5 November 2019
The EPO has signed a validation agreement with the government of Georgia, which, once in force, will allow European patent applications and patents to take legal effect in Georgia. The agreement was signed on 31 October in Munich by EPO President António Campinos and Deputy Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia, Genadi Arveladze. It is the fifth validation agreement to be signed by the EPO, and once it enters into force, will bring to 45 the number of countries for which patent protection can be obtained on the basis of a single European patent application.
"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."
Deputy Minister Arveladze said: "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."
Genadi Lebanidze, Chairman of the National Intellectual Property Center of Georgia, SAKPATENTI, also underlined the significance of co-operation with the EPO: "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."
Under the agreement, applicants will be able to validate their European patent applications and patents granted by the EPO in Georgia, even though it is not a contracting state to the European Patent Convention. European applications and patents validated for Georgia will have the same legal effects there as Georgian ones, and be subject to Georgian law exclusively. The agreement will enter into force once it has been adopted into Georgian law.
Co-operation between the EPO and SAKPATENTI currently consists of regular exchanges of patent information and training of Georgian patent examiners. Once a validation agreement is in force, the technical bilateral co-operation 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.