Annual Technical Report 2004 on Industrial Design Information Activities submitted by Latvia (SCIT/ATR/ID/2004/LV)


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 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 amount of the industrial design applications filed in Latvia has significantly decreased in 2004. There were only 56 new design applications filed, in comparison with 102 in 2003. This significant drop can be caused by the influence of joining of Latvia to the EU in May 2004, with which the provisions on the Registered & Unregistered Community Design were introduced in Latvia.

Immediately before the joining to the EU, the system of industrial design protection was significantly reorganized in Latvia. New Latvian Law on Industrial Designs, at the initial stage as the Cabinet Rules, took effect in April, and got the Parliament's approval in November 2004. The new Law introduced the registration system of designs, instead of the previous system of design patents. Thus the figure of 56 design applications filed in 2004 consisted of 21 application for design patents and 35 applications for the registration of designs, made accordingly to the new provisions. The share of applications made by the domestic applicants, reached 55%, within the total amount of design applications.

During the year 70 design patents were issued and 17 industrial design registrations were made. The total number of registered design rights in force at the end of year 2004 reached 515 (498 design patents + 17 design registrations).

Paralelly to its previous competence, the staff of the Latvian Patent Office (LPO) mastered new procedures relating to Registered Community Designs (RCD), and namely, consulting of interested persons on the RCD system, assistance to the applicants in making of their RCD applications, etc.

II. Matters concerning the generation, reproduction, and distribution of industrial design documents and of secondary sources of industrial design information, i.e., official gazettes

Publishing, including printing, copying techniques and electronic printing

The bibliographical data for the industrial design (ID) documents, as well as for the Gazette, are being semi-automatically extracted from the LPO database and completed with previously scanned black & white or gray-scale images. ID patents, registration certificates, official letters are printed out by means of electronic laser printer.
Each issue of the LPO Official Gazette PATENTI UN PRECU ZIMES contains publications on patents of inventions, trademarks and industrial designs. The layout of Gazette pages is being carried out and a camera-ready copy of each issue is being prepared by the LPO staff, using the desk-top publishing technology. The Gazette is printed in offset technique in multiple copies, by an external typographic company. It is issued once per month and is distributed on subscription, by sales, and on the basis of mutual exchange.

Main types of announcements of the Office in the field of industrial design information

the publication date is the same as the date of granting (= registration in the State Register); with this announcement ID-patents come into force and are open for 6-months opposition period;

this type of announcement appears since Nr.8 (August 2004), containing designs registered accordingly to the newly introduced registration system; design applications filed since the amendment of Law on 18.11.2004 are open, after their publication, for shorter (3-months) opposition period;

(2) ID INDEXES (published only once a year, in the last issue of the corresponding year):
(a) Application Number Index;
(b) ID Patents / Registrations Listed by Locarno Classes;
(c) Name Index of Designers & ID-Patent / Registration Owners;

- renewals, transfers, changes in names / addresses of the ID-pantent / registration owners / representatives, registered licence agreements, cancellations, etc.;

- reduced versions of the decisions rendered by the LPO Appeal Board, on the appeals submitted by the applicants, or on the oppositions of third persons against the ID-patents / registrations granted.

Mass storage media and microforms used

With the exclusion of the LPO main database, the storage medium still is paper; electronic media and microforms are not developed.

Databases and office automation

The LPO main database is developed in FoxPro for Windows.
Word processing: MS WORD 2000 / MS WORD XP / MS WORD 2003.
Edition of images: CorelDraw 5.0; CorelDraw 10.0; ZSoft PhotoFinish.

The database is stored in the LPO local network server.
The main operations produced by the assistance of the database, and the built-in FoxPro Report-Writer:
- keying in of the application data;
- choice or keying in of the applicant / representative data;
- scanning of images;
- semi-automatic compilation and printing of the main correspondence letters and ID certificates;
- generation of the Gazette publications, etc.
Layout of the Gazette pages is being created using the Adobe PageMaker 6.5.

III. Matters concerning classifying, reclassifying and indexing of industrial design information according to the classification systems applied

Classification and reclassification activities; Classification system used, e.g., International Classification for Industrial Designs (Locarno Classification), other classification (please indicate whether industrial designs are classified by your Office and, if so, which classification is used)

The Locarno Classification (Eighth Edition) is used for the ID classification purposes. Locarno indexes are sometimes given by the applicants, although it is not mandatory; - the classification is made ex-officio. The reclassification problems seem to be not yet burning.

Bibliographic data and processing for search purposes

The bibliographical data fixed in the State ID Register are shown in the publications of the ID-patents / registrations granted. The data in publications and certificates are shortly named in Latvian and preceded by the corresponding INID codes (WIPO St.80).
Advanced computer searching in the database is available for internal use.

IV. Search file establishment and upkeep

Folder files are kept for:
- industrial designs applied for patent / registration;
- ID applications withdrawn / abandoned / refused;
- ID patents / registrations granted;
- ID patents / registrations invalidated / expired / cancelled.
Thes files are organized accordingly to the sequence of their application numbers / patent or registration numbers, respectively, and are being updated continuously.

Computerised files contain the data of ID applications / patents / registrations, continuously updated.
Mass storage media and microforms are not used. ID documentation from the Offices of foreign countries are available in the Patent and Technology Library. Since the Law does not provide for novelty examination, the information about designs protected in foreign countries is used by applicants and not by the LPO staff.

V. Activities in the field of computerized search systems for industrial designs

Searching for the ID application / patent / registration data is available to the LPO staff. Search can be made also on a third person's request, taking into account that until publication the substantive contents, and in particular the images, of an ID application are confidential.
External databases are not used during the examination procedure. INTERNET accesss is available on each workstation.
Administrative management system of ID procedure during the 2004 was under development.

The LPO local network is built on ETHERNET principles, using Novell Netware Network. The LPO internal network encompasses more than 30 IBM-compatible PCs, including 3 PCs used inter alia for the purpose of the ID procedure, as well as several printers and a scanner.

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)

ID information services available to the public in the premises of the LPO:
- counsulting services on filing requirements, including those for the filing of RCD;
- consultations on different administrative & legal matters of the ID protection (such information is also available at the LPO homepage;
- sales of the Gazette;
- inspection of the ID application materials (before their publication - only in legally substantiated cases), extracts from the Register - on request.

ID documentation from several foreign countries is available in the Patent and Technology Library.
Preparation work for posting of ID information on INTERNET was going with the aim to complete this work in 2005.

VII. Matters concerning mutual exchange of industrial design documentation and information

Mutual exchange of the Gazettes is established with approximately 20 Offices.

VIII. Matters concerning education and training including technical assistance to developing countries

IX. Other relevant matters