Invention/utility model patent applications are filed with the Russian Patent and Trademark Office – the Federal Service for Intellectual Property (Rospatent).
Most of the patent filings received by the RUPTO from foreign applicants are national phases of PCT applications or national applications claiming conventional priority from applications filed in foreign countries. In case the invention was made in Russia, it is required that the first application be filed with Rospatent. (Please refer to the First Filing Requirement/Foreign Filing License section below.)
Sojuzpatent processes patent filings electronically, which ensures a 30% discount off the official fees.
For invention/utility model patent applications, the Russian PTO performs both formal and substantive examinations. For invention patent applications, a separate examination request should be filed no later than 3 years from the filing date (for PCT national stages - from the international filing date). The substantive examination for utility model patent applications is started automatically after the formal examination has been completed.
Most of our patent attorneys have prior experience working as examiners in Rospatent, and their extensive technical knowledge is combined with a deep understanding of the Patent Office’s approaches and requirements.
First Filing Requirement (Foreign Filing License) in Russia
The term “foreign filing license” is not directly mentioned in Russian IP legislation. At the same time, Russian regulations contain provisions similar to those set forth in countries that oblige national applicants to receive special permission before filing patent applications abroad.
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 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.
We will be happy to provide more information and perform an analysis of a specific situation involving the first filing requirement.
At which stage can a Russian invention patent application (PCT national phase) be converted into a utility model application?
An invention patent application (including a PCT national phase) can be converted into a utility model application:
After the grant, the conversion of an invention patent into a utility model patent can be used as a defense strategy during an invalidation proceeding in the RUPTO’s Chamber for Patent Disputes.
It is important that the claimed technical solution be related to a device.
Can the invention’s right of authorship be transferred?
The inventor holds the invention right of authorship, i.e. the right to be legally recognized as the person who made the invention by his or her own creative work. Right of authorship cannot be alienated or transferred. Waiver of author's rights is void. Right of authorship is protected indefinitely.
What is the process for validating a Eurasian patent in the respective countries?
One of the convenient features of the Eurasian patent system is the absence of a separate validation procedure. The patent holder chooses the countries in which the patent should be valid simply by paying the requisite annuities. The annuities are paid to the Eurasian Patent Office, and the patent is automatically valid in all the countries for which the payments have been effected.
And even if a patent is declared invalid in some countries due to non-payment of the annuities, it can be reinstated in any of the countries within three years.
Do foreign applicants need a Russian or Eurasian attorney?
It is mandatory according to Russian legislation that foreign applicants be represented before Rospatent (RUPTO) by a Russian patent attorney who is listed in the Russian Register of Patent Attorneys.
Similarly, for prosecution of a Eurasian patent application, applicants having no residence or principal place of business in the territory of any State party to the Eurasian Convention are required to be represented by a registered Eurasian patent attorney.
To be successfully guided through the intricacies of national and regional regulation and to ensure the widest possible scope of protection, it is important for the applicant to retain an experienced patent attorney skilled in the specific technical field.
Does the Russian Patent Office require metric units in patent applications?
Although in the RUPTO regulation there is a mention that preferably metric units should be used in Russian invention patent applications, there is no prohibition to use imperial or US customary units.
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