is the reconsideration and usually the replacement of one or more previously allotted classification symbols to a patent document, following a revision and the entry into force of a new version of the Classification system (e.g., the IPC).  The new symbols are available on patent databases.