Development of intellectual property in Belarus
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Development of intellectual property in Belarus
The world community celebrates World Intellectual Property Day on April 26 every year. The issues of security, management and protection of rights to intellectual property objects are involved into various areas of human activity, such as industry, commerce, science, art and even sports. For Belarus, this issue is of a particular importance, since our country is guiding the development of the national economy towards strengthening the role of knowledge and innovation. Alexander Shumilin, Chairman of the State Committee on Science and Technology, told BelTA correspondent about the strategy of Belarus in the field of intellectual property, commercialization and export of services.
Legislation and International Treaties
Belarus is implementing an intellectual property strategy for 2012–2020. This is a fundamental document that determines the area of development of this system in the country. The key role of this process belongs to the State Committee on Science and Technology and its subordinate organization, the National Center for Intellectual Property (NCIP). ‘Recent years have been marked by significant achievements in this area. The desire to follow international standards in the field of intellectual property regulation is reflected on the legislative level. The country is expanding the base of international treaties,’ Alexander Shumilin said.
Belarus joined the agreement on the procedure for managing copyright and related rights on a collective basis through the EAEU and to the Patent Law Treaty. Also, Belarus is going to join the Marrakesh Treaty on facilitating the access of blind people and people with visual impairments or other limited abilities to perceive printed information of published works in the near future.
The Chairman of the SCST stressed that the national legislation promptly responds to the changing economic landscape within the country. For example, the laws “On Trademarks and Service Marks” and “On Patents for Inventions, Utility Models and Industrial Designs” were reconsidered. ‘Patent duty rates are constantly reviewed to create the most favorable environment for filing applications for intellectual property. For example, individual patent duty rates are reduced by an average of 30%. There are privileges for their payment for organizations accredited as scientific. These organizations pay patent fees for legally significant actions related to the provision of the legal protection to inventions in the amount of 25% of the established amount,’ he said.
‘It becomes certain that the created objects of intellectual property should not just be protected, but also be used for profit at this stage of the development of the economy. To achieve this goal, the national intellectual property system is supplemented with new links,’ Alexander Shumilin said.
According to the decision of the State Committee on Science and Technology, the virtual intellectual property exchange integrated into the official website of NCIP, which contains information on promising inventions and commercial offers. The exchange enables domestic inventors to offer their innovative developments online, which fruitfully influences the development of the market. In addition, a center for promoting the commercialization of intellectual property was created within the NCIP structure with the assistance of the State Committee on Science and Technology. ‘The Center for Technology and Innovation Support, created on the basis of the National Scientific and Technical Library, also operates in Belarus. It is a part of a global project of the World Intellectual Property Organization to provide inventors and businessmen with current patent and technical information,’ the Chairman of the State Committee on Science and Technology added.
The number of agreements on the transfer of rights to the use of intellectual property is growing annually in Belarus. Last year, the NCIS registered 688 ones. The largest share falls on license agreements. However, the growth of the number of franchising contracts is indicative for the development of the national economy, since it is they that make it possible to attract large global brands into the country.
Alexander Shumilin cited several examples of a successful work of Belarusian organizations on the commercialization of intellectual property. The Scientific Research Institute of Physical and Chemical Problems of the Belarusian State University has 45 licensing agreements, which brought about 400 thousand USD in revenue. Polotsk State University received royalties from abroad in the amount of about 1 million euros only for one development “The device for Express Analysis of Petroleum Products”.
According to the National Statistics Committee, the export of services in 2018 in the area of fees for the use of intellectual property amounted to 65.7 million USD, which is almost three times more than in 2015. The volume of exports of computer services in 2018 amounted to 1.585 billion USD. It is almost two times higher than in 2015.
Protection of Intellectual Property Rights
‘Thanks to the ongoing state policy, significant results have been achieved in increasing the efficiency of protecting the rights of Belarusian creators. The measures taken ensure the dynamic development and strengthening of the mechanisms for implementation of the rights of authors in Belarus and abroad.
‘The collection and payments of royalties for Belarusian authors are increased each year,’ Alexander Shumilin said.
Each year the remuneration in the amount of 6 million Br is collected in the field of the collective management of the rights of authors and rightholders. Receipts from patent fees amounting to more than Br15 million in the field of industrial property rights are annually transferred to the national budget.
The Chairman of the SCST drew attention to the importance of solving educational and illuminator tasks for the development of the national intellectual property system. Specialists in this field can increase their level of knowledge by taking advanced training courses, including those organized by international organizations, and taking part in seminars with representatives of the international expert community.
Plans for the Future
‘We cannot rest on our laurels. The current level cannot suit us, and the range of tasks will expand and become more complex taking into account modern world realities,’ Alexander Shumilin emphasized. ‘The improvement of the national legislation, including the preparation of a new strategy for Belarus, and the country's accession to a number of international agreements are among the top priorities in the field of intellectual property.’
The development of the innovation infrastructure, as well as the technical infrastructure of the intellectual property office based on the use of modern information technologies will be one of the areas of the work. A special attention will be paid to the development of a system of alternative dispute resolution. The work will be continued to strengthen the capacity of higher education institutions and research institutions, small and medium-sized businesses, so that they can fully utilize the benefits of the intellectual property system.
The visit to Belarus of Francis Gurry, director general of the World Intellectual Property Organization, is scheduled for June of 2019. ‘This visit is an evidence of the importance of the role of Belarus in the international arena in the field of intellectual property,’ the Head of the State Committee on Science and Technology said.
Alexander Shumilin drew attention to the fact that opportunities for the self-implementation of inventors, authors, scientists and researchers are expanding in the process of development of the Belarusian intellectual property system. This creates a solid foundation for achievements in various sectors of the economy and culture.
Valeria GAVRILOVA, BELTA.-0-