National system of intellectual property. Stages of formation and development 1992 — 2012
The establishment of the National System of Intellectual Property was the integral part of the Belarusian Statehood in 1991. It included the formation of appropriate legislation and infrastructure connected with creation, protection and usage of intellectual property objects.
The State Patent Office of the Republic of Belarus under the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus (Belgospatent) was founded due to the Council of Ministers Regulation № 199 from April 9, 1992 for the purposes of formation and implementation of economic, legal and technical policy in the sphere of industrial property.
In July of 1992 the Statute of the State Patent Office of the Republic of Belarus under the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus was adopted by the Council of Ministers Regulation № 472, as well the Republican Scientific and Technical Library, 95% of funds, which consisted of patent documents, Minsk Consultation-and-Educational Center of All-union Institute of Advanced and Personnel Training in the sphere of industrial property protection were given in charge of the National Patent Office.
The first director of the National Patent Office was Valery Kudashov.
In February of 1993 the Supreme Soviet of the Republic of Belarus passed the laws “On Patents for Inventions”, “On Patents for Industrial Designs”, “On Trademarks and Service marks”.
The formation of laws and other regulatory legal acts in the sphere of intellectual property protection was carried out in compliance with requirements of international treaties and agreements, which the Republic of Belarus was actively acceding to. In April of 1993 Belarus became a party to the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property (1883), Patent Cooperation Treaty (1970), Madrid Agreement concerning the International Registration of Marks (1891). In May of 1995 Belarus ratified the Eurasian Patent Convention.
In November of 1992 the admission of applications for inventions, industrial designs and trademarks began. For the lack of infobase at the initial stage, the applications for inventions, which have undergone the preliminary examination, were sent to the Federal Institute of Intellectual Property of the Russian Federation for carrying out the information retrieval, at the end of which the substantive examination was made.
In 1994 the issue of official bulletins which contained the information about the protected objects of industrial property in Belarus began.
In February of 1993 the Interim Statute on Patent Attorneys was adopted by the Supreme Soviet of the Republic of Belarus Regulation № 62. Together with the elaboration of this document the training of first patent attorneys was provided. In 1993 as a result of certification 29 patent attorneys were registered.
In September of 1994 according to the Decree of the President of the Republic of Belarus № 122 the State Patent Office of the Republic of Belarus under the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus was reorganized by integrating it into the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Belarus. The State Patent Office (Belgospatent) with rights of a legal entity was founded by this ministry in its framework. The Committee on Copyrights and Related Rights which was founded in 1992 as the Department under the Council of Ministers has been also placed under the authority of the Ministry of Education and Science. This made it possible to connect two spheres of intellectual property within the framework of one ministry.
In January of 1995 the Republican Scientific and Technical Library got out of Belgospatent control.
In 1995 the Law “On Patents for Plant Varieties” was added to the main set of patent laws. The first patents for plant varieties were granted in 1999.
In November of 1995 the Appeal Board under Belgospatent was founded for the purpose of considering complaints about the results of examination and disputes about issued documents of protection.
In January of 1997 in compliance with the Decree of the President of the Republic of Belarus № 30 the State Patent Office of the Ministry of Education and Science was transformed into the State Patent Committee of the Republic of Belarus (Belgospatent).
The Statute about the State Patent Committee of the Republic of Belarus, which was adopted by the Council of Ministers Regulation № 322 from April 11, 1997 determined Belgospatent competence.
In 1998 the amendments and additions to the Law of the Republic of Belarus from January 13, 1995 “On the Judicial System and Status of Judges of the Republic of Belarus”, which cover the establishment of the Judicial Board on Patent Cases in the Supreme Court of the Republic of Belarus, were made.
In 2000 in compliance with the Decree of the President of the Republic of Belarus № 152 from March 23, 2000 and the Regulation of the Plenum of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Belarus № 1 from March 30, 2000 the composition of the Judicial Board on Patent Cases was formed.
In 1997 the Law “On Patents for Inventions and Utility Models” was adopted. In 1998 the Law “On Legal Protection of Topographies of Integrated Circuits” was adopted.
In 1999 the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus, which covers the criminal responsibility for infringement of copyrights, patent and related rights, was adopted. In 2001 the provisions on intellectual property protection concerning the movement of goods across the customs border of Belarus were added to the Customs Code.
In December of 2000 the Programme of Cooperation between the Government of the Republic of Belarus and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) was signed.
In 2001 the Rules for recognizing well-known trademarks were passed. In September of 2002 the trademark “Milavitsa” (“Мiлавiца”) was recognized as the first well-known trademark on the territory of the country.
It should be mentioned, at that time despite the status of the National Patent Office its staff had to solve plenty of problems, which were caused by the lack of appropriate material and technical basis and by the importance of centralized placement of Belgospatent structural departments, including the creation of a common automated system of technical processes.
The problem about the establishment of the state invention examination fund all in all was solved at the beginning of 2000s, that made it possible to carry out the whole volume of work connected with information retrieval.
In September of 2001 in compliance with the Decree of the President of the Republic of Belarus № 516 the State Patent Committee of the Republic of Belarus was reorganized into the state institution called “The National Centre of Intellectual Property (NCIP)” in the framework of the Science Committee under the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus. The National Centre of Intellectual Property got the functions of the Committee on Copyrights and Related Rights under the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Belarus, which was abolished by that Decree.
In July of 2002 the Law “On Geographical Indications” was adopted, according to which the legal protection for one more object of industrial property – the appellation of origin – was given in the Republic of Belarus. In December of 2002 the new Law “On Patents for Inventions, Utility Models and Industrial Designs” was passed.
Taking into account the strategic and interdepartmental role of intellectual property in the development of economy, based on knowledge, in March of 2003 by the Government Regulation № 403 the Commission on Rights Protection and Countermeasure for Infringements in the sphere of intellectual property under the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus was established, that made it possible despite the decrease of the Patent Office status to ensure appropriate dynamics of the development of the intellectual property system in country’s branches and regions.
In February of 2004 NCIP became subordinate to the State Committee on Science and Technology of the Republic of Belarus by the Decree of the President of the Republic of Belarus № 66.
According to this Decree, NCIP ensures the protection of rights on intellectual property objects and carries out the functions of the Patent Office, which were determined by the legislation.
In May of 2004 the Statute about The National Centre of Intellectual Property was adopted by the Council of Ministers Regulation № 641, which determined the main aims and functions of the Patent Office.
The development and acceptance of the State Programme on Intellectual Property Protection for 2004 – 2006 (adopted by the Council of Ministers Regulation № 843 from July 12, 2004) and the State Programme on Intellectual Property Protection for 2008 – 2010 (adopted by the Council of Ministers Regulation № 1555 from November 21, 2007) by the Council of Ministers was the important stage at formation and implementation of the state and sectoral policy in the sphere of intellectual property in Belarus.
The process and results of the implementation of the state programmes were discussed at the meetings of the Commission on Rights Protection and Countermeasure for Infringements in the sphere of intellectual property under the Council of Ministers, where the Heads of the republican authorities took part.
In the course of implementation of these programmes the important work in improvement of the legislation and development of the sectoral and regional policy in the sphere of intellectual property were made. It included the creation of the appropriate departments in the organizations and the support of the monitoring of the protection of intellectual property objects concerned the national entities in the country and abroad.
For the purposes of reveal and encouragement of the best practice in the field of creation, protection and lawful usage of intellectual property objects NCIP introduced the practice of holding contests “The best organization of inventive activity and management of intellectual property” and “The best organization of activity in the sphere of copyrights and related rights”.
The development of the educational and methodical support was the key question in the increasing of efficiency in the usage of intellectual property objects.
In 2004 the Protocol on Cooperation between WIPO and NCIP in the issues for staff training in the sphere of intellectual property was signed and implemented on the basis of the Programme of Cooperation between the Government of the Republic of Belarus and WIPO. In 2005 The Interdepartmental Scientific and Methodological Council in the Issues of Education in the sphere of intellectual property was founded. Due to the close cooperation between NCIP and the Ministry of Education the compulsory course “The basics of the Intellectual property management” was introduced in all institutions of higher education of the country from 2006 – 2007. In 2006 the Agreement on the provision of educational services between NCIP and the Russian State Academy of Intellectual Property (the fundamental organization of the member states of CIS in staff training and retraining in the sphere of intellectual property) was concluded. In 2010 the speciality “The intellectual property management” was introduced in the Belarusian National Technical University for purposes of staff retraining.
In 2005 the Patent Office began to hold an annual contest of student works in the sphere of intellectual property.
In 2006 the consultation-and-methodical centres in the sphere of intellectual property were opened in all administrative regions and in Minsk. About 7 thousand individuals and legal entities per year use their services.
From 2006 NCIP implements the self-financing activity, which includes providing a wide range of patent information and educational-and- methodical services.
By 2011 17 methodical recommendations on key aspects of intellectual property protection and management had been prepared and offered to the interested parties.
For the purposes of improving the information-and-methodical support for creating and using trademarks, inventions and industrial designs such aids as “The creation of trademarks”, “Inventing the future”, “The intention for perfection” were prepared and sent to all ministries, concerns and other organizations concerned.
The professional-and-methodical information on key aspects of intellectual property protection and management is published in a theoretical and practical journal “Intellectual property in Belarus”, which NCIP began to publish in 1998. The President of the Republic of Belarus emphasized its importance for liquidation of the gap between the intellectual property legislation and the practice of its usage in his address to readers. In 2007 the journal was included in the List of scientific publications of the Republic of Belarus for publishing the results of thesis researches on economics and intellectual property rights.
The official website of the Patent Office plays an important role in information-and-methodical ensuring intellectual property protection and management, which began to work from 2004 (25 thousand appeals from 50 countries per year).
Based on the growing role of the intellectual property in ensuring competitiveness and economic national security, NCIP carries out the work for the increase of return of invested resources to the scientific and technological activity and development of the intellectual property market.
From 2007 NCIP implements the discovery and selection of promising inventions, also carries out the project called “Intellectual property exchange”.
The protection of author’s rights is one of the most overriding orientations in the sphere of intellectual property.
From 2006 NCIP implements the collective management of property rights of authors or other rightholders.
In September of 2007 NCIP began to provide services to persons concerned for voluntary registration of computer programs.
In October of 2009 the Decree of the President of the Republic of Belarus № 510 entrusted to NCIP the control of the observance of intellectual property legislation.
By January 1, 2012 the Patent Office have registered 15,730 inventions, 8,095 utility models, 2,326 industrial designs, 318 plant varieties, 48 topographies of integrated circuits, 125,027 trademarks and service marks, 5 appellations of origin, 5,848 license agreements and assignment agreements in the sphere of intellectual property. The Appeal Board under the Patent Office had considered 736 complaints, objections and applications.
The total amount of Belarusian authors and other rightholders, property rights of which NCIP manages on a collective basis, was 3,328. The total amount of clients, who have the current agreements with NCIP and make regular payments of remuneration for inventions, is 1,202. NCIP concluded agreements on mutual representation of interests with collective management organizations from 32 countries.
The cooperation with international and regional organizations (WIPO, the European Patent Office, the Eurasian Patent Office) and other foreign Patent Offices is actively developing.
The Republic of Belarus is a party to 16 multilateral international treaties and agreements in the sphere of intellectual property, which function under the auspices of WIPO.
Our country has also become a party to a number of multilateral agreements in the sphere of intellectual property protection, concluded within the CIS and EurAsEC.
In December of 2010 in the course of establishing the Common Economic Space of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia the Agreement on common regulatory principles in the sphere of intellectual property protection was signed, which came into force in January 1, 2012.
In September of 2011, in Minsk, the joint meeting of the Interstate Council on Industrial Property Protection (MGS OPS) and Joint Working Commission of the member-states of the Agreement on Cooperation to Suppress Violations in the Field of Intellectual Property took place.
The meeting of the Interstate Council on Industrial Property Protection was the planning meeting of the Interstate Council because of the coming into force of the Agreement on Cooperation in the Field of Legal Protection of Intellectual Property and establishing of the Interstate Council on Intellectual Property Protection from November 19, 2010.
From 2011 with the participation of WIPO and the Eurasian Patent Office the Program for Complex Modernization of Automated Systems of NCIP is implemented, that will make it possible to reduce the term, which is necessary for considering the incoming application on intellectual property object, to come to the electronic document management and to create a wide range of online services in order to satisfy the needs of NCIP clients to the full.
The aims of further development of the National Intellectual Property System are determined by the National Strategy of the Republic of Belarus in the sphere of intellectual property for 2012 – 2020 (adopted by the Council of Ministers Regulation № 205 from March 2, 2012) and by Primary Measures for its implementation.
Thus, today we can say with certainty, that for the short period of time in terms of history the National Centre of Intellectual Property laid the necessary foundation for solving the problems in the sphere of intellectual property, which become more complicated and large-scale, in order to enhance the economic potential of the Republic of Belarus.