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Annual Technical Report 2003 on Patent Information Activities submitted by EAPO (SCIT/ATR/PI/2003/EA)

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

There were 1330 patent applications filed at the EAPO in 2003, or 2 percent increase as compared to 2002.
International applications made up the bulk of Eurasian applications received in 2003 - there were 1130 international applications, or 85 percent of the total number of applications filed that year. The number of international applications increased by 1 percent compared to 2002.
96 applications, or 7.2 percent of the total number of Eurasian applications, were filed directly with EAPO. The number of Eurasian applications filed decreased by 4 percent compared to 2002.
The number of Eurasian applications filed through national patent offices of the Agreeing States in 2003 was 104, or 7.8 percent of the total number of Eurasian applications filed this year. The number of those applications increased by 25 percent compared to 2002.
The applicants from the states that are parties to the Eurasian Patent Convention (EAPC) filed 175 Eurasian applications. It is 13 percent more than in 2002.
In 2003, most Eurasian applications were related to the following classes: Organic chemistry (C07, A01N) - 292; Medicines and pharmaceuticals (A61K) - 220 applications.

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

EAPO issues its official publications using own publishing facilities for all prepress processes. The unified publication technology involves scanning, optical character recognition, editing, proofreading and blueprint make-up. All data used for publications (including bibliographic data in Russian and English, pages in facsimile mode, full-text descriptions, first pages, blueprints etc.) is stored in one database (IPDL HIVE system, developed on outsourcing basis for EAPO). Information is extracted from the database by client software in necessary formats. The client software also provides broad automation of everyday operations at every workplace of the publication department. About 11900 Eurasian documents were stored in IPDL HIVE system's database at the end of 2003.
Printing of EAPO publications is performed by other companies on contractual basis.

Annual Report contains more complete information on the activities of the Organization and the Office in past year and can serve as additional source of information to this Annual Technical Report.
Furthermore, EAPO issued several non-periodical publications regarding activities of the Organization and Eurasian patent legislation.
Announcements of the Office of legal and norm-setting kind are published in Bulletin "Inventions"; more general announcements can be also found at Web-site of EAPO at www.eapo.org. The number of sections with notices and announcements in the Bulletin was extended in 2003.

Procedural letters to applicants are formed automatically in Common Software and sent mostly on paper by mail. EAPO uses Microsoft Word for text processing of most of the office documents.

See attached file EAPO_Publications_2003.pdf for detailed information on publications of EAPO in 2003:

EAPO_Publications_2003

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

Eurasian patent applications are filed at the EAPO in Russian only. When patent application is filed, an applicant or a representative provides abstract in required format in accordance with filing procedure. This abstract is published with bibliographic data of the application in the Bulletin, at first pages of application and corresponding patent and on CD-ROM "Descriptions of inventions in Eurasian applications". Abstracts are published in Russian only; claims are translated into English as well for purposes of further electronic publication.
EAPO uses IPC7 classification system both in examination and publication activities. Reclassification of all stored Eurasian patent documents from IPC6 to IPC7 was completed in 2002. The documents in the EAPO library fund that have classifications other than IPC are not reclassified.
Bibliographic data for applications and patents and full texts of patents are stored in database storage of IPDL HIVE system. All documents are automatically indexed on upload to the database. Full text search and patent documents retrieval using various criteria (IPC class, other bibliographic data, keywords in title, abstract, claims or full text) can be performed using client software or Web interface. The search engine allows to use Russian and English morphology to obtain more integrate search results. IPDL HIVE system also allows extracting data in required format for further loading to other external search systems. For example, this extracted data is used in EAPO owned EAPATIS (See Chapter IV and V of this Report) and in Esp@cenet.

IV. Search file establishment and upkeep

In 2003 work was done to further improve, develop and support the Regional Eurasian Patent Information System (EAPATIS) as well as to raise the volume and quality of the electronic bank of patent and non-patent information, and to improve patent search methods and techniques.
During the reporting period, over 4 million reference and bibliographic descriptions of patent documents extracted and processed from recently received CD-ROM\DVD disks were added to the databases (DB) of EAPATIS. These DB contain information on PCT applications, EAPO and EPO applications and patents, USA patents, patent documentation of several other countries of the PCT minimum documentation at various depths of backfile coverage (eg. Russia – from 1994, Great Britain – from 1979, Germany – from 1991, Austria – from 1990, Canada – from 1999, Japan – from 1976, etc.). Patent offices of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Moldova provided their backfile data funds on machine-readable media. Based on these, DB were created and integrated into the EAPATIS information storage together with other databases. The electronic fund has a total of 15 DB containing over 20 million documents. DB searches can be performed using various search criteria.

Additionally, IPDL HIVE system search file is used in EAPO to perform full-text searches in Eurasian patent documents (See Chapter III and V of this Report).

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

In-house systems.

1. Regional Eurasian Patent Information System (EAPATIS).
Linking all national patent offices to EAPATIS was completed in November 2003, and the system was put into full use. Examiners from national patent offices gained access to the entire electronic patent fund collected by EAPO in the course of several years, with all the main services of the system, which helped with the various patent searches. The first results from using the system generated great interest from examiners of national patent offices. The system services over 1000 queries monthly made by examiners from national patent offices, and the number of queries is constantly growing. The next step towards establishing a fully functional regional patent information system is adding backfile patent documentation of national patent offices to EAPATIS. In 2003 patent offices of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Belarus, and Turkmenistan provided backfile information, and searchable DB, as noted above, were developed based on the first three. The remaining Contracting States of the EAPC will provide their documentation in 2004. Thus, a foundation was laid in 2003 for the establishment of a unified Eurasian patent information space to give EAPO and national patent offices uniform access to Eurasian and national patent documentation, and also to patent documentation to the countries of PCT minimum documentation.

Equipment and software used: PC CPU 2x350 MHz, RAM 916 MB, HDD SCSI 4x34.1 Gb, external array 4x34.1 Gb.

2. IPDL HIVE system. The system supports publication process and own patent fund processing in EAPO. It offers reliable storage of all materials used for publication, automation of the most of publication tasks, structured access to the stored patent information via client software or Web interface, multiplex search in bibliographic data and full texts considering languages morphology (Russian and English) and provides statistics on documents stored and on publication process.

Equipment and software used: SUN Enterprise UE250 CPU 2x300MHz, RAM 384 MB; Solaris 2.6; Informix Internet Foundation 2000; Redlab Russian Text Datablade; complementary PC CPU 450MHz; Windows Nt 4.0 Server; Microsoft IIS 4.0; Scanner Fujitsu M - 30 99 GH.

3. Administrative management system Common Software. The system is used by all examination divisions of EAPO. It supports all technological stages of consideration of Eurasian applications (applications filed through the patent offices of the Contracting States, applications filed directly with the EAPO and PCT applications) and provides broad statistics.
In 2003 a new functionality in Common Software enabling storage of procedural letters in Common Software database was developed.

Equipment and software used:
- SUN Enterprise UE3500 CPU 2x250MHz, RAM 1,25 GB; Solaris 2.6; Storage Array D1000 4x18.2 GB; SPARC storage Library Model 8/400; Solstice Backup 5.0.1; Informix Dynamic Server 7.3; HyperScript Tools v.1.1.x/1.5.
- Sun Fire 280R CPU 2x750 MHz, RAM 1 GB, Solaris 8.
In the reporting year a new server providing statistical data was put into operation:
- PC CPU Xeon 2x2.0 GHz, RAM 1,25 GB; Crystal Reports.

External databases.
EAPO examiners are using test access to EPOQUE-BNS search and retrieval system via Patnet provided by the European Patent Office. In 2003 works on transition From Patnet to Patnet 2 were carried out. Operation was planned to the middle of 2004.

EAPO employees widely use Internet resources at their desktops for carrying out searches in databases supported by other patent offices (WIPO, European Patent Office, Canada, Australia, Japan, United States of America and others).

All described services are accessed via local area network (Ethernet 10/100 Mbps, 90 PCs, 30 personal/network printers). Internet connection: 512 kbps fibre-optic line.

VI. Administration of the industrial property office library 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)

Work continued to add machine-readable materials to the EAPO fund and to exchange patent documentation. The machine-readable fund (CD-ROM\DVD disks) increased, in 2003, by 1010 disks and by the end of the year reached over 9100 disks. Documents continued to arrive from 12 patent offices and 2 international organizations: Austria, Great Britain, Germany, Japan, Russia, USA, Australia, Canada, France, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Korea; EPO and the International Bureau of WIPO. The PRECES series disks with East European countries patent information started coming in 2003, on an exchange basis, and a total of 108 backfile and current disks of this series was received during the reporting period. The GLOBALPAT, BENELUX and CISPATENT series disks were also received.

EAPO has no library reading room available for the general public. The most of the patent documents and patent-associated literature in the library fund of the Office can be accessed only by the office staff and examiners from the national patent offices of EAPC Contracting States.
Information on Eurasian patent documents can be obtained free of charge in patent register at Web site of EAPO (www.eapo.org/rus/reestr/) and in Espacenet on Eurasian Level I server (ea.espacenet.com, testing phase in 2003) and Level II server.

EAPO has an information service for general public, "EAPO Hotline". The hotline can be used to request information on general issues, filing Eurasian patent applications, payment of fees and validity of Eurasian patents. Information on the consideration of specific Eurasian patent application can be received from examiner by phone, fax or e-mail. EAPO also provides copies of published Eurasian patent documents and official registry information upon request for established fees.

VII. Matters concerning mutual exchange of patent documentation and information

EAPO exchanges patent information with 49 countries. Four official EAPO publications were distributed: the EAPO Bulletin; CD-ROMs with descriptions of inventions of Eurasian patents and applications; a CD-ROM with EAPO legal, norm-setting, methodological, and reference documentation. Latvia was added to the list of international exchange partners (Latvian Patent and Technical Library).
To make working with the CD-ROM collection of Eurasian patent documents easier, the test version of the new EAPO information product was developed – CD-ROM “Eurasian applications and patents: Cumulative index 01.01.1996 – 30.06.2003”, which is an information search tool for the Eurasian patent information fund.

VIII. Other relevant matters concerning education and training in, and promotion of, the use of patent information, including technical assistance to developing countries

EAPO gives highest priority to the cooperation with national patent offices of the EAPC Contracting States. In the past period it was effected through meetings of the Organization’s Administrative Council, Budget Working Group, and by organizing and holding joint seminars and training sessions for the representatives of national patent offices, assisting national patent offices in efficiently using up-to-date information technologies, and sending joint delegations to participate in various international, national, and specialized events.

Second session of the Permanent Working Group on Information Technologies of Administrative council of Eurasian Patent Organization was held in EAPO headquarters in Moscow 27-30 May, 2003. A wide range of questions associated with realization of joint projects in the area of information technologies, cooperation in this field with the European Patent Office and other offices, present situation and exchange of gathered experience in the field of automation in patent offices of the Contracting States of the Eurasian Patent Convention was considered at the session.

Implementation of the project on technical co-operation with the national patent offices of the Contracting States of EAPC was continued in 2003. Each national patent office uses dedicated 64 kbps Internet line provided by EAPO for access to world patent resources. EAPO also hosts and supports Web-sites of national offices in the framework of the common Eurasian Web portal at www.eapo.org. In 2003 works on regular update of contents of the sites and other maintenance procedures upon request of national offices have been carried out.

The practice of regularly sending EAPO’s printed publications to patent offices of the member states and distributing information on CD-ROMs made at EAPO continued in the reporting year. National offices were also provided by extended statistical data upon request. For example a specific task was fulfilled to supply regularly the patent office of the Republic of Moldova with analytical data on applications examined and patents granted.
Organizing and holding on-the-job training for experts from the national patent offices of EAPC Contracting States was an important part of the work of the EAPO in 2003. A total of 18 experts from 9 states (including 16 experts from 8 EAPC Contracting States) were given on-the-job training in the EAPO in reporting year. An individual approach was applied to each trainee, based on his interests and the on-the-job training plan accepted by EAPO.

In its turn EAPO receives assistance in staff training from the EPO. In 2003 regular seminars, on-the-job training sessions, and professional development courses for the staff of the Eurasian Patent Office (a total of 12 experts) were held with full financial support by EPO.

In order to improve cooperation of the EAPO staff with Eurasian patent attorneys, regular seminars are organized summarizing the experience of applying the EAPC, optimizing the normative and legal base and improving and expediting examinations. Such a seminar with Eurasian patent attorneys took place at the EAPO headquarters in April 2003.

In September 2003 a joint EPO-EAPO conference “Patents and the 21st Century”, with over 100 participants, was held in St. Petersburg (Russia). The heads and staff of both regional offices made presentations.
The regional seminar "Industrial Property – A Tool for Economic Development for the CIS Countries", organized by the State Agency on Industrial Property Protection of the Republic of Moldova (AGEPI), World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), and the Eurasian Patent Organization was held in March 2003 in the City of Chisinau, Republic of Moldova. Representatives of twelve countries of the Eurasian region, of national and regional patent offices, inter-state bodies, and several specialized international non-government organizations and associations, as well as public organizations, participated in the seminar.
EAPO’s staff also participated in the international seminars “Intellectual property, medium, and small business" (Republic of Azerbaijan) and “Intellectual property protection - making it a part of economic exchange” (Ukraine). In 2003 two EAPATIS presentations were held demonstrating its work via the Internet; at the SCIT meeting at WIPO (February), and at the WIPO seminar in Moldova (November). The work done was highly rated at both meetings.

IX. 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.