From the 1st of April 2021, the Estonian Patent Office performs certain tasks of an applied nature in the field of copyright and related rights.

The tasks are following.

  • To act as a mediator of information on the status of the orphan works in Estonia, i.e. act as a competent authority within the meaning of Article 3(5) of Directive 2012/28/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council.

The competent authority has essentially two tasks. The competent authority shall forward the information received from public memory institutions and Estonian Public Broadcasting about work declared to be orphan works to the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) database. However, if the ownership of the work or phonogram declared orphan is subsequently confirmed, the competent authority shall transmit this information to the database of orphan works maintained by EUIPO.

In 2023 there were no orphan works registered in the database of orphan works.

  • To exercise state supervision over the activities of the collective management organizations (CMOs) and ensuring compliance with the requirements stated in Chapter IX of the Copyright Act.

Chapter IX of the Copyright Act regulates the collective exercise of rights and section 3 of the chapter includes provisions for state supervision over the activities of CMOs. Chapter IX also enacts requirements for CMOs and their activities. Additionally is regulated the use of revenue from the exercise of rights and its distribution to rightsholders, the terms and conditions for concluding a contract with users (including the introduction of reasonable tariffs) and providing information from CMOs to rightsholders as well as to users and to the general public on the exercise of these rights (including the submission of a transparency report, the disclosure of information on a website). Most of the requirements for which state supervision is exercised arise from Directive 2014/26/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council.

In November and December 2023, the Patent Office carried out monitoring on the web sites of CMOs (Estonian Authors' Society, Estonian Performers Association, The Estonian Association of Audiovisual Authors, Estonian Association of the Phonogram Producers, Estonian Actors' Association and Estonian Film Industry Cluster) on the basis of § 7915 and §7926 of the Copyright Act. The Board verified whether the CMO has disclosed and kept up-to-date the following information:

1) the statute of the organisation and documents approved on the basis of the statute with information arising from § 791 section 1 and § 792 sections 1 and 2;
2) standard licensing agreements and applicable standard tariffs with discounts;
3) data of the members of the management board;
4) general principles of distribution of sums receivable by rightholders;
5) general principles of appointing administrative fees;
6) general principles of deductions other than those related to administrative fees from the remuneration received from the rights or from the investment thereof;
7) list of representation agreements entered into by the organisation and the names of the collective management organisations with whom these representation agreements have been entered into;
8) general principles of use of non-distributable sums;
9) the possibilities for filing complaints and resolving disputes provided for in § 871 sections 2–4 of the Copyright Act and other Acts;
10) a transparency report prepared on the basis of § 7916 section 1 of the Copyright Act and approved at the general meeting.

The Office identified some shortcomings in the disclosure or keeping up-to-date of this information and sent emails to CMOs about these deficiencies. Some of the deficiencies have already been remedied.

In 2023, the Office also held annual cooperation meetings with CMOs.

  • To organise the work of the Copyright Committee.

The Copyright Committee was formed to the Estonian Patent Office on the 1st of April 2021. The committee is a conciliation body within the meaning of § 19 of the Conciliation Act and carries out the tasks listed in § 87 section 1 subsections 1–5 of the Copyright Act, for example, resolves disputes related to copyright and related rights by conciliation of the parties.

In 2023, the Copyright Commission receivad 2 applications and one conciliation procedure was carried out. The proceedings concerned the author's request for the formation of a written author's contract, which was not done with the author when the book was published, and for the determination of the copyright for the design of the book.

Approximately 60 requests for clarification were received in 2023 in the copyrights consultation mailbox.


Cady Kaisa Rivera
Cady Kaisa Rivera

Head of the Intellectual Property Law Department