Government of the Republic of Moldova

STATE AGENCY ON INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

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Brief History

Since the Republic of Moldova gained independence, it was necessary to create an institution with a legal framework in the field of IP.

Thus,  on 25 November 1991, the first President of the Republic of Moldova Mircea Snegur signs the Decree No. 238 on the State Agency for Copyright (ADA) to ensure the protection and legal interests of authors of literary, scientific, artistic works  including  the related rights under the Government.

In the same context, on 25 May 1992 by Presidential Decree no.120 the State Agency on the Protection of Industrial Property(AGEPI)  was established under the Ministry of Economy and Finance of the Republic of Moldova, whose main objective was to protect legally the industrial property in the Republic of Moldova. In 1995, under article 37 of the Law no.461 / 18.05.1995 AGEPI obtained the status of a state enterprise subordinated to the Government  by GD no.743 of 31.12.1996.

According to Government Decision No. 595 of 8 September 1992 on the Approval of the Regulation of the State Agency on Industrial Property Protection of the Republic of Moldova the list of staff positions was approved and from that date the Agency started operating.

In 2004, on September 13, under the Code on science and  innovation, there takes place the merger between the 2 agencies ADA and AGEPI  and the statute and structure of the State Agency on Intellectual Property is approved – AGEPI continues to be  subordinated to the Government.

Ten years later, on 3 July 2014, the Parliament adopted the Law on the State Agency on Intellectual Property which implies changing the statute of the Agency from state institution into public institution, remaining subordinated to the Government.

Over time there were approved a series of laws in the field of legal protection of intellectual property, the first being Law no. 588-XIII of 22.09.1995 on products` trademarks and appellations of origin; Law no. 461-XIII of 18.05.1995 on patents; Law no. 915-XIII of 11.07.1996 on the protection of plant varieties; Law no. 991-XIII of 15.10.1996 on the protection of industrial designs; Law no. 293-XIII of 23.11.1994 on copyright and related rights.

In 2008, due to the development of the national IP system and the tendency to bring the system closer to the European standards there were adopted a series of amended / supplemented laws according to the new trends. We are talking about the laws on the protection of trademarks (no. 38-XVI), plant varieties (39-XVI), inventions (no. 50-XVI), geographical indications, appellations of origin and traditional specialties guaranteed (no.66- XVI); and on 2 July 2010 there was adopted the Law No.139 on Copyright and Related  Rights.

The National Commission on Intellectual Property (hereinafter - Commission) is an advisory body under the Government and is established to coordinate and ensure interaction between ministries and other central administrative authorities as well as holders of intellectual property rights in the activities aimed at developing and strengthening the national system of intellectual property, combating and preventing infringements of intellectual property rights and fighting counterfeiting and piracy in the Republic of Moldova.

In 2011, on May 12, the National Commission on Intellectual Property (NCIP) adopts the structure of the new National Intellectual Property Strategy until 2020, then in 2012 the Government endorses the Strategy.

Beginning with the year 1993, AGEPI initiates work internationally and thereby, on March 11 the Decision on the Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property as well as the Agreement on Measures Concerning the Protection of Industrial Property are adopted. *

* Some conventions, treaties, agreements until the proclamation of independence remained in force, being later approved by the Parliament.

In the same vein, on March 12, 1993 the Agreement on Measures Concerning the Protection of Industrial Property and the establishment of the Interstate Council on Industrial Property Protection (CIS) are signed. In late 1993 the President of the Republic of Moldova signs the Decree on accession to the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs; the Nairobi Treaty on the Protection of the Olympic Symbol and the Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of the Deposit of Microorganisms for the Purposes of Patent Procedure.

In 1995, on June 22 the International Convention for the Protection of the Rights of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organizations (Rome, 1961) as well as the Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (Berne 1886) are ratified.

On September 22, the same year (1995), the Parliament ratifies the Trademark Law Treaty (Geneva) and the Eurasian Patent Convention (Moscow).

In 1995, on March 13 AGEPI signs the Cooperation Agreement with the European Patent Office (EPO) and in February 1996 the Republic of Moldova becomes a member of the Eurasian Patent Convention. In 1997 Moldova decides to accede to the International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV - International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants). In 2000 Moldova accedes to the Madrid Agreement for the Repression of False or Deceptive Indications of Source on Goods and the Lisbon Agreement for the Protection of Appellations of Origin and their International Registration.  In the following year it accedes to the World Trade Organization and implicitly to the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs).

In the context of approximating the national IP system to the European standards, on 26 June 2012, the Republic of Moldova and the European Union sign in Brussels the Agreement on the Protection of Geographical Indications (GIs) for Agricultural Products and Foodstuffs providing for the recognition of Moldovan products with GI and AO on the European market .

In the same year, on 22-23 October, during a visit of the WIPO Director General, Francis Gurry, to Chisinau the Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the Republic of Moldova and the World Intellectual Property Organization on cooperation in the field of IP is signed.

Nationally,  on February 4, 2005 AGEPI signs with the Academy of Sciences of Moldova the Cooperation Agreement on the Promotion and Protection of Intellectual Property and in the following years similar agreements are signed with the Union of Composers and Musicologists, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and BSA, the Broadcasting Coordinating Council etc.

Among the most significant initiations that marked the activity of AGEPI the following can be mentioned:

  • Recording of the first patent application on 26 January 1993 (invention "Soft Drink" claimed by Matveenco Mihail);
  • Registration by the AGEPI of the first patent attorneys (representatives in intellectual property) of the Republic of Moldova (April 24);
  • Appearance of the first issue of the Official Bulletin of Industrial Property (BOPI) on October 30, 1993; 
  • Issuance of the Trademark Registration Certificate No.1 on February 4, 1994 (Integrated Works of Synthetic Leather and Rubber Articles from Chisinau);     
  •  Issuance of Patent No.1 of the Republic of Moldova on May 12, 1994 ( to ensure protection for the manufacturing Process of food additives from vegetal raw material);
  • Issuance of  the Industrial Design Registration Certificate No.1 on January 31,  1995 ( Furniture Factory “Viitorul”);
  • Issuance of  the Utility Model Registration Certificate No.1 on April 30, 1995 ( owner – Emanuil Mitnic);
  • Conduct of the first Symposium "AGEPI Readings", which later becomes an international symposium and is organized every year - October 24, 1997;
  • Conduct of the first edition of the International Specialized Exhibition "INFOINVENT - 99", organized by AGEPI and IEC "Moldexpo" on October 28-31, 1999.
  • Official opening of the Institute of Intellectual Property within  AGEPI on October 1, 2000;
  • Launch of the contest "Brand of the Year" within the  exhibition "Made in Moldova", organized in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the National Association of Manufacturers in April 2000;
  • Launch of a new type of services - pre-diagnosis of intellectual property – a European concept in support of small and medium-sized enterprises,  in January 2009;
  • Launch of the electronic document filing service using the digital signature (June 1, 2009);
  • Establishment of the Observatory on Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) on 29 July 2011.