Annual Technical Report 2007 on Patent Information Activities submitted by Estonia (SCIT/ATR/PI/2007/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

Inventions can be protected as patents or utility models under the Patents Act and the Utility Models Act, which entered into force on 23 May 1994.

In 2007 63 patent applications were filed, including 11 PCT applications, 411 decisions on patent applications were issued and 185 patents were granted, 124 registration applications of a utility model submitted and 66 decisions on utility models were issued and 61 utility models registered. Estonian applicants filed 44 patent applications and 117 registration applications of a utility model. Estonian applicants filed 26 international patent applications for forwarding to WIPO.

The number of pending applications on 31 December 2007 was 1,106 patent and 95 registration applications of utility model.

Since 1 July 2002 the Republic of Estonia is a full member of the European Patent Organization. Since that time it is possible to obtain patent protection in all member states to the Convention by filing a single application under the European Patent Convention. Estonian citizens and residents can file a European patent application via the Estonian Patent Office or directly with the European Patent Organization. From 2002 to 2007 Estonian applicants did not file any European patent applications. European patent applications may be filed with the European Patent Office (EPO) also electronically.

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

Distribution of patent applications filed in 2007 by country of origin was as follows: 14% of the applications came from the member states of the European Union (excluding Estonia), 5% from the U.S.A. and 70% from Estonia. The number of patent applications has fallen due to Estonia's accession to the EPO. In 2003 the number dropped by 15%, in 2004 by 80%, in 2005 by 95%, in 2006 by 94% and in 2007 by 91% compared with 2001 and 2002.

The first European patents entered into force in Estonia in 2004. By the end of 2007 the total number of the European patents validated in Estonia was 1540. The number of the European patents to be validated in Estonia is slowly, but permanently increasing. European patent applications to be forwarded to the European Patent Office had not been filed with the Estonian Patent Office by the end of 2007.

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

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.)

Official Gazettes

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, and ):

The Estonian Patent Office has sent the data since 1994 (bibliographic data,description, mosaics, claims) concerning the granted patents, patent applications and utility models to the database Esp@cenet

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

The Estonian Patent Office continued to issue methodological guides on legal protection of industrial property. Translation into Estonian of the classes and subclasses of the sections of the International Patent Classification started. It is considered to be important to enrich and update the technical Estonian language. During the year the below-mentioned were published:
Section A (Human Necessities);
Section H (Electricity);
Section G (Physics).

On 13 December 2007 the revised Patent Convention entered into force and consequently a compendium of legal acts „European Patent Convention 2000” was published in Estonian.
In 2007 the specialists of the Estonian Patent Office continued to provide free consultations for small-sized entreprises on how to prepare patent and utility model applications.
Year 2007 was the second year of activities for the Small-Sized Enterprise Support Division, which main goal is to raise the awareness of the entrepreneurs and the public in the field of legal protection of intellectual property by arranging seminars, info days, consultations and participating in the fairs.

Mass storage media used (paper, microforms, optical storage, etc.)

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

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

Online publications:

The public databases available on our homepage are:

• database of the Estonian patent applications and patents;
• database of the European patents validated in Estonia;
• database of utility models;

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

The abstracts of the inventions are not published separately. 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.

Applications are classified in accordance with the International Patent Classification IPC.

The Estonian Patent Office has used the Common Software in examination procedures already since 1996. The volume of databases is growing every year. Since 2002 the abstracts and drawings have been computerised in the databases of patents and utility models in addition to the input of bibliographical data. Two additional modules have been created - the module of the supplementary protection of patents and the module for registering the data of PCT/EE applications filed with the receiving office. 5005. the Patent Office took into use the new version 3.2.4. of Common Software.

IV. Search file establishment and upkeep

The collection of patent documents comprises over 52,0 million documents from 26 different countries and 2 organisations on paper carrier (about 2,1 million), in microfilm or microfiche form (about 6 million) and increasingly also on CD-ROM/DVD-ROM (about 43,9 million) and official patent gazettes from 34 countries and 2 organizations. During 2007 about 2,1 million new documents, the majority of them being on CD-ROM/DVD-ROM, were added to the collections.
The search files are arranged partly according to the IPC and partly according to the number of patent document. Usually it depends on the data arrangement on data carrier (are the data sorted by the document number or IPC).
The library collection includes also monographs and reference literature on industrial property protection as well as non-patent literature.
The stock of the legal, scientific and reference literature is arranged according to the common principles employed in the libraries when dealing with book or journal files.

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

Incomplete patent data for internal use are available in CS.

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)

The Estonian Patent Library is an independent library financed from the state budget. It is housed in a building from 1903 originally not meant for library use. During non-business hours it remains locked and is controlled by guards. In addition to that an alarm system was installed in 1996.
The Estonian Patent Library provides services to the general public. As the library 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 library 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 Library is the only library that collects and processes patent literature in Estonia. Library 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 DK (1990-1998)
GLOBALPAT (1971-1998)
German databases:
US databases:
US Patent Search (1975-2004)
US Patents BIB
US Patents Class
US Patents Assist
US Patents & TM Assign
Other countries:
PAJ Patent Abstracts of Japan
Patents of Russia (Full specifications)
Utility models of Russia (1994-2004, first pages)
The inventions protected in the Republic of Moldova 1993 - 2004

The library 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 library 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. Library 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 Library maintains patent document and patent bulletin exchanges with 31 patent issuing authorities mainly from Europe, but also from USA and Japan. In 2004 the Estonian Patent Library received 55 titles of patent journals, 23 titles were acquired by purchase and 32 titles by exchange.
We provide the official publications of the Estonian Patent Office [„Eesti Patendileht” („Estonian Patent Gazette”), „Eesti Kaubamärgileht” („Estonian Trade Mark Gazette”), „Eesti Kasuliku Mudeli Leht” („Estonian Utility Model Gazette”), „Eesti Tööstusdisaini Leht” („Estonian Industrial Design Gazette”)] in paper form to all our exchange partners.
In 2007 we purchased 5 titles of CD/DVD-ROM and obtained 24 titles CD/DVD-ROM by means of exchange.

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)

PATLIB 2007, 14.-17.05.2007, Seville (4 participants):
EPO Patent Information Conference 15.10-18.10.2007, Riga: library (7 participants)
Workshop on additional tasks for PATLIB Centres, 03.12.– 05.12.2007, Vienna (1 participant)
1. IP Awareness and Enforcement: Modular Based Actions for SMEs".
Brussels 29.-30.11.2007 (library 1 participant)
2. Seminar “Intellectual property and SMEs” (Estonian Patent Office), 26.04.2007, Tallinn (library 5 participants)
3. Seminar “IP protection – possibilities and risks” (Estonian Patent Office), 30.10.200176, Tallinn (library 5 participants)
4. Seminar in EPC 2000 (Association of the Estonian Patent Attorneys), 15.08.2007, Tallinn (library 2 participants)

Libraries related:

1. Seminar on Access to digital heritage, 18.-19.10.2007,Tallinn, (1 participant)
2. Summer seminar of Estonian research libraries 11.09.-12.09.2007, Valkla (1 participants)
3. Seminar “Digital memory, 23.11.2007, Tallinn (1 participant)
4. Seminar on terminology, 04.10.2007, Tallinn (1 participant)
5. Congress of Baltic Librarians, 17.–19.05.2007, Tallinn (1 participant)

Customer training activities of the Estonian Patent Library in 2007.

16 training courses “Patent information in the R&D of the company” were carried out among the entrepreneurs and specialists. The courses were arranged in different enterprises and institutions of Estonia. 9 training courses were held for students. The subject matter of these courses is constantly revised and modified.

Promotional activities (seminars, exhibitions, visits, advertising, etc.)
Year 2007 was the second year of activities for the Small-Sized Enterprise Support Division, which main goal is to raise the awareness of the entrepreneurs and the public in the field of legal protection of intellectual property by arranging seminars, info days, consultations and participating in the fairs.
One of the priorities of the division was undoubtedly raising awareness of the entrepreneurs in the counties. So cooperation between the Division and the developing centres of the counties continued in 2007 by arranging info days on intellectual property. In the framework of cooperation info-days were held in Kuressaare and Rakvere.

Info day in cooperation with Jõhvi representation of the Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry was held in Jõhvi in the beginning of the year. The info day was in two parts; the first was in Russian and the second in Estonian.

In 2007 the impact of the seminars held in the classroom of the Estonian Patent Office
rose. There were 4 seminars for the entrepreneurs both in the field of trademarks and inventions as well as a seminar for the students of Business Law of Tallinn College of Tallinn Technical University. Approximately 90 people were trained in the classroom.

Also cooperation with Tallinn City Enterprise Board, which started last year, continued successfully.

Tallinn City Enterprise Board started to provide benefits to the items of industrial property for the grant of patent protection to facilitate getting protection to the innovative solutions of industrial property in foreign countries and to support their application in business in Tallinn in 2006. An Evaluation Committee was established. Two representatives of the Estonian Patent Office participate in its activities. Besides, in case the submitted application requires further examination the Committee of Tallinn City Enterprise Board does cooperation with the examiners of the special field of the Estonian Patent Office.

On 3-4 October a subsequent Tallinn Entrepreneurship Day was celebrated in Tallinn and the Estonian Patent Office participated as a cooperation partner for the second time by arranging 2 seminars: „Make Use of Industrial Property Information and Inventing is Simple!” and „About Trademarks. What is a Trademark? How to Protect It? How to Choose a Trademark not to Have Problems at Registration Later”.

Besides the seminars, also an info centre of the Estonian Patent Office was opened for the entrepreneurs on two days. It provided information on intellectual property, consultations, and official gazettes of the Estonian Patent Office as well as other publications.

This year for the very first time those who were interested had an opportunity to test their knowledge in the field of intellectual property. The best one was awarded.

Traditionally two larger seminars were arranged for the small-sized entrepreneurs in Tallinn.

On 26 April the Estonian Patent Office in cooperation with WIPO celebrated the World Intellectual Property Day for the seventh time by arranging a seminar "Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises and Intellectual Property".

In October the Estonian Patent Office in cooperation with the European Patent Office arranged a seminar "Challenges and Risks at IP Protection" in the Conference Centre of Meriton Grand Hotel in Tallinn. 87 was a record number of participants.

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

contain the Annual Report of the Office

contain patent-related news regarding the Office

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.