Annual Technical Report on Patent Information Activities in 2002 submitted by Estonia (SCIT/ATR/PI/2002/EE)

Click here to print the ATR form.

The term "patent" covers utility models and Supplementary Protection Certificates (SPCs).

Offices which issue design patents should report their design patent information activities in their Annual Technical Reports on Industrial Design Information Activities.

I. Evolution of patent activities
In 2002, 719 patent applications were filed and 504 decisions on patent applications were made, 72 applications for registration of utility models were filed and 69 utility models were registered. 9 international patent applications for forwarding to WIPO were submitted to the office by the Estonian applicants.

On December 31, 2002, 2,667 patent applications and 51 utility model registration applications were pending.

Since July 1, 2002, the Republic of Estonia is a full member of the European Patent Organization. As from that date it is possible to apply, under the European Patent Convention, for legal protection of an invention in the member states of the Convention with a single European patent application. Estonian citizens and residents can file an European patent application via the Estonian Patent Office or directly with the European Patent Office. In 2002 no European applications were filed by Estonian applicants.

Patent protection is granted to inventions belonging to all fields of science and technology, including medicinal products. Patent protection is not granted to plant or animal varieties and to methods for treatment of the human or animal body and diagnostic methods practiced on the human or animal body.

In 2002, the division of filed patent applications was the following: 63% were filed by applicants from the European Union member states, 19% by applicants from the USA and 2,6% by Estonian applicants.

In 2002, Estonian applicants filed 96% and Finnish applicants filed 2,7% of the total number of utility model registration applications.
II. Matters concerning the generation, reproduction, distribution and use of primary and secondary sources of patent information
The main official publication concerning the patents is The Estonian Patent Gazette in the Estonian Patent Office.

Mass media uses paper as a data carrier.

Word processing is mainly based on personal computers.

Techniques as recording, microfilming and photocomposing are not in use.
III. Matters concerning abstracting, classifying, reclassifying and indexing of technical information contained in patent documents
The abstracts of the inventions are not published separately. In the Patent Gazette there are published the most important bibliographic data (including patent classification, excluding abstracts and figurative accessories) of the patent applications laid open to public inspection after the lapse of 18 months from the filing date and bibliographic data (including patent classification, abstracts and figurative accessories) of the granted patents. The first pages of patent specifications contain the abstracts in Estonian and in English.

Applications are classified in accordance with the International Patent Classification.

The Estonian Patent Office has used the Common Software in examination procedures already since 1996. The volume of databases is growing every year. Since 2002, the abstracts and drawings have been computerised in the databases of patents and utility models in addition to the input of bibliographical data. Two additional modules have been created - the module of the supplementary protection of patents and the module for registering the data of PCT/EE applications filed with the receiving office. At the end of 2002, the Patent Office took into use the new version 3.2.2. of Common Software.

Bibliographic data of filed patent applications by the Estonian Patent Office are available for patent examiners in an internal computer database. Full-text processing is not possible.
IV. Search file establishment and upkeep
The collection of patent documents comprises over 46,7 million documents from 26 different countries and 2 organisations (on paper carrier (about 4 million), in microfilm or microfiche form (about 7 million) and increasingly also on CD-ROM/DVD-ROM (about 35,3 million) and official patent gazettes from 34 countries and 2 organizations. During 2002 about 3,3 million new documents, the majority of them being on CD-ROM/DVD-ROM, were added to the collections.
The search files are arranged partly according to the IPC and partly according to the number of patent document. Usually it depends on the data arrangement on data carrier (are the data sorted by the document number or IPC).

The library collection includes also monographs and reference literature on industrial property protection as well as non-patent literature.
The stock of the legal, scientific and reference literature is arranged according to the common principles employed in the libraries when dealing with book or journal files.
V. Activities in the field of computerized and other mechanized search systems
By the end of 2002, the Estonian Patent Office had 78 modern workplaces which were integrated in the local network and supplied with e-mail and the Internet connection. Today the Information Technology Department administers 4 servers (those of databases, e-mail, Acsepto and web). Considering the possibilities offered by new developments in this field and the increasing information needs the Internet connection between the Patent Office and the Internet service provider was increased to the speed of 2 Mbit/s at the beginning of 2002.

Administrative management systems concerning patent applications/granted patents are based on Common Software. Data concerning legal status, statistics and working order will be processed by specially arranged and programmed sub-files. Incomplete patent data for internal use are available in CS.

Working terminals of one's own have been created for all of the employees.
VI. Administration of the industrial property office library and services available to the public (relating to facilities, e.g., for lodging applications, for assisting clients on searching procedures, for obtaining official publications and registry extracts)
The Estonian Patent Library is an independent library financed from the state budget. It is housed in a building from 1903 originally not meant for library use. During non-business hours it remains locked and is controlled by guards. In addition to that an alarm system was installed in 1996.

The Estonian Patent Library provides services to the general public. As the library works in close cooperation with the Estonian Patent Office its main task is to serve the examining and professional staff of the Estonian Patent Office. The library acquires, processes and maintains patent documents, patent gazettes and other patent and non-patent literature. The older part of the collections is on paper, microfilm or microfiche. Now the majority of patent documents are on CD/DVD-ROMs. The library collections are acquired by purchases (the financial resources for it are allocated from the state budget) and by exchange of publications with other industrial property offices under international agreements.

The Estonian Patent Library is the only library which collects and processes patent literature in Estonia. Library participates in the interlibrary lending at the national or the international level. Lending requests are satisfied by e-mail, ordinary mail or by fax.

The patent and trademark gazettes as well as reference literature are kept in the public reading rooms; other materials, i.e. patent documents, are stored in the stack-rooms and are lend at the request of the users. The library also stores the collection of the official gazettes and specifications of the Estonian Patent Office.

The users can carry out searches using CD/DVD-ROMs at 9 workstations.
The following CD/DVD-ROM collections are available:
German databases:
US databases:
US Patent Search
US Patents BIB
US Patents Class
US Patents Assist
US Patents & TM Assign
Other countries:
PAJ Patent Abstracts of Japan
Patents of Russia (Full specification, Index)

The library has the online access to the INPADOC databases through X28 connection and also is established in-house online access to all the commercial databases offered by the STN International and the Questel-Orbit via the Internet connection. This is charged on the bases of usage, Questel-Orbit has also annual fees.

The library offers copying services from paper or microforms . The users can also order printouts of the documents on CD/DVD-ROMs. These services are offered for a moderate price. Also library offers more advanced services - patent information researches. User can claim for a advanced research in his favourite field of technic, results will be printed and analysed and added to research report dossier.

Other services are free of charge: in the reading rooms the readers can use reference materials, monograph, other books and periodicals and carry out searches in patent documents on paper.
VII. Matters concerning mutual exchange of patent documentation and information
The Estonian Patent Library maintains patent document and patent bulletin exchanges with 35 patent issuing authorities mainly from Europe, but also from USA and Japan. In 2003, the Estonian Patent Library receives 60 titles of patent journals, 25 titles were acquired by purchase and 35 titles by exchange.

We provide the official publications of the Estonian Patent Office (Estonian Trade Mark Gazette, Estonian Patent Gazette , Estonian Utility Model Gazette, Estonian Industrial Design Gazette) in paper form to all our exchange partners.

In 2002, we purchased 21 titles of CD/DVD-ROM and obtained 27 titles CD/DVD-ROM by means of exchange. Swedish and Norwegian documents were received in microfiche form.
VIII. Other relevant matters concerning education and training in, and promotion of, the use of patent information, including technical assistance to developing countries
1. Seminar "The medium level of the industrial property" (1 participant)
2. Regional seminar "Patents: source of the information, introduction to the industrial property (1 partipicant)
3. Session WIPO Academy on Intellectual Property and Development (1 partipicant)
4. WIPOnet Regional Training Workshop (1 partipicant)

5. Seminar 21/2002 "Industrial property issues for govermental officials and information administrators (1 participant)
6. PATLIB 2002 (1 participant)
7. Seminar 4/2002 "The EPO: an inside view for future member states" (3 partipicants)
8. Seminar 17/2002 "Appeal procedure at the EPO" (1 participant)
9. Seminar "Information for Receiving Section" (2 partipicants)
10. Seminar 9/2002 "Patents in electronics, computer technology and telecommunications" (2 partipicants)
11. Seminar 10/2002 "International Forum on protection of computer-related and business model inventions (2 partipicants)

Language courses
1. advanced English language learning courses (30 participants)
2. advanced French language learning courses (8 participants)

Customer training activities of the Estonian Patent Library in 2002.

In 2002, the Estonian Patent Library opened a special computerized public room for industrial property information training courses. Also IP information users can work online here individually.
In 2002, we arranged 2 information days on the field of use of information concerning industrial property. Also the Estonian Patent Library began with special training courses for entrepreneurs, named "Use of the industrial property information in the product development".
The aim of these days is to highlight the impact of the use of information concerning patents, trademarks and industrial designs and they are arranged in the library or in centres of enterpreneurship.
IX. Other relevant matters

1.Classification is allotting one or more classification symbols (e.g., IPC symbols) to a patent application, either before or during search and examination, which symbols are then published with the patent application.
2.Preclassification is allotting an initial broad classification symbol (e.g., IPC class or subclass, or administrative unit) to a patent application, using human or automated means for internal administrative purposes (e.g., routing an application to the appropriate examiner).  Usually preclassification is applied by the administration of an office.
3.Reclassification is the reconsideration and usually the replacement of one or more previously allotted classification symbols to a patent document, following a revision and the entry into force of a new version of the Classification system (e.g., the IPC).  The new symbols are available on patent databases.

World Intellectual Property Organization

Committee on WIPO Standards (CWS)

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