Belarus participates in all major international IP conventions/agreements. Accordingly, patenting in Belarus is consistent with generally accepted international practices.
Belarus’ participation in the Eurasian Patent Convention makes it especially convenient to obtain patent protection in Belarus for applicants who simultaneously envisage patenting in some of the other seven post-Soviet countries that are members of the Convention. Entering the Eurasian PCT regional phase remains the most widely used way of obtaining patent protection in Belarus for international players. Many applicants file Eurasian applications claiming conventional priorities from earlier applications. The Eurasian patent system provides a cost-effective and hassle-free way of obtaining protection in several countries, including Belarus.
However, for those applicants who
a good option is to file an application directly with the Belarussian PTO – the National Center for Intellectual Property (Belgospatent). For applicants wanting to obtain IP protection for mechanical devices, the best solution might be to apply for a utility model patent, an option that is not available in the Eurasian Patent System.
An applicant seeking a Belorussian patent can also claim priority under the Paris Convention or enter the PCT national phase. A utility model patent (instead of an invention patent) can be requested by the applicant when entering the PCT national stage.
Prosecution is conducted in the Belorussian or Russian language. NB! Availability of prosecution in the Russian language helps to avoid extra costs related to translation into the national language in case there is at least one parallel case in another jurisdiction where the Russian language is used: Russia, Kazakhstan, or Uzbekistan.
BELORUSSIAN INVENTION PATENT
Patentable subject matter
A product (in particular, a device, a substance, or a biotech product) or a method, including but not limited to the use thereof for a specified purpose can be protected as an invention in Belarus.
An invention must be novel, inventive and industrially applicable to satisfy the patentability criteria. Absolute novelty is checked for Belorussian patent applications. However, Belarus patent legislation provides for a 12-month grace period from the first disclosure made by the applicant, or with the applicant’s consent before the filing date.
Discoveries, scientific theories and mathematical methods; product appearance only to satisfy aesthetic demands; plans, rules and methods for intellectual, gaming, and business activities, including algorithms and computer programs, are not recognized as inventions in Belarus.
Protection cannot be obtained for anti-social, immoral and antihuman inventions.
Belarus patent examination consists of preliminary (takes 3 months from the filing date) and substantive examinations (to be requested within 3 years from the filing date). Prosecution of a Belorussian patent application takes on average 1.5 - 4 years, depending on the complexity of the examination.
The patent term is 20 years, with an additional 5 years claimable for inventions on medical or agrochemical products and pesticides.
The costs of obtaining a Belorussian patent depend on the volume of the application materials, on the number of independent claims, the total number of claims and the number of priorities claimed. Please provide us with the application particulars so we can calculate the filing costs.
Deadlines for filing patent application in Belarus are:
Belorussian non-resident applicants must be represented by local agents who are registered patent attorneys. Powers of attorneys must be submitted in original within 2 months of filing the patent application with Belgospatent.
Patent filling requirements in Belarus:
Publication of information about a BY patent application takes 18 moths from the filing date or from the priority date, if claimed. Publication of a BY patent application provides provisional legal protection, which allows the claiming of damages for the illegal use of the invention after the patent is granted.
A BELORUSSIAN UTILITY MODEL PATENT protects mechanical devices that are novel and industrially applicable. The patent prosecution takes on average 1 to 2 years. The five-year patent validity term is calculated from the filing date; an additional 5 years of legal protection can be obtained upon request, provided that the official fees have been paid.
Sojuzpatent will help you to file your patent applications with the Belorussian Patent Office in any technical field with assistance of reliable local agents and will help you professionally through each step of the examination and granting. Our attorneys will take on all the substantive issues in every field of art, our state-of-the-art docketing system will help to keep track of the due dates, and our trusted agents will ensure that all the formalities within the Patent Office are fulfilled. We also provide after-grant guidance on annuities, licenses, assignments, recordation of changes, legal enforcement, litigation, negotiations, mediation, and dispute resolution.
Can an inventor file an application for an invention that was disclosed by the inventor in specialized literature earlier?
There is a so-called six month novelty grace period. The disclosure of information relating to the invention by the inventor, applicant or by any person having obtained the information directly or indirectly from them (including when invention is displayed at an exhibition), as a result of which information on the subject matter of the invention has become publically available, does not destroy the novelty of the invention provided that the patent application was filed with the RUPTO within six months from the date of the information disclosure.
Do I have to request a foreign filing license in Russia?
Although a foreign filing license as a separate notion does not exist in Russia, there is still a similar requirement.
In case the invention has been developed in the Russian Federation, the applicant is required by Russian law to file their first application in Russia (direct national filing or international application filed with the RUPTO as the International receiving office).
Any subsequent application can only be filed abroad after a six-month check performed by the Russian Patent Office. The check is meant to reveal state secrets the invention may eventually contain. Rospatent does not issue any special permission to file foreign applications (as compared to the US foreign filing license, when the US PTO issues a corresponding notification). The lapse of said six-month term automatically allows the applicant to file subsequent applications with foreign Patent offices. The term may be reduced by filing a request explaining that the application materials do not contain state secrets. Reduction of the term lies then within Rospatent’s discretion. It may normally be reduced to 3-4 months.
If, in breach of said rule, the applicant files the patent application with a foreign Patent office, Russian law stipulates administrative liability (monetary penalties). At the same time, if, after an unauthorized foreign filing, a state secret is revealed in the invention, both the applicant and the inventor become criminally liable.
To protect one’s technical solution, when is it more appropriate to file an application for an invention, and when for a utility model?
This decision should be made on a case-by-case basis, depending on the subject matter and goals of patenting, as well as taking into account the specifics provided in the table below.
|Object of protection||Product (in particular device, substance, strain of microorganism, cell culture of plants or animals) or method||Device|
|Patentability criteria||Novelty, inventive step, industrial applicability||Novelty, industrial applicability|
|Term of protection||20 years (with a possible extension up to 5 years for inventions relating to such products as a drug, pesticide or agrochemical product, if their use requires a statutory authorization and more than five years have lapsed from the filing date of the patent application to the date of obtaining the first authorization)||10 years|
|Approximate time to obtain a patent||24 – 36 months||6 - 12 months|
As one can see from the table, only a device can be protected as a utility model. At the same time, invention patents grant protection to devices, chemical substances, strains of microorganisms, cell cultures of plants or animals, as well as methods. For example, if there is a need to obtain patent protection for a chemical substance, one should file an application for the invention rather than for the utility model.
As far as a device is concerned, we should point out that one can obtain a utility model patent easier than an invention patent, since the utility model is not required to have the inventive step (unlike the invention). Thus, in order to get a utility model patent, one could take two previously known devices and merely combine them, also proving novelty and industrial applicability. An inventive step is not required in this case.
However, the extent of legal protection of an invention is somewhat broader than the one of a utility model because the assessment of infringement of IP rights includes equivalents doctrine.
When choosing between a utility model and an invention patent, one should also consider the risk of patent invalidation. Since inventions have to satisfy the additional patentability requirement of an inventive step (obviousness), possible invalidation actions can have additional grounds – lack of an inventive step. Therefore, in some cases, utility model patents can be considered as potentially more stable.
How can I invalidate a Eurasian patent?
Within 6 months of the publication of the mention of the grant of a Eurasian patent, any person (non-residents of any contracting state – through a registered Eurasian patent attorney) can file an opposition against the grant of the Eurasian patent to the Eurasian Patent Office. After the 6-month period has expired, the Eurasian patent can be invalidated separately in each of the contracting states according to the national procedures. In Russia, for example, the nullity action, in most cases, should be filed with the Russian PTO, the decision of which is appealable to the Court for Intellectual Property Rights.
How is it possible to speed up prosecution of patent applications in Russia?
One of the ways to accelerate patent prosecution in Russia is the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH). Currently, the Russian Patent and Trademark Office (RUPTO) has pilot PPH programs with the European Patent Office and the Patent Offices of Japan, US, Korea, Finland, Spain, Denmark, China and Portugal. According to the signed agreements, RUPTO’s patent examiners will take into consideration PCT and national/regional work products. Filing the PPH request, the client may count on receiving fewer office actions and consequently decreasing the term of prosecution.
Another way is the RUPTO’s paid service allowing the applicant to receive the search report within 10 working days. The search results allow decreasing to two months the term of issuing the first office action or the decision of grant. The official tariff charged for this service amounts to 94,400 RUR.
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