On 14 February this year, at the State Agency on Intellectual Property (AGEPI) was held the balance meeting of the activity conducted by the AGEPI staff in 2013, attended by the Administration and representatives of the AGEPI staff and representatives of institutions - members of the National Commission on Intellectual Property: Roman Chirca, Director General of the Agency for Innovation and Technology Transfer, Marcela Stahi, Consultant of the Ecological Products and Products of Origin Service of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry, Corina Rezneac, Specialist of the Cultural Heritage Department of the Ministry of Culture, Pavel Panzari, Director of the Organizational Work of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Stela Lisii, senior consultant of the Communication Policy Department of the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology, Iurie Cater, Head of the Fraud Investigation Direction, General Police Inspectorate. The meeting was led by Lilia BOLOCAN, Director General of AGEPI.
In her opening speech, Lilia Bolocan, Director General of AGEPI, said that 2013 was a fruitful year and full of important events, and the objectives set forth by the Agency were fulfilled.
Among the most important events of the year under review Director General of AGEPI highlighted the following: obtaining by AGEPI of the Certificate of Conformity of the Quality Management System with ISO 9001:2008; implementation of the Project “Electronic Online Submission of IPO Applications”, including online payment of fees; development and launch of the portal www.e-servicii.agepi.gov.md; signing of the Cooperation Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Moldova and the European Patent Organization on Validation of European Patents; organization and conduct of the International Specialized Exhibition “INFOINVENT-2013” and of the Innovation Conference entitled “The Role of Innovations in Enhancing the Competitiveness of the National Economy”, etc.
An important event was also the fact that, in April 2013, entered into force the Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Moldova and the European Union on the Protection of Geographical Indications of Agricultural Products and Foodstuffs.
Speaking of the projects to be implemented in 2014, Director General of AGEPI stopped on complex tasks, such as:
- realization of the Action Plan for implementation of the Agreement between RM and EU on the Protection of GIs of Agricultural Products and Foodstuffs, in common with the Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Customs Service, Agency for Consumer Protection;
- coordination with the EU Delegation to Chisinau of the technical assistance project in the IP field;
- acquisition and implementation of the information system “Collective Management of Copyright and Related Rights”;
- organization with the support of WIPO of a Regional Symposium on IP for judges;
- implementation with WIPO assistance of a project to promote the national system of protection of GIs and AO;
- development with the support of WIPO of the Study on the impact of creative industries on the national economy;
- conduct, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, of the pupil awareness campaign in Chisinau on counterfeiting and piracy phenomena;
- implementation of the TEMPUS TecTNet Project “Technology Transfer Network”.
In their speeches, directors of AGEPI departments presented briefly the most important achievements, including statistical data on the activity of subordinated subdivisions during 2013.
Thus, the statistical data on patenting/registration of intellectual property objects (IPO) demonstrate that, despite the economic difficulties, the community of researchers, inventors, authors and composers, artists and performers of our country is in continuing creative activity.
Of the 6,892 applications for registration of IPO, 275 were related to objects protected by copyright and related rights, and 6,617 applications – to industrial property objects. Most requested IPO remain to be trademarks – 5870 applications, with 421 (8%) more than the previous year, of which 1,547 (26%) – from national applicants and 4,923 (74%) – from foreign ones. Protection of inventions by patents of invention (PI) and short-term patents of invention (STPI) was requested by submission of 309 applications. For industrial designs, the indicators are: 381 applications (120 filed by the national applicants and 261 – by the foreign ones); 43 applications were submitted for plant varieties (39 – by the national applicants and 4 – by the foreign ones); 4 applications for registration of geographical indications (GIs) filed by domestic applicants.
After examination of filed applications, in 2013 were issued 1,655 titles of protection of industrial property objects. It should be mentioned that 1,355 refer to trademarks (by 16/1% less than in 2012), national owners obtaining 783 certificates (58%) and foreign ones – 572 (42%), 184 – to patents of invention (the absolute majority of the titles of protection for inventions was issued to national owners – 180 (98%), of which 54 (30%) appertaining to natural persons and 126 (70%) to legal persons), 25 – to plant varieties, 85 registration certificates for 754 ID, 2 – to appellation of origin and 4 to geographical indications.
Following the examination of applications, in the State Register of objects protected by copyright and related rights were registered 275 objects of copyright and related rights, being issued 266 certificates of registration for different categories of objects. In the year under review, on top of registrations come out literary works (33.0% of the total number), scientific works (21.8%), computer programs (13.4%, compared with 2012 - 6.5%), phonograms (12.7%), musical works (8.3%), works of applied art (2.9%). Most of registrations (96.2%) belong to authors of the Republic of Moldova, and 15 registrations appertain to those from other countries, including from Ukraine (5), Romania (4), Italy (2), Russian Federation (3) and United States of America (1). At the end of 2013, the number of international registrations of AO, notified by the International Bureau of WIPO, has reached 853, of which 835 have received protection in the Republic of Moldova, six have not met the conditions for granting protection, and further 12 are to be examined within the terms stipulated by the Lisbon Agreement.
During the period 1993-2013, AGEPI issued 35,202 titles of protection, including 31,370 titles of protection for industrial property objects and 3,832 titles of protection for objects protected by copyright and related rights.
Altogether, on 31 December 2013 in the Republic of Moldova were valid 4,560 patents, of which 3,578 Eurasian patens (78%).
In 2013, 180 appeals were filed with the Board of Appeals, with 9 (5%) more than the previous year. From the number of filed appeals 10 (5.55%) refer to industrial designs, 1 (0.56%) – to inventions, and the remaining appeals refer to trademarks (93.89%), including 112 (66.27%) – national trademarks and 57 (33.73%) – international trademarks. At the same time, in 2013, with the AGEPI were registered 216 right transfer and IPO pledge contracts (the previous year - 191), including 181 (83.79%) - assignment, 23 (10.64%) - license, 10 (4.62%) - pledge, 2 (0.92%) - franchise contracts. Of the total number of license contracts registered in the year under review, 13 were exclusive licenses and 10 non-exclusive ones. In the period 1994-2013 with the AGEPI were registered 2,287 right transfer and pledge contracts, including 1,970 (86.13%) - assignment, 262 (11.45%) - license, 24 (1.05%) - franchise and 31 (1.35%) - pledge contracts.
The regulatory and legislative activity conducted during 2013 had as its major objective the continued improvement of the legal framework in the field of intellectual property, to ensure the effective implementation of specialized laws, adopted in the context of harmonization of the national legislation and fulfillment of commitments assumed by the Republic of Moldova following the negotiation and signing of international treaties on intellectual property.
Thus, the reference period is marked, in particular, by the commencement of legal initiatives with an important impact on the entire system of protection of intellectual property of the Republic of Moldova, namely promotion of projects: Law on State Agency on Intellectual Property, Law amending and supplementing the Law no. 139 of 02.07.2010 on Copyright and Related Rights, Law approving the National Symbols Associated with Geographical Indications, Appellations of Origin and Traditional Specialties Guaranteed, and Law on Ratification of the World Intellectual Property Organization Treaty on Audiovisual Performances, signed in Beijing on June 24, 2012.
At the same time, in order to create the conditions necessary for the development and consolidation of an adequate legal framework in the field of intellectual property, for 2014 is expected to promote the following normative initiatives: amendment and supplementation of certain legislative acts (Law no. 38 -XVI of 29.02.2008 on the Protection of Trademarks, Law no. 161 -XVI of 12.07.2007 on the Protection of Industrial Designs, Law no. 39 -XVI of 29.02.2008 on the Protection of Plant Varieties, Law no. 50 - XVI of 07.03.2008 on the Protection of Inventions), amendment and completion of the Regulations on the Procedure for Filing, Examination and Registration of Industrial Property Objects and approval by law of the Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Moldova and the European Patent Organization on Validation of European Patents.
With a view to promotion and propagation of intellectual product, underlying the economic development of any country, in 2013, AGEPI conducted a persevering activity on dissemination of knowledge and information in the IP firld. Thus, in the year under review were organized 60 training/upgrading/information events in the field of intellectual property (conferences, seminars, roundtables, training courses) (43 – in Chisinau and 17 – in the territory), including: 7 – for public authorities, 23 – for economic agents, including in the SME sector, 7 – at research institutions, 25 – at universities and 4 – at pre-university institutions, in which were trained about 2,000 persons, both in Chisinau and other districts of the republic.
In the seminars organized for specialists of public authorities were trained over 144 persons (customs - 26, prosecutor’s office – 7, police - 45, Competition Council – 4, justice - 46), the topic being focused on protection and enforcement of IPR, investigation of IPR violation cases, anti-counterfeiting and anti-piracy measures.
Around 910 economic agents, including from small and medium-sized enterprises sector, were familiarized with the role of IP as an economic instrument, modality of registration and use of IPO, ways of enforcement of IPR, etc.
In the seminars organized for representatives of higher education and research institutions of the republic, which were attended by 1,025 persons, were discussed practical aspects on the protection and enforcement of IPRs, the role of patent information in the scientific research process and how to access national and international databases in the field, patentability of inventions, the role of intellectual property, innovation and technology transfer in the development of knowledge-based economy.
Special attention was paid in the year under review to promotion of geographical indications (GIs), appellations of origin (AO) and Traditional Specialties Guaranteed (TSG) among producers in the territory.
To this end, during April-July 2013, AGEPI, in collaboration with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Moldova (CCI) and CCI subsidiaries in the territory, organized 15 seminars to inform economic agents/producers in the territory on the national system of protection of GIs, AO and TSG, the need for registration of products with GI and AO both on national and international way, the benefits and opportunities provided by these objects of intellectual property for economic, social and cultural development of the country, in which have been trained over 400 economic agents/producers from different regions of our country, including Edinet, Drochia, Donduseni, Balti, Rascani, Floresti, Falesti, Soroca, Orhei, Ungheni, Hancesti, Cimislia, Cahul, etc.
At the same time, during the year under review were organized traditional training courses in the field of intellectual property, 12 persons being supposed to get the qualification “Counselor in Intellectual Property”. During the years 2009-2012 – 68 persons have completed the training courses organized by AGEPI.
In 2013, AGEPI has conducted extensive promotional activities on national intellectual property system among economic agents through national and international exhibitions, actively participating in 25 exhibitions, including 19 – national and 6 – international, most of them being conducted at the IEC “Moldexpo” JSC.
The full-sized exhibition event of 2013 was the International Specialized Exhibition “Infoinvent”, thirteenth edition, organized by AGEPI in cooperation with the Academy of Sciences of Moldova, Agency for Innovation and Technology Transfer of ASM and IEC “Moldexpo” JSC. Novelty of the thirteenth edition of the exhibition was to extend the categories of exhibitors and papers presented, thanks to the inclusion of new exhibition compartments, such as: innovation products/services, innovation and technology transfer projects, creation of youth, creative and cultural industries, fact which allowed the participation of both inventors and researchers, and enterprises, including from the small and medium-sized enterprises sector, craftsmen, students , other creative persons in the country.
The current edition of the exhibition was attended by 101 institutions in the sphere of science/innovation, higher and vocational education of the republic and from abroad, and 25 natural persons – inventors, creators, craftsmen.
We should mention that from the modest start in 1997 until the current edition, permanently increased both the number of participants and the inventions exhibited, and the share of special distinctions and prizes awarded to the most valuable achievements, among which we should remark: Award of the Moldovan Government “Most Gifted Inventor”, distinctions of the World Intellectual Property Organization, medals instituted by AGEPI, mentions and diplomas of the Academy of Sciences of Moldova, Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Moldova, UIR “Innovator”, National Council for Accreditation and Attestation, Technical University of Moldova, as well as special prizes and awards of international salons of inventions, whose representatives traditionally attend our exhibition.
Thus, around 450 works presented in the exhibition, distributed into five compartments (inventions, plant varieties and industrial design, innovation and technology transfer projects, creations of youth, new goods and services, crafts and handicrafts), were assessed by the Committee of Experts and the International Jury of the exhibition with the following distinctions: 60 bronze medals, 54 silver medals and 43 gold medals. Also, works presented were assessed with 29 diplomas and special mentions of the exhibition organizers and guests from abroad.
Next, we should mention that the success is largely due to the support our country has benefited and continues to benefit from WIPO, EPO, OEAB and specialized offices in many countries. In the last period was deepened the bilateral cooperation of AGEPI with IP offices from abroad. Thus, representatives from 24 countries have visited Moldova in the international events organized by AGEPI, namely from Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, China, Georgia, Germany, Switzerland, Estonia, Russian Federation, Kazakhstan, Kirgizstan, Great Britain, Netherlands, Romania, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Slovenia, USA, Ukraine, Uzbekistan.
The basic priority in the Agency’s activity remains the receipt and examination of IPO patent/registration applications, filed under the national and international procedure, as well as grant of legal protection of these IPO in our country.