The new Industrial Property Institutions and Procedures Act entered into force in Latvia on January 1, amending the appeal proceedings, the PTO fees, and the rules that apply to IP attorneys.
According to a recent announcement on the website of the Latvian PTO, the Board of Appeals has been renamed into the Industrial Property Board of Appeals. Its members will be appointed by the Cabinet of Ministers and will be full time employees of this dispute resolution body, rather than employees of the PTO. According to the new law, appeals to PTO decisions will be subject to civil court proceedings before the Riga Vidzeme District Court, instead of administrative proceedings before the PTO.
As of January 1, 2016, the PTO is no longer a state-funded but a self-financed institution. The PTO will be able to invest more into development of the industrial property system in Latvia, such as into e-services, patent database and awareness raising initiatives.
Finally, civil insurance became obligatory for all practicing patent and trademark attorneys in Latvia. Patent attorneys will also have to adhere to the legally binding Code of Ethics prepared by the Association of Patent Attorneys of Latvia.