Annual Technical Report 2003 on Industrial Design Information Activities submitted by Sweden (SCIT/ATR/ID/2003/SE)
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The expression "industrial designs" covers industrial designs and models. Offices which issue design patents should report their design patent information activities in this series of Annual Technical Reports.
I. Evolution of registration activities
The Design- and Trademark department (department) is responsible for handling the Industrial design applications.
The Department has total 100 employees. 10 employees are working as lawyers, examiners, assistance, production of gazette and administrative staff specific for Industrial design issues.
A decrease of Industrial design applications compared to previous years was observed. The decrease was 37 %. The situation is the same in many other national offices since the possibility to register design applications through OHIM was opened.
An internal process has been started to adapt the personal staff to the demand and production capacity.
The balance within the Industrial design has, during the year 2003, been reduced by 77 % to 459 applications. The production capacity that has been built up continues and has increased with 87 % from 361 to 654 applications per personal year.
By the end of year 2003, the average processing time was around 10 months for Industrial design applications.
Industrial design, received applications
Industrial design, decided applications
Industrial design, balance
II. Matters concerning the generation, reproduction, and distribution of industrial design documents and of secondary sources of industrial design information, i.e., official gazettes
The official gazette ”Industrial design Gazette” is published with 2 issues every month. This Gazette contains the announcements of the official data concerning new registrations, modifications, renewals, cancellations and corrections.
The Gazette is available in an electronic way on the homepage on Internet. It is also possible to order the Gazette in a paperformat.
Word processing combined with scanned forms is used for producing the Gazette.
An annual technical report is published for the whole office.
III. Matters concerning classifying, reclassifying and indexing of industrial design information according to the classification systems applied
Industrial designs are classified according to the Locarno Classification, 7th edition. The employee in the division does this.
Applicants have to state the classifications according to the Locarno system. The specifications must be specified and not in general terms. The employees in the department then convert the information into actual class. By doing this they use either the classification document or the information in the computer system.
For internal use in the department some of the Locarnoclasses are completed with sub-sub-classes.
Bibliographic data used for search purpose are application number, registrations number, Locarnaclasses, name of applicant/holder and name of counsel.
IV. Search file establishment and upkeep
In 1998 the department started to scan the forms. At the end of year 2001 the department has built up an electronic database of Industrial design forms. The information is now reachable by use of the computer-system. The manual work for searching has therefore been reduced. All forms are stored in separate bibliographies with electronic maps. These maps have the same structure as the Locarno classification system. The separate bibliographics that are used are for application, examination and publication.
In the year 2002 and 2003 the division continues the improvement of searching and handling with the scanned forms. That system is now in production and all incoming forms are now scanned with good quality.
Paper documents related to Industrial design applications are kept on a paper-built archive.
V. Activities in the field of computerized search systems for industrial designs
The department continues to use the IBM mainframe system under operating system Cics. The system is developed by the IT-department. It is an online system combined with some batch-routines. This administrative management system, has continuously been modernized, and includes normal functions for administration of the applications.
For nearly all correspondence with the agencies or applicants the Industrial design division uses templates produced by word-processing in the office-system.
The search system, Indesign, is designed to search for identical or similar forms in different Locarnaclasses. The forms are later on used for producing the Gazette.
The department is connected to the system Internet and to E-mail. All employees have their own e-mail address and there are also official e-mail addresses for the department and for the divisions.
External databases in use are dictionaries, design-newsletter and brochures and other office homepages.
Every employee has his own p.c., which is connected in a local area network with two local NTservers. By an ATM communication-line the department in the city Söderhamn then is connected with the IBM mainframe in Stockholm.
In 1999 the department started a project to implement new IT-systems for all business areas within the department. This process has been successfully done for national and international trademarks. That implementation and experiences will be useful when the department has continued the corresponding process for Industrial design.
In the end of year 2001 the Industrial design division started to work with the requirements for their IT-system. That process continued during year 2002.
In 2003 the Industrial design division made an agreement with the IT-department in SPRO to improve the current mainframe system. That also includes integrating that system with a database with all forms. This development has continued during the year 2003 and that concept will be taken in production in the middle of 2004.
VI. Administration of industrial design services available to the public (relating to facilities, e.g., for lodging applications, registering designs, assisting clients with search procedures, obtaining official publications and registry extracts)
Public can search for registered Industrial designs and applications when visiting the facilities in the patent office. Security is upheld via a guest password. Applications may be filed electronically (facsimile), but legal demands for a hand written signature make confirmation on paper compulsory.
Register excerpts may be ordered through our Sales department. The fee is low and should only cover the printing and paper costs.
Trademarks attorneys, law firms and other commercial entities any acquire access to a special On-line service, called patlink. The link offers a compilation of bibliographic data from the SPRO trademark, patents and industrial designer’s registers. The Sales department administers the service.
The work with making the SPRO homepage (www.prv.se) has continued.
The Industrial design Gazette is available on Internet. It is also possible to request issues of the newspaper in printed forms.
The administrative staff gives information from the databases by telephone, fax and e-mail.
All relevant information concerning registration of Industrial design is also reachable by the homepage (www.prv.se). This service is free of charge and is searchable by use of the terms register number, owner and Locarnoclasses.
VII. Matters concerning mutual exchange of industrial design documentation and information
There exists cooperation with the other Nordic countries. The cooperation with OHIM is under development by the Liaison meetings.
VIII. Matters concerning education and training including technical assistance to developing countries
The SPRO has a department for external contacts. That department represents, together with experts for Industrial design, SPRO at exhibitions, seminars and advanced courses.
Contacts with Swedish companies and education organizations have increased very much and are nowadays a common part of the daily work.
IX. Other relevant matters
In March 1998, the department was relocated from Stockholm to Söderhamn. A completely new organization was built up. The department now consists of the Trademark division, the Industrial design, Surname and Registry of Periodical division and Administrative division.
Furthermore there are specials for questions concerning law, information, information technology and quality.
A new vision and strategy plan for the information technology has been made for the department. In accordance with these intentions the department will work very hard to develop and implement new electronic processes for applying applications, correspondence and payment within modern technology.
During the year 2002 a new system for examination of national and international trademark applications was implemented. These experiences will be very useful when the Department continues the corresponding process for Industrial design division.
The department has already started with a system for form examination and producing the Gazette.
During 2002 changes were made in the Swedish act for Industrial designs. The EU-directive was implemented in Sweden. At the same time the department implements changes in the process for examination of applications. The material (substantive) examination was ended. Thereafter the department makes only the formal examination. As a result of these changes the average time for examination has been reduced.
At SPRO level, a project is running with the objective of improving the Internet homepage. This implies that the department will take an active part in the Internet activities. Publications such as the Industrial design Gazette are accessible via the homepage.
On the homepage there is also information for the applicants and possibilities to improve the quality when making applications in an electronic way.
Since 2003 it is also possible to search in the Industrial design database by Internet.