On 28.04.2017, the Administration and Management of Enterprises Chair at NTU "KhPI" was the place where the Olympiad results were summarised, and the winners were awarded.
A seminar was organised and held for the Olympiad participants. Stognii Ye.S., Patent Agent with LLC Inventa, was the facilitator of the seminar that discussed intellectual property management poblems.
In his report, Stognii Ye.S. treated the following issues:
- world statistics in patenting inventions and utility models in 2015 and 2016;
- the trends in patenting intellectual property in Ukraine; and
- patent trolling in Ukraine.
Ye. Stognii noted that patent protection of inventions and utility models is frequent practice. The total number of filed applications worldwide in 2015 was 2.9 mln, which is 7.8% more than in 2014. The leaders in filing invention and utility model applications in 2015 were China (1 101 864 applications), the USA (589 410), Japan (318 721), Republic of Korea (213 694), and the European Patent Office (160 028). In China, Japan and the Republic of Korea, the number of applications includes both invention and utility models.
The maximum number of applications filed abroad is in the USA (237,961 applications – a 6% growth), and in Japan (195 446 applications), which is 2.3% less than a year earlier. Applicants from Germany rank third, with the number of filed applications having dropped by 3.6% (101 892 applications).
In spite of that China inventors have filed a comparatively small number of applications abroad (42 154), this number has been growing invariably over the last twenty years, and presently it is about on a par with the figures in France (46 581 applications).
The biggest number of published patent applications in the world is in the area of computer engineering (7.9% of the total number), followed by electrical engineering (7.3%) and digital communication (4.9%).
According to estimates, in 2015, there were 10.6 mln valid patents worldwide. The USA accounted for about one-quarter (24.9% of this global figure), with Japan (18.3%) and China (13.9%) ranking second and third, respectively.
Against the figures given, the situation in Ukraine in patenting inventions and utility models appears very dismal. The number of filed invention applications in 2016 was 4,095, which is 8.9% less than in 2015. Of this number, only 2,422 applications are those of national applicants.
Analysis of patenting inventions in Ukraine over the recent years (2013-2016) is indicative of that patenting activity in Ukraine has been dropping steadily. The number of filed invention applications is merely 4,500-5,000 annually. Such low indicators of inventors' activity are the result of decline in industrial production in Ukraine.
It is worth mentioning the very low activity of Ukrainian inventors in the IT area, in spite of the significant potential of Ukrainian programmers who are the invariable leaders in the volume of Ukrainian export of goods and services. In 2015, this area accounted for an export of services to USD1.7 billion – and this figure is growing steadily. Igor Beda, the Managing Director of GlobalLogic in Ukraine, claims that an annual growth of 20-30% in this industry is a reality. With account of these forecasts, by 2020, the export of IT products from Ukraine will exceed that of metallurgical products. With this in view, the number of Ukrainian programmers is also growing steadily, and expert estimations are giving a figure of 180,000 specialists in 2020.
Unfortunately, as concerns IT patenting issues, Ukrainian developers of software products, as a rule, see no instruments to protect their rights. This results from both legal ignorance and lack of interest in securing one's priority in the software products market. A focus on executing orders from foreign firms and corporations shuts down the prospects of the Ukrainian software market development in spite of the potential of national IT specialists.
Our task – the speaker called upon the Olympiad participants – is to arouse the dormant potential of national IT specialists, and initiate a sweeping campaign for advocacy and protection of rights in the IT area.
Further, the speaker stressed that, presently, Ukraine is experiencing global changes in its economy, which are hard to evaluate yet in full scope. Among such changes, in particular, are that, as of 1 January 2016, Ukraine has entered the free trade zone with the EU. This has resulted in a more relentless competition of goods in the domestic market, but at the same time, has facilitated entrance to the European one. This circumstance imposes additional requirements to the quality and competitiveness of products made by national producers. A key factor in this respect is patenting one's inventions and utility models both in Ukraine and abroad.
As regards the need to patent their developments in Ukraine, the Olympiad participants voiced several critical remarks that utility model and industrial design patents are issued in Ukraine without conducting a qualifying examination, i.e. without a substantive one. This results in abuse of patent law and the emergence of a big number of patent trolls in the patent area of Ukraine. The participants voiced an opinion that Ukrpatent is demonstrating lack of control of this adverse phenomenon in the Ukrainian economy. This hinders customs processing for both national exporters and goods imported to Ukraine.
The speaker's report aroused much interest among the participants and sparked a discussion on many problems related to the demand in specialists competent in intellectual property, and on the opportunity of employment in this speciality area after high-school graduation.