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Sakpatent cutting jobs but helping Georgia

By Salome Modebadze
Tuesday, February 9
The Sakpatent National Intellectual Property Centre is trying to cut its expenses in response to the financial crisis in the country, Irakli Ghvaladze, its Director General, said at a special briefing on February 8. “The number of staff has already been reduced from 250 to 81. Expenses have decreased from GEL 1,800,000 to GEL 450,000 by redrafting our budget. An amendment to the Georgian Patent Law concerning fees payable for registering intellectual property has already been sent to the Government for further discussion,” Irakli Ghvaladze stated at the briefing.

“Sakpatent will actively cooperate with the Ministry of Culture, Monument Protection and Sport on registering folklore inheritance such as traditional clothes. We plan to work with the Ministry of Agriculture on registering animals and plants according to geographic areas and we also want to officially register a list of medicines along with the Ministry of Health, Labour and Social Protection. This will ensure that all private companies will be able to register the most common medicines in their pharmacies, which are currently patent protected, as their own, and thus create competition which will prevent price fixing on particular medicines,” he added.

Sakpatent is a self-financed organisation responsible for the safeguarding of intellectual property such as industrial, scientific, literary and artistic creations, which is so important for the economic, social and cultural development of the country. Sakpatent protects innovations, adaptations, industrial processes and products, trademarks, location-specific production, new breeds of animals and plants, access to copyrighted materials, etc.

Sakpatent's Press Centre says that the organisation seeks to provide protection for Georgian products in the countries of the European Union to increase Georgia’s export opportunities and attract foreign investors to the country. The Centre plans to use money from registrations to pursue its aims and give all extra income to the State Budget. A well-balanced system and structure for protecting intellectual property will play a leading role in the establishment of a strategic development plan for our country.