Key Eco­nomic As­set

In­tel­lec­tual po­ten­tial of the na­tion is the cru­cial re­serve of the sus­tain­able so­cial and eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment of Be­larus

Economy of Belarus - - CONTENTS -

In­tel­lec­tual po­ten­tial of the na­tion is the cru­cial re­serve of the sus­tain­able so­cial and eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment of Be­larus

What are the cur­rent ob­jec­tives of the Cen­ter and how has the role of Be­larus’ patent au­thor­ity changed over re­cent years?

In line with in­ter­na­tional com­mit­ments of the Repub­lic of Be­larus and De­cree No. 66 of 12 Fe­bru­ary 2004, our Cen­ter acts as the national patent au­thor­ity. It means we are re­spon­si­ble for pro­tect­ing the rights of do­mes­tic and for­eign writ­ers, in­ven­tors, com­pa­nies and other in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty (IP) own­ers (we ac­cept patent ap­pli­ca­tions, reg­is­ter trade­marks and other cre­ations, carry out ex­am­i­na­tions and main­tain state reg­is­ters, etc).

With a view to hit­ting the pri­or­ity so­cioe­co­nomic tar­gets set by the head of state (pro­mot­ing in­no­va­tive de­vel­op­ment, rais­ing in­vest­ments, boost­ing ex­port), the Cen­ter has con­sid­er­ably ex­panded its op­er­a­tions fo­cus­ing on in­dus­trial prop­erty pro­tec­tion, patents and li­censes; copy­right pro­tec­tion and im­ple­men­ta­tion; ex­pan­sion of ed­u­ca­tional, in­for­ma­tion and method­olog­i­cal ser­vices in IP, in­tro­duc­tion of modern forms of work (we are cur­rently run­ning a project “In­tel­lec­tual Prop­erty Ex­change”).

In what way can IP make the national econ­omy more com­pet­i­tive and en­cour­age in­no­va­tions?

In the present day environment, the eco­nomic com­pet­i­tive­ness hinges on in­no­va­tions, new tech­ni­cal so­lu­tions and consumer

in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty is the great­est as­set of the knowl­edge econ­omy that is gain­ing ground in Be­larus, the ba­sic el­e­ment of suc­cess­ful busi­ness plan­ning and growth. there­fore, in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty man­age­ment is com­ing to the fore­front. di­rec­tor Gen­eral of the national in­tel­lec­tual Prop­erty Cen­ter leonid Voronetsky up­dates the Econ­omy of Be­larus Mag­a­zine on the lat­est de­vel­op­ments in in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty man­age­ment in Be­larus.

prop­er­ties of goods as well as IP pro­tec­tion. There­fore, to­day IP is viewed as a cru­cial as­set of the fledg­ling knowl­edge econ­omy, the ba­sic el­e­ment of suc­cess­ful busi­ness plan­ning and growth in Be­larus. In other words, the trans­for­ma­tion of knowl­edge into a ma­jor eco­nomic re­source – in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty – is the un­der­ly­ing fac­tor be­hind the sus­tain­able so­cial and eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment of the coun­try. In­tel­lec­tual prop­erty helps com­mer­cial­ize cre­ations and in­ven­tions, ob­tain a mo­nop­oly right to use state-of-the-art tech­no­log­i­cal so­lu­tions, get a com­pet­i­tive edge and earn additional rev­enues, etc.

Thus, in­tel­lec­tual and tech­no­log­i­cal so­lu­tions and ef­fi­cient IP man­age­ment play an in­creas­ingly im­por­tant role in boost­ing the com­pet­i­tive­ness of the national econ­omy. This gives added ur­gency to a bal­anced govern­ment pol­icy dove­tailed with pri­or­ity ar­eas of the coun­try’s so­cial and eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment.

The head of state de­manded that govern­ment in­vest­ments into sci­ence and tech­nol­ogy, trade, in­dus­try, so­cial and cul­tural fields should gen­er­ate suf­fi­cient pay­offs. To this end, the Cen­ter has adopted a spe­cial ac­tion plan to elab­o­rate the IP sys­tem, which en­vis­ages a more or­derly and trans­par­ent IP mar­ket, de­vel­oped in­fra­struc­ture, patent re­search and its har­mo­niza­tion with patent and le­gal reg­u­la­tions of the sales mar­kets, en­sur­ing due pro­tec­tion and en­force­ment of in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty cre­ated with the help of bud­get funds.

Tak­ing into con­sid­er­a­tion the in­creas­ing role of patent and li­cense reg­u­la­tion and IP pro­tec­tion, the govern­ment has im­ple­mented an IP pro­tec­tion pro­gram aimed at a more ef­fi­cient uti­liza­tion of in­tel­lec­tual po­ten­tial and in­tan­gi­ble as­sets.

There has been much dis­cus­sion re­cently about the grow­ing role of IP and its ef­fi­cient use. What is your as­sess­ment of the sit­u­a­tion with IP pro­tec­tion and man­age­ment?

The key area of at­ten­tion now is en­hanc­ing the eco­nomic per­for­mance with the help of IP and for­ma­tion of spe­cial IP agen­cies on the sec­toral and re­gional lev­els and within spe­cific or­ga­ni­za­tions.

In pur­suance of the Pres­i­dent’s in­struc­tion to build up the in­no­va­tive po­ten­tial of Be­larus, the govern­ment is fully en­gaged in for­ma­tion and en­force­ment of a cen­tral­ized and sec­toral IP pol­icy turn­ing it into a key in­stru­ment of rais­ing com­pet­i­tive­ness of do­mes­tic goods and ser­vices.

Here I would like to men­tion that back in 2005 the Cen­ter car­ried out a com­pre­hen­sive anal­y­sis of the sit­u­a­tion re­gard­ing IP pro­tec­tion and man­age­ment on the sec­toral

level. The study re­vealed the need to ex­pand the Ip-re­lated in­fra­struc­ture, in­clud­ing es­tab­lish­ment of re­gional con­sul­ta­tion and me­thod­i­cal of­fices, set­ting up IP pro­tec­tion and man­age­ment bu­reaus at com­pa­nies, de­vel­op­ment of a sec­toral patent and li­cense pol­icy.

In 2008-2010 the govern­ment car­ried out a pro­gram de­signed to stream­line the national sys­tem of IP pro­tec­tion and man­age­ment and de­velop a work­ing in­fra­struc­ture at the sec­toral and com­pany level.

As prac­tice shows, Be­larus’ IP laws and the ex­ist­ing in­fra­struc­ture al­low do­mes­tic and for­eign IP own­ers to choose the best form of IP pro­tec­tion (patent or com­mer­cial con­fi­den­tial­ity) and to pro­tect in­vest­ments, gen­er­ate more rev­enue, get com­pet­i­tive ad­van­tages and en­sure sta­ble and pro­tected pres­ence of goods (ser­vices) in do­mes­tic and for­eign mar­kets. In other words, this modern eco­nomic tool can be used to en­hance the com­pet­i­tive­ness of prod­ucts.

For ex­am­ple, this tool has been skill­fully used by the win­ners of national com­pe­ti­tions for the best in­ven­tor and IP man­ager such as Minsk Trac­tor Works, Pe­leng, the In­sti­tute of Pow­der Me­tal­lurgy of the National Academy of Sciences of Be­larus, the de­sign bureau for grain and for­age har­vest­ing ma­chin­ery, the Be­laru­sian National Tech­ni­cal Univer­sity, Bel­card, Spar­tak, Savushkin Prod­uct, etc.

The World In­tel­lec­tual Prop­erty Or­ga­ni­za­tion (WIPO) has pre­sented awards to the Stepanov In­sti­tute of Physics of the National Academy of Sciences of Be­larus, Minsk Trac­tor Works, Minsk Kristall, Be­lyi In­sti­tute of Me­chan­ics of Metal Poly­mer Sys­tems of the National Academy of Sciences of Be­larus.

How­ever, it is too early to say that all prob­lems in this field have been solved in the coun­try. We have to ad­mit that the national sys­tem of IP pro­tec­tion and man­age­ment needs to be op­ti­mized. First, we need to avoid a for­mal ap­proach to com­mer­cial aspects of IP and the de­vel­op­ment of in­dus­trial in­fra­struc­ture of the sys­tem.

By un­der­es­ti­mat­ing the im­por­tance of IP pro­tec­tion of a mar­ket, a sup­plier or pro­ducer may vi­o­late IP rights such as in­ven­tion, trade­mark, in­dus­trial de­sign rights or other rights and run into sig­nif­i­cant ex­penses or even lose an op­por­tu­nity to sell prod­ucts in a par­tic­u­lar mar­ket.

IP man­age­ment is a com­plex mul­ti­fac­eted busi­ness. With­out proper mar­ket anal­y­sis, eval­u­a­tion of tech­nol­ogy trends it is dif­fi­cult to make good de­ci­sions re­gard­ing the cre­ation, pro­tec­tion and ex­ploita­tion of IP as­sets. Is the do­mes­tic busi­ness com­mu­nity pro­vided with the nec­es­sary in­for­ma­tion so that they could act smart in this area? How are things with ed­u­ca­tional and method­olog­i­cal ac­tiv­i­ties in this area?

Patent doc­u­men­ta­tion is the main source of in­for­ma­tion to as­sess qual­i­ta­tive and, con­se­quently, com­pet­i­tive prop­er­ties of prod­ucts.

Patent re­search is re­quired to im­ple­ment wise sci­en­tific and tech­ni­cal, trade and in­dus­trial poli­cies, mon­i­tor the ef­fi­ciency of bud­get spend­ing on sci­ence and tech­nol­ogy and en­sure safe pro­mo­tion of Be­laru­sian prod­ucts in do­mes­tic and over­seas mar­kets.

The National Sci­en­tific and Tech­ni­cal Li­brary main­tains the patent data­base, which now fea­tures over 45 mil­lion patent doc­u­ments from Be­larus and more than 50 for­eign coun­tries.

In­ven­tors, patent spe­cial­ists can use lo­cal data­bases and online re­sources to ob­tain the nec­es­sary in­for­ma­tion about the patent and le­gal char­ac­ter­is­tics of a mar­ket, qual­ity, prop­er­ties of equip­ment of­fered for sale, etc.

In turn, the Cen­ter pub­lishes train­ing man­u­als and the jour­nal “In­tel­lec­tual Prop­erty in Be­larus”, posts method­olog­i­cal and patent in­for­ma­tion on its web­site at http://bel­go­spatent.org.by.

In or­der to im­prove the qual­ity of ser­vices pro­vided by patent agents and IP ap­prais­ers, mea­sures have been taken re­gard­ing train­ing and cer­ti­fi­ca­tion of patent agents and IP ap­prais­ers. As of early 2011, 103 patent agents and 28 cer­ti­fied ap­prais­ers were reg­is­tered with the State Reg­is­ter of Patent Agents.

As for the train­ing of IP spe­cial­ists, the Cen­ter op­er­ates a ed­u­ca­tion cen­ter that pro­vides train­ing in var­i­ous aspects of com­mer­cial­iza­tion and pro­tec­tion of in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty, in co­op­er­a­tion with the WIPO World­wide Academy and the Rus­sian State Academy of In­tel­lec­tual Prop­erty.

In the past five years the Cen­ter has trained more than 1,000 man­agers and spe­cial­ists of do­mes­tic or­ga­ni­za­tions. About 6,000 spe­cial­ists have at­tended sec­toral and re­gional work­shops.

With as­sis­tance from the Cen­ter and the Ed­u­ca­tion Min­istry, in 2006 all ter­tiary in­sti­tu­tions in the coun­try in­tro­duced the course “Fun­da­men­tals of In­tel­lec­tual Prop­erty Man­age­ment”. The Be­laru­sian National Tech­ni­cal Univer­sity of­fers a re­fresher course “In­tel­lec­tual Prop­erty Man­age­ment”.

In or­der to give more ex­po­sure to IP pro­tec­tion and man­age­ment is­sues, the Cen­ter hosts an an­nual com­pe­ti­tion of stu­dent works in the field of in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty.

To some ex­tent a good illustration of the im­por­tance of IP for rais­ing the com­pet­i­tive­ness of national prod­ucts is boost­ing the pro­tec­tion of Be­laru­sian trade­marks and in­ven­tions both do­mes­ti­cally and in­ter­na­tion­ally. What are the lat­est de­vel­op­ments in this area and what can you say about the re­sults achieved?

If we look at the present sit­u­a­tion we will see that the govern­ment did a good job in im­ple­ment­ing the above-noted pro­gram which prompted Be­laru­sian busi­nesses to take ac­tive mea­sures in pro­tect­ing their in­dus­trial prop­erty both at home and abroad.

As a re­sult, over the last five years the num­ber of ap­pli­ca­tions for the pro­tec­tion of in­ven­tions and trade­marks sub­mit­ted by Be­laru­sian com­pa­nies has soared by more than 50%. In 2010, the num­ber of Eurasian patent ap­pli­ca­tions (pro­tec­tion within the CIS) sub­mit­ted by Be­laru­sian busi­nesses dou­bled as com­pared to 2005. The num­ber of ap­pli­ca­tions for trade­mark reg­is­tra­tion sub­mit­ted by Be­laru­sian com­pa­nies in the Rus­sian Fed­er­a­tion grew 2.5 times, the num­ber of ap­pli­ca­tions for in­ter­na­tional trade­mark reg­is­tra­tion and that of reg­is­tered deals in­volv­ing IP grew four and more than 2.5 times re­spec­tively.

MTZ, Amkodor, BELAZ, Gom­sel­mash, Tsentr re­search or­ga­ni­za­tion of the National Academy of Sciences of Be­larus, Milav­itsa, Minsk-kristall, Pe­leng, Belmed­preparaty, the In­sti­tute of Phys­i­cal and Or­ganic Chem­istry of the Be­laru­sian State Univer­sity have all been fol­low­ing due pro­ce­dures re­gard­ing in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty pro­tec­tion, which helps them ef­fec­tively use the re­sults of their in­tel­lec­tual ac­tiv­i­ties and stream­line their op­er­a­tion on the do­mes­tic and for­eign mar­kets.

In pur­suance of the pres­i­den­tial in­struc­tion, one of the main pri­or­i­ties of the Cen­ter is rais­ing ef­fec­tive­ness of pro­tec­tion of the rights of Be­laru­sian cre­ators. The mea­sures taken in 20052010 laid down the foun­da­tion for the dy­namic de­vel­op­ment and strength­en­ing of pro­tec­tion mech­a­nisms and im­ple­men­ta­tion of do­mes­tic in­ven­tors’ rights both at home and abroad.

Thus, in 2010, the re­mu­ner­a­tion of Be­laru­sian in­ven­tors to­taled Br3.284 bil­lion, which was five times more than in 2004.

It is no co­in­ci­dence that WIPO Di­rec­tor Gen­eral Fran­cis Gurry has com­mended the Be­laru­sian con­cep­tual ap­proach to im­ple­ment­ing IP pro­tec­tion mea­sures by not­ing that the Cen­ter plays the lead­ing role in cre­at­ing a modern IP pro­tec­tion sys­tem in the re­gion. He also said he was con­fi­dent that Be­larus would find ef­fec­tive so­lu­tions to the present chal­lenges given the coun­try’s great hu­man re­sources po­ten­tial.

The facts cited above show a pos­i­tive dy­nam­ics in IP pro­tec­tion and man­age­ment in Be­larus. Apart from that, what prob­lems do you think should be tack­led in the near fu­ture?

Un­for­tu­nately, a pos­i­tive dy­nam­ics alone is not enough for en­sur­ing sat­is­fac­tory pro­tec­tion of Be­larus’ IP abroad. Nor can it en­sure the use of IP as a tool to set up cor­po­ra­tions and com­mod­ity dis­tri­bu­tion net­works. The num­ber of pro­tected Be­laru­sian trade­marks and in­ven­tions on for­eign mar­kets re­mains low and in­suf­fi­cient to se­cure a foothold of Be­laru­sian pro­duc­ers there. The most press­ing task in the long-term per­spec­tive is to solve prob­lems re­lat­ing to the pro­tec­tion of IP rights of Be­laru­sian pro­duc­ers within the Cus­toms Union and Sin­gle Eco­nomic Space of Be­larus, Kaza­khstan and Rus­sia, one of the ba­sic prin­ci­ples of which is a bar­rier-free move­ment of goods across the bor­ders of these three states.

Apart from of the low num­ber of pro­tected IP items there is also a prob­lem of en­sur­ing patent­ing ef­fi­ciency. For in­stance, only 40% of all the patents is­sued by the Cen­ter re­main in force due to in­suf­fi­cient in­no­va­tions, lack of the de­vel­oped in­fra­struc­ture that pro­motes IP com­mer­cial­iza­tion, as well as un­pre­pared­ness of a spe­cific in­ven­tion for in­dus­trial use and the fact that some patented in­ven­tions do not meet the ur­gent pro­duc­tion needs.

As for the qual­ity eval­u­a­tion of patented in­ven­tions there is also a prob­lem of their in­ven­tive level which is not high enough to pro­vide the national man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor with the nec­es­sary com­pet­i­tive ad­van­tages on the global mar­ket.

An anal­y­sis of case stud­ies of 2009-2010 shows that only about 10% of all the patented Be­laru­sian in­ven­tions are the re­sult of the state sci-tech pro­grams, which does not off­set the in­put of the state into the coun­try’s in­no­va­tive de­vel­op­ment.

It is nec­es­sary to chan­nel all the avail­able re­sources into the cre­ation and pro­tec­tion of IP as­sets in the promis­ing ar­eas of the tech­no­log­i­cal de­vel­op­ment as well as in the tra­di­tional sec­tors of the national econ­omy.

Im­ple­men­ta­tion of spe­cific strate­gic pri­or­i­ties set out by the Pres­i­dent of Be­larus to boost the ex­port po­ten­tial based on for­eign in­vest­ment, to fa­cil­i­tate in­no­va­tion de­vel­op­ment, raise com­pet­i­tive­ness of the national econ­omy is only pos­si­ble by en­sur­ing the ef­fi­cient use of IP mech­a­nisms.

With a view to meet­ing the goals in this area the State Com­mit­tee for Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy in co­op­er­a­tion with the Cen­ter, all the in­ter­ested stake­hold­ers and WIPO have de­vel­oped the 2011-2020 Strat­egy on In­tel­lec­tual Prop­erty of the Repub­lic of Be­larus. The strat­egy will help de­velop an ef­fi­cient mech­a­nism of de­riv­ing eco­nomic ad­van­tages from in­no­va­tion ac­tiv­i­ties, rais­ing com­pet­i­tive­ness of Be­laru­sian prod­ucts both on the do­mes­tic and for­eign mar­kets based on modern busi­ness meth­ods and com­pe­ti­tion backed by the ef­fi­cient use of in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty.

Di­rec­tor Gen­eral of the National In­tel­lec­tual Prop­erty Cen­ter Leonid Voronetsky presents a golden medal of the World In­tel­lec­tual Prop­erty Or­ga­ni­za­tion to An­drei Dyuzhev, the author of more than 100 in­ven­tions, chief de­signer of grain and for­age har­vest­ing ma­chin­ery of the of In­dus­try Min­istry of Be­larus, di­rec­tor of the de­sign bureau for grain and for­age har­vest­ing ma­chin­ery

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