Zuykov & Partners - Russia
Applicants can file an application via the website of either the Russia Patent and Trademark Office (Rospatent) or the Unified Portal of the State Services. The following should be included in any online application for an industrial design:
- images of the product;
- a drawing of the product’s general appearance, and in some cases, a team chart, which is submitted if the industrial design relates to products in the light or textile industry. This is a sample of the textiles/knitted materials, leather, accessories and finishes that are recommended for the manufacture of the product. Further, if the sample of the material has a repeating pattern (ie, in decorative materials, carpets and fabrics, among other things), it must show the actual size of the pattern; and
- a description of the industrial design.
These documents must be attached in electronic form, in accordance with format and file size requirements. The identical legal value of electronic and paper media is further emphasised on Rospatent’s website.
According to the 2019 Russia Patent and Trademark Office (Rospatent) Report, the highest increase in e-filings (after trademark applications) was recorded for industrial designs, from 57% to 62%. Rospatent also recorded an overall increase in the number of the applications received via the Internet in the past few years from 344 in 2017, to 2,545 in 2018 and to 3,485 in 2019. This rise is doubtless due to the advantages of e-filing, which include:
- an earlier priority date – the timeframe to obtain Rospatent’s notice of receipt of the application is significantly shorter than with postal delivery;
- applications can be filed from anywhere;
- e-filing services operate around the clock, seven days a week;
- applications can be filed via Rospatent’s website or the Unified Portal of the State Services;
- reduced fees – in order to promote the online method of filing an application, the Russian government has reduced the state fee by 30%;
- e-applications are in accordance with the Hague Agreement; and
- the applicant can monitor the application’s progress via their personal account.
However, there are some negatives that can complicate filing an application online, such as:
- in order to register the application via the Unified Portal of the State Services, it is necessary to obtain a certificate of the enhanced encrypted and certified digital signature, which certifies the authenticity of the owner of the personal account. To do this, applicants must contact one of the certification authorities accredited by the Ministry of Communications and Mass Media of Russian Federation or the multifunctional centre; and
- it is sometimes just as difficult as filing an application in a written form.
When assessing the pros and cons of filing applications electronically, the positives generally prevail. It is hoped that this method will continue to grow in popularity and the volume of applications to rise as a result of this.