It is difficult to imagine the modern society without the electronic networks. Using the Internet facilitates greatly the human life: today one can buy food without leaving one’s home, watch a favorite movie at any time, read an interesting article or even file the documents for the registration of an industrial design, for example, at night. The writers of science fiction of the last century created their works about a person from the future living in the world of the digital technologies, who faced the difficulties arising in counterbalance to the opened opportunities. As we know, every medal has two sides; the situation is the same in the case of electronic filing an application: the system has positive and negative aspects. Let us consider them and make certain finally of the expedience of electronic filing an application for an industrial design.
The information that should be provided for filing an electronic application
The applicant may file an application via the FIIP official domain section “Filing an Application for an Industrial Design” (http://new.fips.ru/podacha-zayavki/podacha-zayavki-na-promyshlennyy-obrazets/) or the website of the Unified Portal of the State Services in the section “Obtaining a Patent of the Russian Federation for an Industrial Design” (https://www.gosuslugi.ru/16430/1). There is a detailed instruction on filling in the columns and providing the necessary information at the above Internet resources (https://rupto.ru/activities/function/instruction_services_epgu.pdf and http://new.fips.ru/podacha-zayavki/podacha-zayavki-na-promyshlennyy-obrazets/GuideID20171009.pdf ).
To file an application in an electronic format, the holder of the industrial design should provide:
1. An application for granting an industrial design.
2. A set of the product images.
3. A drawing of the product general appearance, and in some cases, a team chart, which is submitted in the event that the industrial design relates to the products of the light and textile industry. The team chart is a sample of the textile and knitted materials, leather, accessories, finishes and the like that are recommended for the manufacture of the product. At the same time, the sample of the materials with a repeating pattern (decorative materials, carpets, fabrics, etc.) shall be submitted in the size of a rapport of the pattern.
4. A description of the industrial design.
The above documents shall be attached in an electronic form, in accordance with the requirements for the format and volume of the files. The identical legal value of electronic and paper media is further emphasized on the websites of the state authorities.
The pros of electronic filing an application for an industrial design
According to the Report of Rospatent for 2018, the highest increase in electronic applications in the 4th quarter was recorded regarding industrial designs and it was 54, 86%. They recorded also an overall increase in the number of the applications received via the Internet during the past few years: 344 applications were received in 2017, 2545 applications were received in 2018, 707 applications were received in the first quarter of 2019. Such state of affairs is due to a number of the advantages, which include:
- Ensuring an earlier priority date. Due to an accelerated flow of the information as a result of an electronic circulation, the terms of the receipt of the application by the Office are reduced in comparison with the postal delivery.
- A remote method of the circulation. The person, who files an application via the Internet, can file it from any geographical point, on which territory the global electronic network operates.
- An ability to file the documents in a comfortable time. The service operates around the clock 7 days a week.
- It is permissible to file an application via the official website of the Office or using the Unified Portal of the State Services.
- A reduced size of the fee. In order to promote the electronic method of filing an application by the citizens, the Government of the Russian Federation has increased a discount size on the established state fee up to 30%.
- Electronic filing an application for the registration of an international industrial design in accordance with the Hague Agreement is permissible.
- The applicant monitors the movement of the application via a Personal Account in real time.
The cons of electronic filing an application for the registration of an industrial design
Despite the above said positive points, there are a number of the negative circumstances that can complicate filing an application via the Internet:
- To register the application via the Unified Portal of the State Services, it is necessary to obtain a certificate of the enhanced encrypted and certified digital signature certifying the authenticity of the owner of the Personal Account. To do this, one should contact one of the certification authorities accredited by the Ministry of Communications and Mass Media of Russian Federation, or the multifunctional center (MFC).
- Filling in an application in an electronic form sometimes causes no less difficulty than writing an application in a written form.
Comparing the pros and cons of the electronic method of filing applications, it is worth assuming that the positive circumstances prevail in quantity and in significance. Obviously, therefore in the future, the applications filed via the electronic networks will become even more popular, and their volumes will continue to grow.
The Report on the Activities of Rospatent for 2018 // URL: https://rupto.ru/content/uploadfiles/otchet_2018_ru.pdf;
 See ibid and The leaders of electronic filing the applications during the I quarter of 2019 // URL: http://www1.fips.ru/podacha-zayavki/lidery-elektronnoy-podachi-zayavok-1kv2019.php;
 Resolution of the Government of the Russian Federation of September 23, 2017 No. 1151.