European Patent Validation System Expands to Georgia

In a groundbreaking stride towards innovation and international collaboration, Georgia is on the brink of a transformative change in its intellectual property (IP) framework. The agreement with the European Patent Organization (EPO) on the validation of European Patents (EP) is poised to enter into force, marking a significant milestone in Georgia’s commitment to fostering innovation and aligning with global patent standards.

The ratification of the Validation Agreement by the Georgian Parliament is the culmination of a comprehensive negotiation process initiated in 2012 with the EPO. Anticipated to be effective from January 2024, this agreement introduces a streamlined process for including Georgia as a Validation State in the European patent system.

Usually, acquiring patents in Georgia involved either direct filing with the Georgian Patent Office (SAKPATENTI) or using the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT). The Validation Agreement introduces a faster and more cost-effective option. Now, applicants can file a European patent application and request validation in Georgia, offering a more efficient pathway to patent protection.

This innovative approach offers great potential for inventors, businesses, and industries seeking patent protection in Georgia. By adhering to European standards, this method not only accelerates the patent acquisition process but also guarantees that EPs validated in Georgia hold an equivalent legal status to domestic patents.

The Validation Agreement carries profound legal implications. European patents, upon validation in Georgia, will be accorded the same legal recognition and protection as domestic patents. This harmonization of legal standards creates an equitable framework for both domestic and international patentees operating within Georgia, fostering an environment of fairness and transparency.

Apart from the immediate advantages of improved patent protection, the Validation Agreement strategically places Georgia for potential inclusion in the EPO. As Georgia advances towards this objective, the nation anticipates significant benefits in terms of collaboration, the exchange of knowledge, and access to a broad innovation ecosystem.

In tandem with the Validation Agreement, Georgia has introduced crucial amendments to its Patent Law. These changes not only fulfill the requirements for the Agreement but also seek to coordinate Georgian patent regulations by global norms, particularly those delineated in the European Patent Convention (EPC) and the legislation of EU countries.

Noteworthy modifications include the elucidation of criteria for patentability, the delineation of rights for inventors and patentees, and the incorporation of a dedicated section about Patent Attorneys. Importantly, commencing January 1, 2025, international applicants for patents will be required to enlist the expertise of an accredited Georgian patent attorney, ensuring comprehensive and specialized management of patent-related matters.

The revisions emphasize Georgia’s dedication to adopting international best practices. The shift towards specialization among registered patent attorneys brings the country’s intellectual property regulations in line with worldwide standards, ensuring that legal professionals possess expertise in specific domains, including patents, trademarks, and designs.

Although the precise commencement date of the Validation Agreement is yet to be officially announced, discussions in progress between Georgia and the EPO suggest a projected date of January 1, 2024.