Frequently Asked Questions - Patents
A. What can be patented as an invention
An idea, not transposed into at least one concrete embodiment, cannot be protected. In accordance with Article 7 of the Patent Law 64/1991, as republished in 2014, "mental activities" are not considered inventions. For a better understanding of this statement, please read the above-mentioned article on the OSIM website, in the chapter "Patents ".
However, you can benefit from the service of non-public storage at OSIM, by means of the "Idea Envelope", according to Art. 66 (f) of the above-mentioned law, by means of which a means of proof can be obtained concerning the date and authorship of a written material or drawing in the event of a litigation.
In accordance with Article 6 of the Patent Law 64/1991, as republished in 2014, a patent may be granted for any invention of technical nature having as a subject-matter a product or a process, provided that it is new, involves an inventive step and is susceptible of industrial application. Art.6 paragraph 2 refers to the case of inventions in the field of biotechnology. Art.7 of the same law mentions the fact that scientific discoveries, aesthetic creations, etc. are not considered inventions, and Art. 8 highlights what cannot be protected by a patent.
Yes, a technology can be registered, in accordance with Art. 6 of the Patent Law 64/1991, as republished in and 2014, as a process. For this purpose, in the description of the invention, the stages and operations that take place within the process will be highlighted, defining, by means of technical characteristics (temperatures, pressures, times, velocities, viscosities, chemical compositions or forms) each of said stages.
In accordance with Art.7 letter a) of the Patent Law 64/1991, as republished in 2014, discoveries, scientific theories and mathematical methods are not considered inventions. You can read this article in its entirety in the aforementioned law by accessing the OSIM website. Further on, read the answer to question A1.
The answer is no, because such a mechanism does not meet one of the conditions stipulated in Art. 6 and Art. 12 of the Patent Law 64/1991, as republished in 2014, called "industrial application". Please read these articles to understand the meaning of this syntagm. In other words, mechanisms, devices or installations that do not use an energy source, or the if energy obtained by means of them, seems to be superior - in value - to the employed energy, are not able to function and, as a result, cannot be used: perpetual motion mechanisms are not susceptible of industrial application since their "operation" is against the laws of physics.
With the Patent Law 64/1991, this category - innovation – is no longer mentioned. For the technical solutions that represent an improvement of a product or a technology and have a low inventive step, protection can be obtained by registration as utility model. The filing procedure is done in accordance with the Law no. 350/2007 concerning utility models published in the Official Gazette Part I no.851 of 12.12.2007.
B. Documents required for filing a patent application with OSIM
In order to file a patent application the form “Patent application” must be filed with OSIM in 3 copies (you can access it at the link “Forms”) and a documentation (also in three copies) which includes : the description of the invention, one or more claims, the drawings referred to in the description or claims (if they are necessary for the understanding of proposed technical solution) and an abstract. For more information, please read the answer to question B2.
The drafting of the technical documentation of a patent application must comply with Art. 16 (Art.17, respectively, for computer programs), Art.18, Art.19, and Art. 21 of the Implementing Regulations to Patent Law no. 64/1991, AS republished in 2007 and 2014, namely:
- the description of the invention - Art.16 or 17;
- the claims - Art.18;
- the drawings - Art.19;
- the abstract - Art.21.
Regarding the material (formal) conditions of the above documentation, Art. 20 of the same RegulationS, which can be accessed on the OSIM website, in the chapter “Patents of invention,” must be observed.
It is not necessary to present the practical embodiment of the invention. Article 20 (13) of the Implementing Regulations to the Patent Law 64/1991, as republished in 2014, specifies that the product carried out according to the invention, scale models, manufacturing projects concerning the invention, cannot be part of the filing of a patent application. It is sufficient to submit the patent documentation according to the guide that can be accessed on the OSIM website under the heading "Inventions" and to the answer to question B.2.
It is not necessary to bring personally to OSIM the forms, patent documentation or other documents related to your invention. They can be sent by post with acknowledgment of receipt or can be filed by someone else who can come to the OSIM headquarters.
The filing of standard forms and patent documentation shall be done at the Filing Receiving Office, room 3, on the ground floor of OSIM. It is also not mandatory to pay the fees for carrying out legal proceedings directly at the OSIM cashier. They can also be paid by payment order or money order. In connection with the payment of fees, see also the answer to question E.4.
C. Time Limits for Filing a Patent Application
A patent can be obtained in a time limit ranging from 2 to 4-5 years.
The period for issuing a patent depends on the requested procedure, the time of payment and the amount of fees paid by the applicant and, also, on the way in which the invention is disclosed in the technical documentation and the quality of the elaboration of the written and drawn parts.
The duration of a patent, according to Art. 30 and Art. 40 paragraph (2) of Patent Law 64/1991, as republished in 2014, is 20 years from the filing date, provided that the maintenance fees are paid.
For inventions which protect an active substance or a mixture of active substances in a medicinal product, or in a phytopharmaceutical product, or a process for their manufacturing, a supplementary protection may be granted, in the conditions of Art. 30 paragraph 3 of the same Law – a supplementary protection certificate - depending on the date of the first authorization of putting the product on the market (see Council Regulation (EEC ) no. 1768 / 18.06.1992 and EC Regulation of the European Parliament and the Council no. 1610 / 23.07.2007).
Provisional protection of an invention for which a patent application has been filed with OSIM is obtained after its publication in the BOPI Inventions Section (see Art. 32 of Patent Law 64/1991, as republished in 2014). Provisional protection lasts until the date of a decision taken by the Examination Board. As a result, the process of applying an invention should start after the publication of the application in the Official Industrial Property Bulletin - BOPI - Patents Section.
The publication in BOPI of the patent application (the abstract of the invention accompanied, if appropriate, by a representative figure) may be made no earlier than 4 months from the filing date (in accordance with Art. 35 paragraph 11 of the Implementing Regulations to the Patent Law 64/1991, as republished) provided that an emergency publication fee is paid in accordance with point 5 of Annex 1 of the Government Ordinance no. 41 on the fees in the industrial property protection field and the conditions for using the same, as republished in 2006, with amounts updated on 01.01.2023. Simultaneously with the publication of the patent application abstract in BOPI, the specification consisting of descriptions, claims and, if applicable, drawings (according to rule 35 (12) of the aforementioned Regulation) shall be made available to the public at OSIM headquarters.
D. Consultancy in the field of industrial property
According to Article 1 of the Patent Law 64/1991, republished in 2014, "the rights in inventions shall be recognized and protected on the territory of Romania by the grant of a patent by OSIM under the conditions specified by the law." From the above-mentioned paragraph, you must understand that you can protect your invention only by filing a patent application with OSIM.
OSIM cannot be involved in this consultancy, but on the OSIM website, under the heading "Documentary Search", there is the "National Patent Databases". In this database you can identify granted patents whose documentation can be listed and used as a model. On the other hand, if you consider that you need specialized support for the proper preparation of the documentation, you can use, for a fee, the services of an attorney in the field of industrial property, according to Art.37 paragraphg (1) of Patent Law 64/1991, republished in 2014. You can also call on one of the Regional Centers of OSIM, which can give you general methodological instructions concerning the elaboration of the application. Both the list of industrial property attorneys and the list of Regional Centers can be accessed on the institution's website.
You must sign a confidentiality agreement with this authorized professional representative in which he agrees not to disclose information about your invention in any way.
If you have filed a patent application with OSIM or you are the patent owner and you have information that a third party is using your invention without your consent, you can first inform them in writing that you are the patent applicant, or the patent owner, sending a document attesting to this fact, ordering it to immediately cease all activity in connection with the invention. In the summons, appeal to Art. 31 and Art. 32 of Patent Law 64/1991, republished in 2014, mentioning what are the legal sanctions in this situation according to Art. 56 of the same law.
You can exhibit an invention for which you have not yet applied, at an international exhibition. But in order to be able to protect yourself, without the disclosure of the exposure being opposable to you, it is mandatory, as a first step, to obtain from the organizer a document certifying your participation in that exhibition. The next step is to file with OSIM a patent application, accompanied by a declaration regarding the display of the invention in the exhibition and the above-mentioned document, within a maximum of 6 months from the date of the exhibition (read Art. 10 of Patent Law 64/1991, republished in 2014, as well as Art. 28 of the Implementing Regulation to this law). It is recomanded that the document be supported by a description and a drawing, or an overall photography of the invention, both signed by the same organizer.
E. Legal fees for obtaining a patent
The fees for filing a patent application can be accessed on the OSIM website, in Annex 1 of the Government Ordinance no. 41 on fees in the field of industrial property and and the condition of their use, republished in 2006, with the amounts updated on 01.01.2023. You will also find information in the “Fees” section of the guide “How to File a Patent Application with OSIM.” The fees can vary from 475 lei, in case of maximum reduction of the amounts of fees and up to 3613 lei, in case you opt for emergency fees. In connection with the fees reductions, please read Art.2 and Art.10 of the mentioned Ordinance on fees, in order to see which are the exemptions that you can benefit from and which are the fees that can be reduced.
In order to benefit from the legal fees reductions, natural persons must present documents attesting to their average gross monthly income for the last 12 months (certificate from work, from the Labour Office, from the Rector’s Office, from the military unit, etc. ) and an affidavit. The legal entities will present a copy of the balance sheet for the previous financial year.
A patent application may go through the procedures of "publication" and "substantive examination" in shorter terms, namely, of 5-6 for publications and 18 months for substantive examination, if the "emergency" fees provided for in points 5 and 7 of Annex 1 of the Government Ordinance no. 41 on fees in the field of industrial property and the conditions of their use, republished in 2006, with the amounts updated on 01.01.2023 are payed.
Fees in Lei can be paid:
- in the OSIM account RO05 TREZ 7032 0F33 5000 XXXX, Trezoreria Sector 3, Bucharest; tax code: 4266081
Indicate on the payment document the registration number of the Patent or the Patent application and for which procedure that fee is payable.
Once the fee has been paid, please send us a copy of the document by email or post.
- directly at the OSIM cashier
In order to obtain information on the status of payment of fees for your patent application, you can contact the examiner of your application, calling OSIM: 021/3060800, at extension lines 236 or 232. For obtaining information about the situation of the fees for maintaining the patent in force, call the same switchboard number, at extension line 331.
The amounts of the fees for maintaining a granted patent in force can be accessed on the OSIM website, at the point no. 23 of Annex 1 of Government Ordinance no. 41 on fees in the field of industrial property and the conditions of their use, republished in 2006, with amounts updated on 01.01.2023. The fees for maintenance in force are due from the 3rd year until the 20th year of protection. They shall be paid annually, until the beginning of the respective protection year.
F. Procedures for Examining a Patent
In accordance with Article 22 paragraph 1 of the Patent Law 64/1991, republished in 2014, national patent applications are published immediately after the expiration of the 18-month period from the filing date or, from that of the priority date, if a priority has been recognized. International patent applications filed under the PCT are published immediately after the expiration of a period of 6 months from the opening of the national phase (Art. 22 paragraph 2 of the same law).
In accordance with Article 6 of the Law 64/1991 , republished in 2014, a patent may be granted for any invention provided that it is new, involves an inventive step and is susceptible of industrial application. For a better understanding of these patentability conditions, please read, from the mentioned law, Art. 9 (which refers to novelty), art.11 (inventive step) and art.12 (susceptibility to industrial application).
If you have received a notification from OSIM you can see the name of the examiner of your application. If you have not yet received a notification, call OSIM 021/3060800, extension lines 236 or 232, and you will be notified about the examiner of your file. Return to the same switchboard number to request the contact with that examiner.
Following the payment of the fee provided for in point 7 of the Annex 1 of the Government Ordinance no. 41 on fees in the field of industrial property and the conditions of their use, republished in 2006, with the amounts updated on 01. 01. 2023 ( see the answer to question E3) the substantive examination of the patent application may be carried out within 18 months from the date of the regular national filing.
The search report (Art. 23 of Patent Law 64/1991, republished in 2014) is drawn up by OSIM at the request of the applicant and following the payment of a fee (see point 6 of Annex 1 of Government Ordinance no. 41 on fees in the field of industrial property and the conditions of their use, republished in 2006, with the amounts updated on 01.01.2023). It contains relevant patents and, where appropriate, a written opinion on the patentability of the solution claimed in the patent application. The report shall be published in BOPI together with the patent application or subsequently.
The substantive examination of a patent application is a complex procedure that takes place after the publication of the patent application in BOPI and shall be effected by an examiner, specialist in the technological field of the subject matter of the application. The period in which the substantive examination is made is conditioned by the amount of the paid fees. During the substantive examination, in relation to the content of the claims, the national and international documentary research is made and the solution of the application is compared with the known state of the art revealed by the documentary search, to see if the novelty and inventive step of the application are met. The conclusion of the substantive examination shall be forwarded to the applicant who may reply within the time allowed by the examiner if he has any objections. Further information on the substantive examination can be read in the Implementing Regulations to the Patent Law 64/1991, republished in 2014, in Chapter II, Section 3 on the OSIM website, in the chapter "Patents".
G. Documentary Search
It is advisable to conduct a documentary search because it has several advantages:
1. It highlights new solutions that can be used to improve your invention;
2. it defines this way the known prior art;
3. A greater certainty regarding the granting of the patent is obtained if, in the claims, the solutions retrieved during the research are avoided.
A prior search, necessary to outline the known state of the art, can be conducted in the following ways:
- by filing a standard requestn and paying a fee, in accordance with the Order of the Director General of OSIM no. 32 / 31.03.2011; the form and the fees can be accessed on the OSIM website, under the heading “Documentary Search”, then “Documentary Search upon request” and then "Patents";
- through a Regional Center;
- using the services of an industrial property attorney, for a fee;
- on your own, by accessing "“Documentary Search”" on the OSIM website, then "National Patent Databases" (further see the answer to question G3).
On the OSIM website, under the heading "Documentary search" you can access, through the "National Patent Databases", a search window in which, in the "Title (RO)" box, you can enter keywords from the field. You will get lists of the granted patents having that keyword in the title, their application and patent numbers, as well as the international classification index. Continue the access, through the patent number, to reach first to the application abstract and again through the patent number at the top of the abstract page, to see the full patent description.
H. Application of the invention
In accordance with the Government Decision no. 573/1998 on the organization and functioning of OSIM, our organization has no attributions regarding the application of the inventions, the contacting of third parties interested in the patented technical solution, of sponsors, or of possible willing persons to take over the granted patent.
In our website www.osim.ro, under the heading "Offer of patents and patent applications for license or assignement purposes" the Patent or the Patent applications of your invention can be displayed, for 6 months, for a fee of 30 lei, or for 1 year for a fee of 60 lei. In this section you can access a standard form, which you must fill in and submit to OSIM, together with the fee corresponding to this request.
The right in a patent, the right to the grant of a patent and the rights arising from a patent may be transferred in whole or in part. The transfer can be made by assignment or by license, exclusive or non-exclusive, or by legal or testamentary succession (Art. 42 of Patent Law no. 64/91, republished in 2014). The transfer of the rights must be brought to the attention of OSIM by filing, in original or legalized copy, the respective act and paying a fee of 495 lei, according to point 14 a) of Annex 1 of Government Ordinance no.41 on industrial property fees and the conditions for using the same, republished in 2006, with the amounts updated on 01.01.2023.
The value of an invention is determined by the demand of the market, the field in which it can be applied and, last but not least, the technical effects which, by application, it would produce. To better appreciate the value of an invention, we recommend you use a certified valuer (member of NARAV - National Association of Romanian Valuers) who, for a fee and following a complex marketing study and costs calculation concerning the application of the invention, will recommend you the most appropriate price to charge for your invention.
In such cases, it is advisable to be assisted by an industrial property attorney who will draw up a contract in which your rights will be protected and who will participate in the negotiations. Industrial property attorneys are people who have taken specialized courses at OSIM, have passed the certification exam and are members of the National Chamber of Industrial Property Attorneys in Romania - CNCPIR, and their list can be found on our website www.osim.ro or on the CNCPIR website: www.patent-chamber.ro.
I. The protection provided by the patent
No, because the patent is a title of protection limited to the territory of the state, or to the territory of the states that have authorized the respective national or regional industrial property office, in the case of OSIM: the territory of Romania. According to art.1 of the Patent Law no.64/91, republished in 2007 and 2014 (see also the answer to question D.1.) “The rights in inventions shall be recognized and defended (only) on the territory of Romania.” As a result, after filing a patent application with OSIM, if you are interested in obtaining protection for your invention in other countries, you will need to follow the suggestions in the answer to question J.4.
J. Patenting Abroad
No! Article 39 of the Patent Law no. 64/91, republished in 2014, stipulates that “inventions made by Romanian natural persons may not be patented abroad until a patent application has been filed with OSIM.”
Theoretically, the applicant can do this alone, but the procedure is complex and lengthy. It involves a very good knowledge of a foreign language, a very careful follow-up of time limits, the payment of fees and contacting the professional representatives of the respective countries. In this situation, you can hire an authorized professional representative, who can be selected from our site under the heading "Industrial Property Attorneys". The international application can be filed to OSIM as a receiving office.
Based on the principles of the Paris Convention, the registration of patent applications in one or more States Parties to this Convention may be done with or without claiming priority. Protection can be requested nationally, regionally or internationally. National protection refers to the registration of a patent application in each of the States in which the invention is to be applied, the patent procedures being carried out and the granting of the patent being done by the national authorities according to the respective legislations. Regional protection is done by registering the patent application at the Office of a Regional Organization or at OSIM as an office acting on behalf of that organization. The regional organizations that can be used to obtain regional protection for an invention are: the European Patent Office, the Eurasian Patent Organization, the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization. International protection following the patenting of the invention in PCT member countries can be done by filing the application with OSIM, as an office acting on behalf of the PCT, or directly with the WIPO International Bureau in Geneva which acts as the receiving office for international PCT applications.
Any person who has duly filed a patent application in any State Party to the Paris Convention, or a Member State of the World Trade Organization - WTO, shall be benefit, for a subsequent application for a patent in Romania, for the same invention, by a right of priority for a period of 12 months calculated from the filing date of the previous application (Art. 19 of the Patent Law no. 64/91, republished in 2014). Romanian applicants shall enjoy the same right of priority if they have a regular filing in Romania and can make a subsequent filing in any of the member states of the convention and of the above organization, respectively. This way they can claim, within the priority term of 12 months, the filing date obtained in Romania, at OSIM.