Around the world, there are broadly two types of patent office – regional and national ones. National patent officers refer to the patent offices which exist in a specific country. They hold the responsibility of administrating the law regarding patents in their own country. Regional patent offices, conversely, are formed jointly by a number of countries within a specific geographical area. Perhaps the best known regional patent office is the European Patent Office, however the are others too, and the EAPO or Eurasian Patent Office is one of those.
In 1995, the Eurasian Patent Convention was ratified by 9 signatories and this led to the formation in 1996 of the EAPO in Russia. When Moldova left the EAPO in 2012, it left 8 members – Armenia, Kazahstan, Belarus, the Russian Federation, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan. Applicants from over 80 countries use the EAPO system and between 1996 and 2015 they granted over 22,000 patents.
One of the main reasons to choose to obtain a Eurasian patent is because it is valid is several or even all of the EAPO member states, and this makes it cheaper than the cost of obtaining a national patent in each of the states. The savings can amount to several thousand dollars, and indeed, in some cases tens of thousands of dollars inclusive of atorney charges, translation costs and official fees, and this makes it very easy to see why a Eurasian Patent offers better value for money in many cases. It also saves on time and offers a higher level of protection for the applicant.
Here, we look more closely at the many advantages associated with opting to apply for a Eurasian patent rather than a simple national one.