This article was originally published on IAM Media.
In September 2019 a conference on adopting the Protocol on the Protection of Industrial Designs in Eurasia was held in Nur-Sultan (formerly Astana), the capital of Kazakhstan. The member states of the Eurasian Patent Convention (EAPC) – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan – discussed the possibility of introducing a unitary Eurasian industrial design regime. As a result of the meeting, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia signed the protocol.
When the protocol enters into effect, Eurasian industrial design patents will be valid on the territories of those Eurasian Patent Office (EAPO) contracting states that become party to the protocol. The intended Protocol to the EAPC on the Protection of Industrial Designs is already available on the EAPO official website, which states that the duration of a Eurasian patent for an industrial design is five years from the filing date of an application. Further extensions of five years are available on request, although the total term of validity of an industrial design registration cannot exceed 25 years from the application's filing date. Further, the protocol indicates that it will be possible to convert a Eurasian industrial design application into a national application, if necessary.
Unfortunately, it is not yet known how much a Eurasian design application will cost. However, it is expected that official fees for filing such applications will substantially surpass the corresponding fees of the Russian Patent and Trademark Office – Rb1,700 (approximately $25) plus Rb700 (approximately $10) for each additional design. The exact date when applications will begin to be accepted is also unclear, but is expected to be by the end of this year.
It's worth noting that the scope of services offered by EAPO continues to expand and point to new opportunities. Applicants will be able to file Eurasian industrial design applications directly at the EAPO on payment of a single official fee, which means that the design registration procedure will be simplified and unitary patents will be valid on the territories of several contracting states.