On February 16 this year, at the State Agency on Intellectual Property (AGEPI) was held the meeting on summing up the Agency’s activities during 2016.
The event was attended by the Administration of AGEPI, President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry and representatives of public authorities and institutions, members of the National Intellectual Property Commission: Customs Service, Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry, Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Information Technology and Communications Ministry of Education, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Consumer Protection Agency, Agency for Innovation and Technology Transfer, Executive Committee of ATU Gagauzia, UIR “Innovator”, patent attorneys and specialists of AGEPI.
The meeting was moderated by the Deputy Director General of AGEPI, Andrei Popa, and Director General of AGEPI, Octavian Apostol presented the report on the main results obtained by AGEPI in 2016, the most important events, realized projects and priorities of the year 2017.
In the opening, AGEPI Director General thanked the guests for their presence and said that the reporting meeting is a great opportunity to have at the same table representatives of the authorities from the national system of intellectual property. Octavian Apostol stressed that 2016 was a year of challenges, which the Agency’s team turned into opportunities.
Among the most important priorities set for 2016 were: AGEPI transformation into a transparent, efficient and effective institution; strengthening the system for collective management of copyright and related rights; support for patenting abroad; promotion of the system of geographical indications; raising the level of culture in the field of intellectual property and international cooperation.
Thus, in the year under review, AGEPI has been re-certified according to ISO 9001:2008 in the field of quality management, which ensures that the Agency’s services meet the quality requirements prescribed by documentation drawn up in accordance with international standards.
In 2016, a significant step towards transparency was filling in of national databases managed by AGEPI with a new functionality: publication of all notifications and decisions adopted or issued by AGEPI on registration or rejection of registration of a trademark or an industrial design. The purpose of publication of such information is to ensure transparency of procedures performed within AGEPI and to facilitate the rapid access of applicants, patent attorneys to the information held and decisions taken by the State Agency on Intellectual Property.
One of the priorities assumed last year was also the creation of a modern Consultancy Center. It was performed the migration from traditional telephony to IP telephony and the development of a Call Center, which aims at facilitating the access of applicants to information and improving the quality of services provided by AGEPI.
Another important achievement was reducing the time limits for examination and registration of trademarks. If, according to the laws in force, the trademark registration procedure lasts 12 months, AGEPI has managed to optimize this procedure and reduce the required time limit by 4 months and now, if a file is completed correctly, the applicant may obtain a trademark registration certificate in eight months.
In 2016, the number of national applications for registration and renewal of intellectual property objects filed online with the AGEPI recorded a significant increase. Thus, during the reporting period were submitted online 1,521 applications, i.e., double compared to 2015, when there were registered 746 applications online. Last year, with the AGEPI, 42% of all applications for registration and renewal of intellectual property objects were filed electronically.
IPO patenting/registration activity was during the period under review as well the basic concern of the Agency. Thus, in 2016, the AGEPI received 5,680 applications for the registration of intellectual property objects, including 4,478 (78.8%) applications for the registration of trademarks; 288 (5%) applications for the registration of industrial designs; 311 (5.5%) and 22 (0.4%) patent applications for inventions and plant varieties, accordingly; 298 (5.3%) applications for the grant of protection to geographical indications and appellations of origin and 283 (5%) applications for the registration of objects protected by copyright and related rights.
In 2016, AGEPI insisted on strengthening the system for collective management of copyright and related rights, with the view of implementing functional mechanisms of equitable sharing of royalties and ensuring transparency in this area. For this purpose, it was initiated the project for amending the Law No. 139/2010 regarding the collective management of economic copyright and/or related rights, amendment that will ensure connection to the provisions of the European directive in this area. It were also approved new rules for executing controls on the activity of collective management organizations (CMO) and were executed five general controls on CMO activity, the results of which were published on the AGEPI website.
Given the importance of promoting science and innovation in the Republic of Moldova and involving innovational and scientific results in the Global Circuit Innovations, on AGEPI initiative, by Government Decision No. 805 of 06.28.2016 was approved the Regulation on Support for Patenting Abroad of Inventions and Plant Varieties created in the Republic of Moldova, in force since July 2016. Thus, AGEPI provides financial support of up to three thousand euros for supporting patenting abroad of inventions and plant varieties.
Particular attention was paid to support for participation of Moldovan inventors in international exhibitions. With the support of AGEPI, in 2016, there were promoted 287 scientific and innovational results at 9 international exhibitions of inventiveness (Romania, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, Poland, and Serbia). The financial contribution of AGEPI was nearly 300 thousand lei.
Last year major efforts were made to promote the system of protection of geographical indications and products with geographical indications and appellations of origin among both domestic producers and consumers in the European market. Thus, at present, under the RM-EU Association Agreement, whereby the parties have undertaken mutually to recognize and protect geographical indications originating in their territories, six geographical indications of Moldova enjoy protection throughout the EU without people from Moldova paying any fees for the registration procedures, which constitutes an important instrument for promoting on the international market the domestic producers (Ciumai/Чумай, Romanesti, Codru, Stefan Voda, Valul luiTraian, Divin).
Also, in 2016, AGEPI has sent to the address of the European Commission the unique documents for the initiation of providing protection in the EU to another 2 geographical indications of the Republic of Moldova (Apricot Brandy of Nimoreni and Rose Petal Jam of Calarasi).
At the same time, we should mention that in 2016, on 11 April, the Republic of Moldova signed the Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement on appellations of origin and geographical indications, adopted at the Diplomatic Conference convened in 2015. After the entry into force of the Geneva Act, it will also be ensured the procedure for protection of geographical indications by international route.
The activity on promotion and development of an advanced culture in intellectual property constitutes one of the objectives of the National IP Strategy until 2020 and a priority of AGEPI.
During 2016, the Agency continued to inform and educate civil society, to teach, train and improve the skills of the staff in the field, being organized over 100 events (conferences, seminars, workshops, and training courses) for the various target audiences: businessmen, judges, representatives of public authorities, researchers, breeders, students, pupils, journalists, etc.
Also, AGEPI paid increased attention to activities supporting and promoting creativity and inventiveness of young generation, engaging in organizing or participating as a partner in several thematic contests, jointly with other public and undergraduate and graduate institutions in the country. Among the most important promotional events in 2016 are national contests “Best Innovative Pupil”, economic Contest “Today a Student, Tomorrow an Entrepreneur”, Business Ideas Gala, National Contest of Sciences and Engineering “Mold SEF”, Contest “Creative Business Cup Moldova”, etc.
The international activity of AGEPI in the field of intellectual property was carried out in accordance with the priorities set for 2016, both at the office and country level, as determined by international and regional developments in the field of IP, as well as by the European integration process in which the Republic of Moldova has been engaged.
AGEPI specialists continued their efforts to modernize the system of protection of intellectual property rights internationally, but also to implement the RM-EU Association Agreement and the Agreement on the Establishment of a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area with the European Union (DCFTA) related to the field of IPR.
Extension of international, regional and bilateral cooperation in the field of intellectual property aimed at increasing the visibility and ensuring the integration of Moldova into the international and European intellectual space, and was one of the priorities of the national system of protection and enforcement of IP rights in 2016. There were strengthened the relations in the field with both community organizations and national offices in the EU Member States.
Republic of Moldova’s approximation to the European Patent Organization (EPO) and signing on 16 October 2013 of the Agreement on Validation of European Patents was an important step for our country’s integration into the European patents space. Thus, following the entry into force on 1 November 2015 of the Validation Agreement, foreign applicants can validate their European patent applications and European patents in our country, these benefiting from the same rights and legal protection as national patents issued in the Republic of Moldova. In 2016, there were submitted the first 12 applications for validation by applicants from the USA, Italy, China, Germany, etc. Also in 2016 it was signed the AGEPI-EPO Joint Action Plan for the years 2016-2017.
We should note that in 2016 ended two of the assistance projects in which AGEPI participated as a beneficiary or partner, namely: Study on the Economic Impact of the Creative Industries in the Republic of Moldova, developed with the support of WIPO (beneficiary) and TecTNet TEMPUS Project “Technological Transfer Network” (partner).
At the same time, in 2016 were launched 2 projects of EU assistance that will contribute to strengthening the national system of intellectual property: VIP4SME Project “Value IP for SMEs” under Horizon Programme 2020, in which RM is a party and EU Technical Assistance Project “Support to Enforcement of IP Rights in RM” to be implemented in the next two years.
In 2017, AGEPI will be guided with perseverance by its mission to promote policies on intellectual property and streamline the system of protection of intellectual property objects that encourages technological progress, stimulate creativity and contribute to economic, social and cultural development of the Republic of Moldova.
Among the many activities planned for 2017, AGEPI Director General Octavian Apostol mentioned the following: National Campaign “Stop Piracy and Counterfeiting” in high schools, schooling librarians with the view of creating and developing info-documentation centers in the field of IP in public libraries, members of the network NOVATECA, promoting intellectual property among SMEs, improving training programs in the field of IP, etc.
There were also announced the main events that are already set for this year: World Intellectual Property Day on April 26; 25th anniversary of the establishment of AGEPI, which will take place on 8 September; Regional Symposium on Collective Management of Copyright and Related Rights, 7-8 September; International Specialized Exhibition “INFOINVENT”, 15-18 November; Innovative International Conference, 15-16 November, etc.
Finally, AGEPI Director General stressed that what was presented in the report is first the joint, synergic and collective effort of the AGEP team I. Octavian Apostol thanked the experts for their involvement and efforts to achieve the objectives of AGEPI.
Video images of the event can be found here: https: //www.privesc.eu/Arhiva/73471/Prezentarea-raportului-anual-de-acti ...