The Estonian Patent Office (hereinafter: Office) is a government agency that operates in the area of government of the Ministry of Justice and implements national economic policy in the field of legal protection of industrial property.
The Office provides legal protection to patents, trade marks, utility models, industrial designs, geographical indications and integrated circuits.
In fulfilling its tasks the Office represents the state (Statutes of the Estonian Patent Office).
The main functions of the Office
To provide legal protection to the objects of industrial property on the basis of industrial property law or international agreements, maintenance of the registers of industrial property, publication of official publications and issuing legal protection documents.
To arrange international cooperation in the field of legal protection of industrial property proceeding from international agreements and to take part in the work of international institutions dealing with legal protection of industrial property.
To participate in the development of legislation within its area of activity and to submit proposals for the amendment and supplementation of the legislation.
To participate in the development of policies, strategies and development plans within its area of activity.
To prepare and implement projects connected with its area of activity, including participation in the preparation and implementation of international projects.
The Patent Office is a government agency providing legal protection for industrial property in Estonia. We advise entrepreneurs and inventors and raise public awareness of intellectual property, to promote innovation and the economy and to revitalize the cooperation between science and entrepreneurship.
The vision of the Patent Office is to become an intellectual property competence centre, where everyone gets help and advice in the area of inventions, trademarks, industrial designs and copyright. For that, we want to be an innovative and widely recognised guide in our area and urge people to seek opportunities of legal protection for their creation.
Basic values: how do we tend to work?
The staff of the Patent Office shall, on a daily basis, observe the following basic values:
we are competent, thorough and consistent, because we make decisions on behalf of the Republic of Estonia.
We value wisdom and broad horizon, we are hard-working and studious to continue to be competent in our area;
we are honest, impartial, duty-sensitive and precise in our work, following the laws and making decisions in an open manner;
we want to develop ourselves and we are receptive to updates and criticism in our work, so that the Patent Office could be effective and innovative;
we are helpful and caring, we support and respect our colleagues and we cooperate fully with our customers, we work fast and communicate clearly.
Contribution to the achievement of national targets: what benefit Estonia gains from us?
The activities of the Patent Office will help achieve five important national targets.
Building national wealth
Economy is the basis of every country – when enterprises are doing well, the whole country does well. According to international studies, the gross domestic product is higher in countries where more industrial property is protected. By protecting it, we raise Estonian economy and gain direct income to the state with our services.
Guaranteeing human rights and international credibility of the Estonian state
By registering industrial property, we ensure that one of the internationally recognised fundamental rights is guaranteed to the Estonian people – the right to own intellectual property. The exclusive right, given for a certain time, creates an opportunity for entrepreneurs to earn back the money they spent on development activities. This way, we are helping to spread innovative ideas, revitalize economy, and encourage cooperation between science and entrepreneurship. Internationally valid legal protection ensures foreign investors and companies that their rights are guaranteed here and Estonia is a reliable partner on the international arena.
Fostering innovation in Estonia
We contribute to the growth of creativity, as our work gives the inventors and entrepreneurs an opportunity to get paid for their creation. We also raise public awareness of intellectual property, how to protect your rights and how to refrain from violating the rights of others.
Increasing the competitiveness of businesses and Estonian exports
By protecting industrial property, we boost entrepreneurship and make our companies internationally more competitive, for Estonia to have more exportable products. We are helping to increase the number of registered inventions, trade marks and industrial designs by educating the whole society on intellectual property. New distinctive industrial property strengthens Estonia’s reputation as an innovative country behind the border.
Guaranteeing international protection to Estonian science achievements
By giving the work results of our researchers international legal protection, we support the development of Estonian science. The protection of invention is necessary for bringing any scientific achievement to a day-to-day use, as without that, it is nearly impossible to find an investor and start production. By creating a chance for scientists to get paid for the commercialisation of their work results, we spread the innovative way of thinking in both scientific circles and society in general. Thus, we encourage the cooperation between research institutions and businesses and promote a knowledge-based economy.
Our objectives and key operational directions for achieving them
The Patent Office has set itself six main objectives.
Increase in the number of protected inventions and trademarks in Estonia
Although the Patent Office can not directly raise the number of applications, our aim is to promote it by offering more effective outreach in order to educate Estonian people and businesses on intellectual property, and to raise their awareness of the advantages of registered industrial property.
Shortening of procedural deadlines without concessions in the quality of decisions
We aim to keep the proportion of satisfied appeals at less than 1% in order to ensure the legal certainty and credibility of the Patent Office. We will also further reduce the procedural deadlines. The fulfilment of this objective requires rapid and professional service, and introducing new IT-solutions so that examiners can perform quick searches necessary for their work. To increase transparency, we describe the work processes of our office and disclose them on our web site.
Full transition to paper-free examination
Our organization and examination deadlines have to meet the needs of today's business environment and customer expectations. This requires reliable and user-friendly e-services, which are already available in the area of trade marks, but have not yet been created for the protection of inventions. With modern e-services, we want to simplify the process of submitting applications, so that it is feasible to everyone. We also want to contribute to the developing of e-state, integrating our IT-systems with other national databases.
Making the Patent Office a competence centre of the whole intellectual property
In addition to industrial property, we want to extend our competence to the area of copyright.
Becoming a competence centre requires greater customer friendliness, clear communication, open interaction and increased number of advisory services, such as trainings and new consultations, to help customers in every way to file their applications.
As a leader of opinion on our field, we want to participate in the design and legislation of the entrepreneurship environment, as today, intellectual property rights are a precondition for knowledge-based and innovative economy. To describe our field of work more precisely, we consider expanding the name of our office to cover the whole area of intellectual property.
Development of an international and intra-Estonia network
In addition to engaging in domestic clients, we will increase our capability for foreign cooperation with other national patent offices and European and international organizations (EUIPO, EPO, WIPO). We also want to join the European unified patent court and create modern intellectual property protection environment to increase Estonia's innovation and develop the new Industrial Property Law Act.
Ensuring the motivation of employees
We want to be an innovative, effective and motivated office that people are proud to work for. We need to be characterized by satisfied customers, supportive and inspiring working environment, friendly and helpful organizational culture, close cooperation between departments, and open communication. That's why we strive to achieve a clear financing for the Office, modernisation of the working environment and constant increase in competence, to become a leader in the field of intellectual property.
The name of the Office in different languages is:
in English - The Estonian Patent Office;
in French - Office des brevets de l'Estonie;
In German - Estnisches Patentamt;
in Finnish - Viron patenttivirasto;
in Russian - Патентный депaртaмент Эстонии.