Today, the Agreement between the Government of Georgia and the European Patent Organisation (EPO) on Validation of European Patents (Validation Agreement) was signed in Munich by Mr. António Campinos, President of EPO, and Mr. Genadi Arveladze, Deputy Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia. Once in force, the Agreement will allow to validate European patents on the territory of Georgia, based on a single European patent application. It will simplify the procedure of patenting inventions for international applicants in Georgia.
“The signing of this agreement is a major step forward in our co-operation with Georgia,” said António Campinos. “It further highlights the attractiveness of the European patent system and its geographical reach. It will simplify access to patent protection in Georgia, making it possible for applicants and owners of European patents to have their patents validated in the country. At the same time, it will boost national economic development and create new business opportunities for European companies there.”
As Mr. Genadi Arveladze noted, “The signature of this validation agreement is an important step for Georgia. It will contribute to further anchoring the national economy into the European market. It will also simplify negotiations on Georgia’s accession to the EPO. Membership of the European Patent Organisation will enhance protection of industrial property in Georgia and thus facilitate achieving the objectives of the Association Agreement between the European Union and Georgia.
The significance of cooperation with the European Patent Office was also underlined by Mr. Genadi Lebanidze, Chairman of the National Intellectual Property Center of Georgia Sakpatenti: “A validation agreement in force will greatly contribute to further supporting the development of innovation in the country. Sakpatenti will be in a position to fully benefit from the most advanced European best practices through a comprehensive technical co-operation framework with the EPO.”
It is noteworthy that Georgia is striving to accession to the European Patent Organisation (EPO). Hence, signing the Validation Agreement will simplify the negotiations process between the parties on this issue. Membership of this organization will be further beneficial for Georgia in a number of directions. Georgia’s accession to the EPO will be a message to investors that Georgia is a member of the European patent family and patent rights are protected in Georgia according to the level of protection existing in European countries.
Currently cooperation between the EPO and Sakpatenti consists of regular exchanges of patent information and training of Georgian patent examiners. Once a validation agreement is in force, the technical bilateral cooperation between the two offices will be enhanced to include a stronger focus on the development of IP and patent awareness in order to better serve national innovation.
Negotiations between the European Patent Organization and the National Intellectual Property Center of Georgia Sakpatenti on the Agreement on Validation of European patents were undergoing since 2012, as a result of which interest was expressed concerning signing this Agreement.
Under the Validation Agreement, applicants will be able to validate their European patent applications and patents granted by the European Patent Office in Georgia, even though Georgia is not a contracting state to the European Patent Convention. European applications and patents validated in Georgia will have the same legal effect here as Georgian applications and patents. Along with this, legal actions will be regulated by the Georgian legislation.
The European Patent Organisation (EPO) is a second largest organization in Europe rendering public services. EPO carries out examination of applications to obtain patents for inventions and grants European patents, its activities are directed tofacilitate development of innovations, competitiveness and economic growth in Europe, which is ensured by means of offering high level services according to the European Patent Convention. At present the European Patent Organisation (EPO) unites 38 countries, including all the 28 member states of the European Union and, in addition, some countries that are not the EU member states.