The Patent Office has new tasks
Today, on 1 April, the Patent Office will take over some of the functions of the Ministry of Justice in the field of copyright and related rights. The change is related to the goal of Patent Office becoming a competence centre for intellectual property rights. Additional tasks will be the role of the mediator of information on the status of orphan works in Estonia, national supervision of the activities of collective management organisations and the organisation of the work of the Copyright Committee. These are implementing tasks and the Patent Office is the appropriate authority to fulfill them, as we already carry out executive powers in the field of industrial property protection.
The program of the Ministry of Justice for the period 2020-2023 provides for the establishment of the Patent Office as a modern competence centre of intellectual property rights, the office advises entrepreneurs on intellectual property issues, ensures a fast and effective procedure for registering intellectual property and fast pre-trial resolution of disputes. Compared to the Ministry of Justice, whose main activities are the planning and implementation of national legal and criminal policies and the coordination of legislation, the Patent Office is a more appropriate authority to carry out these implementing tasks. At present, the Patent Office is engaged in the realisation of the country's economic policies in the field of industrial property, but there is no separate authority for the realisation of the country's copyright and related rights policy. As the various areas of intellectual property are closely interconnected, the underlying principles of these areas, problems (including in the enforcement of rights, awareness raising) and even potential beneficiaries (e.g. businesses) are similar, it is justified to extend the competence of the Patent Office also to the area of copyright and related rights.