The National Intellectual Property Center of Georgia Sakpatenti is a governmental agency – a legal entity of public law. In accordance with the Georgian legislation, Sakpatenti determines the policy in the field of intellectual property.
After gaining its independence, Georgia defined as one of its priorities the formation of a national system for intellectual property protection, which was reflected in the constitution and relevant legislative acts of the country. It is noteworthy that Georgia was the first of the former Soviet republics to create its national patent service “Sakpatenti” in 1992, which later on was transformed into the National Intellectual Property Center. In the course of time all the major fields of intellectual property were fully consolidated under Sakpatenti’s mandate: industrial property, copyright and related rights, new varieties of plants and breeds of animals.
Since its establishment and with the direct participation of Sakpatenti up to 30 laws, by-laws and numerous guidelines, regulating the legal mechanisms of accrual and enforcement of IP rights on different subject-matters were prepared and enacted. The current legislation is in full harmony with international standards, namely, it is in line with the requirements of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) administered by the World Trade Organization and is also compatible with the European Union legislation.
A major tool for protection of intellectual property rights outside Georgia is the full integration of the country into the global IP systems, which became a priority policy direction for Sakpatenti. At present Georgia is a member of all main conventions and agreements on intellectual property protection and is a party to a number of bilateral international treaties. Furthermore, Georgia actively participates in the work of international forums of various levels and at times acts as an initiator of a number of important proposals.
Sakpatenti has always accorded special attention to the protection of geographical indications of strategic products of Georgia, namely, wines and mineral waters, in foreign countries. For this purpose Georgia acceded to the Lisbon Agreement for the Protection of Appellations of Origin and their International Registration, started bilateral negotiations on mutual recognition of geographical indications with the CIS countries and the European Union. At present an agreement is already enforced between Georgia and the EU. Moreover, Georgian GIs are already registered and protected in number of CIS countries.
On the basis of international cooperation Sakpatenti undertakes educational activities, and provides trainings to its staff and other stakeholders in the area of intellectual property, in partnership with the World Intellectual Property Organization, the European Patent Office and foreign patent offices.
Sakpatenti’s employees had an opportunity to participate in the work of various conferences, workshops and seminars, and to raise their qualification through different training courses. In the recent years, particular importance has been paid to the WIPO Academy distance learning system and other IP courses offered by various international agencies.
Sakpatenti periodically organizes international seminars, symposia and conferences on matters of intellectual property protection, which are attended by representatives of science, business and law enforcement entities. Specialized literature - books, brochures, visual materials are also continuously published. The Office staff members are engaged in diverse consulting activities providing consultations to applicants and other interested parties. Sakpatenti’s representatives are frequently invited by various universities to deliver lectures on the topic of intellectual property.
Sakpatenti cooperates closely with various offices and organizations on issues related to intellectual property protection. Over the past years Sakpatenti has developed into the patent information center of the country; its library includes a rich collection of IP documentation of different countries and international organizations. In this regard, close cooperation of Sakpatenti with international partners in patent information exchange is of high importance.
At present a powerful automated local network is functioning at the Office, which is based on the modern technical means and software. The databases of intellectual property subject-matters, previously used only by Sakpatenti examiners during patent search, have already become available to the external users as well via the Internet. At the moment, Sakpatenti, with support of USAID, introduced a new e-filing system and the database for all IP subject-matters, which will make business processes inside the organization more efficient, while at the same time will provide an online user-friendly mechanism for all applicants (e.g. for trademarks, patents, designs, and other filings).
Sakpatenti exerts tremendous efforts to provide customer-friendly and efficient services to the users of IP system and applicants who are willing to protect their intellectual property locally and abroad. Certainly, this task is achieved through the staff’s dedication and hard work, and in this process the contribution of Sakpatenti’s highly professional examiners and legal experts is particularly remarkable.