In December 2018, the quality management system of the Patent Office was certified as compliant with the international standard “Quality management systems - Requirements ISO 9001:2015”. Obtaining an internationally recognized certificate confirms that the Patent Office is reliable, quality-centred and development-centred organization and its services meet the needs of the clients, as well as legal requirements. The certificate covers all core processes of the Office, starting from the registration of the industrial property rights to the information and consultancy services.
Noting the success of the Patent Office in improving the quality of services, Minister of Justice Mr. Jānis Bordāns points out: "The role of intellectual property in promoting the economy and attracting investment is increasing, while the protection intellectual property rights is one of the mechanisms by which entrepreneurs' innovative activities are supported. The Patent Office is a customer-oriented institution of the justice sector that promotes industrial property protection, maintains high standards of quality of provided services and cares about the accessibility to the services for residents. Therefore, I`m very pleased with the institution's achievements in obtaining this internationally recognized quality certification.”
In order to enhance the quality of the services provided by the Patent Office, facilitate human resource management, leadership and employee engagement in the achievement of the set objectives, the implementation of the quality management system in accordance with ISO 9001:2015 requirements was launched at the end of 2017. During 2018, which was the implementation period, the Office’s core processes were fundamentally evaluated by organizing internal working group meetings, reviewing and updating the relevant documentation, drafting and implementing the process maps for the core services. In a parallel workflow, trainings for the employees and internal auditors were organized. In order to adopt the best practice established by other national industrial property offices, the employees of the Patent Office had knowledge transfer meetings in the Icelandic Patent Office, the Slovenian Intellectual Property Office and organized a meeting with the representatives from the Danish Patent and Trademark Office and the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) on the premises of the Patent Office. As a result of a considerable amount of work, an internal audit was performed at the end of 2018.
“By implementing the quality management system in the Patent Office, we have significantly improved the internal processes, which will ensure service consistency and transparency to the end users in the long run. It must be mentioned that this achievement is the result of the joint efforts of the Patent Office employees and it underlines our commitment to improve our services by taking into account the benefits for the users,” with great satisfaction noted the Director of the Latvian Patent Office Mr. Sandris Laganovskis. “The user satisfaction survey, conducted in 2018, shows that 85% of all users are either completely satisfied or mostly satisfied with the services provided by the Office. We will continue to organize our work in accordance with the requirements of the standard, which will lead to improved service quality and accessibility”.
Quality management system of the Patent Office was certified by “DNV GL LATVIA”, which is one of the leading companies in the management system certification field. After the documentation and process compliance review, no non-conformities were detected. As a result, the quality management system of the Patent Office was approved to be compliant with the standard requirements. Quality management system in accordance to ISO 9001:2015 standard requirements was implemented under the EUIPO ECP5 project “Support to Management Systems for IP Offices”. To date, within the framework of a project, eight European industrial property offices have received ISO 9001:2015 certification, including the Latvian Patent Office. In accordance with the standard requirements, at least once a year the Office has to perform internal audits and external supervisory audit, whereas every three years the recertification audit must be completed, which will encourage the development of the Patent Office in the long run.
The mission of the Patent Office is to ensure the protection of the industrial property rights (for patents, trademarks and designs), support innovation through the economy, facilitate the cooperation between science and business, raise awareness among the members of the society about the importance of the intellectual property rights.