As part of its efforts to address the covid-19 pandemic, since April 2020 the Russia Patent and Trademark Office (Rospatent) has introduced faster prosecution for patent applications for viruses and concomitant diseases, such as pneumonia. The following will receive priority consideration:

  • anti-viral drugs, prophylactic anti-viral drugs (eg, vaccines), drug-free methods of treatment and prevention of viral infection;
  • diagnostic methods for viral diseases (eg, diagnostic test systems);
  • medical devices (eg, artificial respirating units and inhalers);
  • protective equipment (eg, medical masks, eye protection devices and protective overalls); and
  • sterilising and disinfecting agents.

According to this procedure, a first substantive office action or a grant decision will be issued within two months.

It has now been over a year since the procedure was introduced and there has been a high volume of applications put forward for preferential consideration. According to recent Rospatent statistics, the average time to issue the first document in a substantive examination is 27 days, while the average time to consider an application, from the initiation of the substantive examination to the issuance of a final decision, is just under four months.

The fast-track process does not require additional fees and it begins automatically after filing. To ensure that it is implemented, it is recommended to draw the type of application to Rospatent’s attention at the time of filing.

Also, the Eurasian Patent Office, which grants Eurasian patents covering its member states, including Russia, does not offer comparable pandemic-related priority consideration. However, a standard expedite request is possible for a fee:

  • an accelerated formalities review (within five days is about $275 and within 10 days for about $135)
  • an accelerated substantive examination for about $820, in which case the first office action will be issued within three months from completion of formalities.

At the present time, it is advisable to file applications at Rospatent if the object is to obtain a patent for an invention relating to viruses as quickly as possible and at no additional cost.

Ksenia Paramonova

Gowling WLG (International) Inc

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