Author: dr. Jacekas Antulis, Associated Partner, Head of the Patent Division at METIDA
The Eurasian Patent Organization (EAPO) is a regional organization set up by the Eurasian Patent Convention (EAPC) which covers the large regional Eurasian market with the following member states: Russia, Belarus, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan. The Eurasian Patent Convention (EAPC) was signed on September 9, 1994 in Moscow, Russia and entered into force on 12 August 1995.
The criteria of patentability for the Eurasian legislation correspond to PCT regulations, European Patent Convention (EPC), and the legislation of developed countries. Regional phase entry for PCT applications is 31 months for an invention under PCT Article 39. The Eurasian Patent Convention (EAPC) enables the applicant to obtain a patent in 8 countries on the basis of a single application via a single, harmonized procedure in one language (Russian) before the Eurasian Patent Office (EAPO). In each contracting state, the proprietor of the Eurasian patent gains the same rights as he would with a national patent.
The main advantages of the Eurasian Patent System (EAPS) are the following:
- The EAPO gives a generous set of flexibilities during the pending period of a Eurasian patent application (easier deadline restoration terms, possibilities to prolong some terms and deadlines, a flexible procedure-accelerating mechanism);
- The duration of the Eurasian patent grant procedure is rather short, approximately 1-2 years only;
- As the official language of the Eurasian Patent Organization is only Russian, it provides a chance to avoid any translation costs and misunderstandings;
- No indication of countries during the filing of the application or prosecution of the application is required;
- Unitary patent system: after the granting of the patent it need not be validated by national authorities;
- Easy maintenance of the Eurasian patent by paying all annuities to EAPO. When paying annuities the applicant may select contracting states where the patent should be maintained.
During last years one of the biggest advantage of EAPS was reduced official fees (up to 80%) for applicants – natural persons and legal entities (companies) – from the many countries around the world such as Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, China, Ukraine, The Czech Republic and others, with annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita income below 3000 USD.
However, starting from January 1, 2015 the Rule 40(4) of EAPC has been changed. Also the list of countries, which can apply reduced official fees, has been updated, so now there are even 2 lists of countries. The updated Rule 40(4) is valid only for new Eurasian patent applications, i.e.: which are filed after January 1, 2015. The Eurasian patent applications, filed before January 2015, can still use the old tariffs during the all way of its development.
The main difference, that was before January 1, 2015 and after it, is that the list of countries, from which legal entities (companies) may use the tariff with reduced official fees, is strongly cut. Nevertheless, the list of countries, from which natural persons may use the tariff with reduced fees, is practically unchanged.
In the EAPO website you can find two lists of the counties where:
- Natural persons and Legal entities pay fees at the provisional reduced tariff;
- Only natural persons pay fees at provisional reduced tariffs if they are citizens and have permanent residence on the territory.
Thus, if you have commercial interest to extent your patent application in Eurasian region or in some country (Russia, Belarus, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan) of that region, please contact us for the best solution in each particular case.