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29 January 2020

On January 29, 2020, the results of the activities of the National Center of Intellectual Property in 2019 were resumed in the Republican Scientific and Technical Library. The event was attended by the Chairman of the State Committee on Science and Technology of the Republic of Belarus Mr. Alexander Shumilin, as well as almost the entire staff of the NCIP, including the Director General, his deputies, and heads of departments and divisions.

Deputy Director General Mr. Aliaksei Kurman in his report said that in 2019 there were 393 patent applications for inventions in the Republic of Belarus. It is interesting that the greatest activity is observed in such areas as satisfaction of subsistence requirements, chemistry, physics, various technological processes, and mechanical engineering.

He noted that 325 applications were received for the issuance of patents of the Republic of Belarus for industrial designs (225 – in 2018). And the number of patents applications for utility models decreased from 372 to 334.

In addition, a preliminary examination of 2,839 applications and examination of 2,965 claimed designations were carried out according to the national procedure, 2,550 decisions on registration of trademarks and 415 decisions on refusal of registration were issued, 279 applications were recognized as withdrawn.

The registration rate in the State Register of Trademarks and Service Marks increased by 135% and amounted to 2,550 trademarks.

5,746 applications were received from the International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), which amounted to 108% in comparison with the number of applications received in 2018.

Deputy Director General stated that the NCIP conducted the examination of 5,302 designations, 5,184 of which were registered.

Mr. Aliaksei Kurman emphasized the importance of developing the project of the Intellectual Property Exchange, the data base of which already contains 383 commercial offers for industrial property objects.

Deputy Director General Mrs. Anzhela Plionkina noted that the analysis of the cases submitted to the Appeals Board revealed a decrease in their number compared to 2018. At the same time, the tendency for the quantitative predominance of disputes related to the legal protection of trademarks still remains.

A good trend has been observed in the reduction in the number of complaints about patent Office decisions, while the number of applications for recognition of well-known trademarks in the Republic of Belarus has significantly increased.

Mrs. Anzhela Plionkina announced the continuation of the Center’s electronic publications: 22 issues of the NCIP official bulletins, in particular 6 issues of “Inventions. Utility models. Industrial designs. Topologies of integrated circuits”, 12 issues of “Trademarks and service marks. Appellations of Origin” and 4 issues of “Plant Varieties”. Last year 4 issues of the scientific and practical journal “Intellectual Property in Belarus” were published.

Director General of the NCIP Mr. Uladzimir Rabavolau focused the attention of the meeting participants on improving the legislation in the field of intellectual property, international cooperation, financial and economic activities, human resources, and also outlined the main objectives for 2020.

He stated that in 2019, the NCIP worked out 579 instructions from higher state bodies. A number of state programs were accompanied. During the year 11,120 administrative procedures were carried out (including 4443 applications for registration of industrial property rights). In addition, 37 regulatory acts were developed, 17 of which were adopted.

He paid special attention to conducting 9 events (international, regional seminars, official visits), including the organization of an official visit to the Republic of Belarus of the Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization Mr. F. Harry (June 3-5, 2019) and his meeting with the President of the Republic of Belarus Mr. A. Lukashenko, as well as the official visit to the Republic of Belarus of the Director of the Department for Transition and Developed Countries (WIPO), Mr. Michal Svantner (October 21-24, 2019).

Mr. Rabavolau also noted that successful execution of the assigned tasks would be impossible without highly professional personnel. This issue was prioritized. Every year the Center faced a number of objective problems. The main thing is staff turnover. There was an annual reduction in qualified personnel, while the amount of tasks increased. In 2016 and 2017, 6 people more left the NCIP than were employed, in 2018 – 2 more, in the second half of 2019, the actual staff turnover became zero, and in January 2020 the average number increased by 2 people. In his opinion, they managed to reverse the negative trend.

Moreover, special emphasis was placed on young professionals. All the necessary conditions are created to provide them with opportunities for professional growth. For now 22 people aged 21-35 years have been appointed to the management positions. In 2017 there were only 11 of them, in 2018 – 13, in 2019 – 20.

He pointed out that one of the necessary conditions for increasing the NCIP effectiveness lies in a system of organizational issues. Since 2019, the agency has established a clear system of organizational interaction and planning, which allows us to timely respond to problematic issues of team management, take measures to strengthen labor discipline, and help prevent corruption.