RPTO offers new Ideas Envelope service

Through Order 63 of June 27 2008 (published in Official Gazette Issue 527, July 14 2008), the Romanian Patent and Trademark Office (RPTO) has launched the Ideas Envelope, a new service allowing the deposit and protection of documents containing works and creations that cannot be protected under existing IP laws.

Who can use it?
The Ideas Envelope is intended to be used by natural persons and legal entities that want to deposit with the RPTO works, creations, ideas, methods or concepts in order for the RPTO to certify the filing date.

The order contains a non-exhaustive list of the works and creations which can be deposited with the RPTO, as follows: 

  • non-patentable creations (eg, discoveries, scientific theories, mathematical methods, plans, principles and methods in the field of economic activities); 
  • various works in the technical and scientific field (eg, technical norms and creations, technologies, discoveries, theories, studies and instructions for use); 
  • literary and musical works; 
  • photographs; 
  • artistic or other creations to be displayed in catalogues, irrespective of the field; 
  • organisational and functioning rules and regulations, as well as other administrative materials; 
  • teaching and entertainment materials; and 
  • calendars and horoscopes.

However, the following items cannot be deposited through the Ideas Envelope: 

  • three-dimensional objects; 
  • samples of forbidden substances; 
  • documents containing classified or classifiable information; and 
  • technical solutions or other creations contrary to public order, morality or professional ethics, including those affecting the health and life of people, animals and plants and which are of such nature as to harm the environment severely.

What does it looks like?
The Ideas Envelope has two identical compartments with self-adhesive closing flaps. The compartments are attached in such a way as to form a double A4-sized envelope when unfolded. One compartment bears the words “To be returned to the applicant”, while the other says “To be kept with the RPTO”. The Ideas Envelope can be obtained upon payment of a fee amounting to Lei150 (approximately €41) from the RPTO or the regional industrial property centres located in 14 Romanian cities.

Filing and registration procedure
The Ideas Envelope may be filed with the RPTO by the creator of the work personally or by registered mail. Various formal requirements must be observed when preparing the Ideas Envelope for filing: 

  • The work or creation must be presented on A4 letter paper, photographic paper, tracing paper or thin cardboard; 
  • The documents: 
    • must be transmitted to the RPTO in two identical counterparts (each inserted in the special compartment of the envelope); 
    • cannot exceed 10 sheets; and 
    • must remain visible for at least five years; and 
  • After gluing the flaps of each compartment, the applicant must state its name and address on the envelope and, if the envelope is to be posted to the RPTO, apply the correct postage.

After receipt and verification of the envelope, the RPTO registers it in the Register for Documents Held in the Non-public Regime. The envelope is divided into its two compartments and the RPTO stamps the filing date and registry filing number on each envelope. One is then returned to the applicant and the other is retained at the registry.

Duration of deposit and related fees
The envelope may be deposited with the RPTO for a maximum period of 10 years from the registration date - an initial duration of five years, with the option to extend for another five upon payment of a prescribed fee. If the applicant does not request the envelope within three months of the expiry of the deposit period, the RPTO shall deem the envelope to be abandoned and shall destroy it without further notifying the applicant.

The applicant or its heirs may withdraw the envelope from the RPTO at any time during the deposit period, either personally or through an attorney by means of a written request accompanied by a copy of the applicant’s identity card, the inheritance certificate or a notarised power of attorney. In addition, the courts may request the envelope if it is to be used as evidence in a pending litigation case.

The Ideas Envelope is not a new method of IP protection (ie, it is not equivalent to a patent or trademark registration certificate); nor does it confer on the applicant the right to prevent an IP rights holder from exploiting a work protected by that IP right. However, by certifying the date on which the work or creation was deposited with the RPTO, the Ideas Envelope may be an efficient way to demonstrate that an intellectual work has been previously used or that the creation existed at a certain date - ultimately, it may be used to establish the origin of the work.

This is an Insight article, written by a selected partner as part of IAM's co-published content. Read more on Insight

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