New 'Envelope of Ideas' service launched
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In July 2008 the Romanian State Office for Inventions and Trademarks launched a new registration service called 'Envelope of Ideas'. Order 63/2008, which approved the implementation of the new service, was published in the Official Gazette (Part I, 527/2008) on June 23 2008.
The 'Envelope of Ideas' service, which is similar to the Soleau Envelope in France, allows the office to deposit and register documents filed by their authors (natural or legal persons). These documents may be:
- works and creations that are not protectable under the current IP framework; and
- works that are protected by copyright or neighbouring rights.
In particular, documents that may be deposited through this service include:
- non-patentable inventions;
- technical or scientific works (eg, technical norms, discoveries, theories and studies);
- artistic works made for presentation catalogues;
- administrative norms, methodologies, regulations and statutes, and other materials of an administrative character;
- educational material; and
- calendars and horoscopes.
Applicants are responsible for the content of the materials filed.
The documents must meet certain formal conditions - for example, they may be filed on writing paper, photo paper, tracing paper or thin cardboard, in an A4 format or in multiple formats.
The 'envelope' may be obtained from the office and may be sent by mail or submitted directly by the applicant. The envelope consists of two identical compartments in A5 format - one for use by the applicant and the other for use by the office. Upon receipt, the office will register the content of the envelope and send one compartment back to the applicant.
The office will keep the envelope for a period of five years from the registration date (renewable for another five-year period). Applicants must pay a fee of approximately €40 for the first five years; the renewal fee is approximately €30.
The deposit of the envelope allows applicants to prove the existence of their work or creation as of the date of registration by the office. However, it does not constitute an IP title and confers no exclusive rights on the applicant.
The creation of this service raises interesting possibilities for:
- foreign IP rights holders (whose rights are not registered in Romania) that wish to challenge fraudulent and abusive trademark filings; or
- applicants who cannot - or do not want to - obtain formal protection for various reasons (eg, costs and length of the procedure).
Delia Belciu and Alexandru Harsany, Nestor Nestor Diculescu Kingston Petersen, Bucharest
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