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  • Intellectual property framework

    Overview

    Intellectual property is a right protected by the Constitution of the Republic of Angola. The fundamental intellectual property framework in Angola is provided in 2 main acts: the Legal Regime for the Protection of Copyright and Related Rights and the Industrial Property Law.

  • Commercial contract framework

    Overview

    Angolan law lays down a general principle of contractual freedom, which means that parties are mostly free to establish the terms and conditions to be observed by the contracts they enter into (exceptions are made to mandatory rules legally imposed which will depend on the specific contractual relationship) and are entitled to enter into contracts provided for in the law, but also into contracts that are not provided for in the law.

    Angolan law does not establish a unitary act or set of rules applicable to all commercial contracts. Depending on the specific contractual relationship, commercial contracts may be subject to the provisions of the Civil Code, Commercial Code, Copyright and Related Rights Law, and the Industrial Property Law as well as other specific legislation.

    The aforementioned set of rules changes according to the specific contract in question.

  • Copyrights

    Nature of right

    Copyright covers original literary, scientific and artistic intellectual creations, or works. Registration is not required for the acquisition or maintenance of copyright rights; however, there are certain specific copyright-related acts subject to registration in order to be valid.

    In Angola, copyright comprises economic and moral rights.

    In the scope of economic rights, copyright owners have the exclusive right to use, enjoy and dispose of their work, or to authorize the use of the work, wholly or in part, by third parties.

    Moral rights consist in the right to claim authorship of the work, as well as the right to ensure its genuineness and integrity.

    Legal framework

    Copyrights are governed by Law No. 15/14 of July 31, which introduced the Legal Regime for the Protection of Copyright and Related Rights.

    Duration of right

    As general rule, moral copyrights are unlimited in time and, therefore, are inalienable and imprescriptible. With respect to economic copyrights, copyright protection lasts for a term of 70 years, counted as of January 1 of the first year after the death of the author, as well as through the life of the author.

    In the case of works in collaboration, copyright expires 70 years after the death of the last surviving author. As per collective works or works originally assigned to a corporate person, copyright expires 70 years from the date of the first licit publication or disclosure, except if the individuals who create it were identified in the version of the work available to the public.

    For an anonymous work, or work that was legally published or disclosed without identifying the respective author, protection is for 70 years after publication or disclosure.

    Please note that, with respect to applied arts and photographic works, economic copyrights protection lasts for a term of 45 years, counted as of January 1 of the first year after the death of the author.

    Economic copyrights related to a broadcaster last up to 35th calendar year after the broadcast.

    Ownership / licenses

    Moral rights are inalienable.

    The copyright owner, as well as their successors or assignees, may authorize the use of the work by third parties or assign economic rights, wholly or partially.

    Granting an authorization to third parties in order for them to divulge, publish, use or explore the work does not imply the transfer of copyright rights.

    Authorization shall only be granted in writing, mandatorily including the parties involved, the title and type of the work, the rights concerned, the duration, place and price conditions.

    Please note that the assigns are only effective against third parties when registered.

    Remedies for infringement

    The copyright owner may request payment of compensation by the agent for damages and losses to repair the damage suffered as a result the infringement, as well as payment of expenses caused by that infringement, which may include legal expenses.

    The amount of the compensation is determined in accordance with the civil liability regime provided for by the Angolan Civil Code, taking into account the amount of material and moral damage suffered by the copyright owner, as well as the profit obtained by the offender.

    When it is proven that the infringing copies affect a right, the Court may order, ensuring that the penalty is proportionate to the seriousness of the offense and taking into account the legitimate interests of third parties, the destruction of those copies and their packaging or their elimination of trade channels by any other reasonable means, without compensation of any kind, in order to avoid any damage to the copyright owner.

  • Mask works / topographies

    Nature of right

    Mask works and topographies are not separately protected under Angolan law. They may be protected under patent law or by way of confidentiality.

    Legal framework

    Angolan has enacted no specific rules on protection of mask works or topographies. Although Angola is part of the WTO and has approved the TRIPS Agreement, it has not yet implemented any rules on mask works or topographies protection.

    Semiconductor technology, generally, and topographies, in particular, may be protected under the traditional intellectual property rules applicable to all types of technology, particularly patent law and the rules on confidential information. Therefore, matters such as the duration of the relevant rights, ownership and remedies depend on the type of protection used in connection with each specific mask work or topography.

    Duration of right

    Not applicable for this jurisdiction.

    Ownership / licenses

     Not applicable for this jurisdiction.

    Remedies for infringement

    Not applicable for this jurisdiction.

  • Patents

    Nature of right

    Patent rights cover new inventions, in all fields of technology, provided that they are new, involve an inventive step and are susceptible of industrial application.

    An invention shall be considered new if it does not form part of the state of the art, which comprises everything, inside or outside the country, made available to the public by means of a written or oral description, by use, or in any other way, before the date of filling of the patent application.

    An invention shall be considered involving an inventive step if it is not obvious to a person skilled in the art.

    An invention shall be considered susceptible of industrial application if it can be made or used in any kind of industry, including agriculture, fishing and handicraft.

    A national patent confers on its owner the exclusive right to exploit the patented invention in Angolan territory.

    Legal framework

    Patents are governed by the following:

    • Chapter II, the Industrial Property Law (Articles 2 to 14)
    • Membership of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), approved by Resolution No. 9/84 of July 20
    • Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property – approved by Resolution No. 22/05 of August 19
    • Cooperation Treaty patent (PCT) approved by Resolution No. 22/05 of August 19 and
    • Membership of the World Trade Organization (WTO), hence the TRIPS Agreement (Accession November 23, 1996).

    Duration of right

    Patent protection is granted up to a maximum period of 15 years from the date of filling of the patent application.

    Ownership / licenses

    Patents can be transferred in writing, by means of public deed, whether or not for financial reward.

    Patents may also be licensed in writing, wholly or partially, whether or not for financial reward, on an exclusive or non-exclusive basis.

    Transfer of ownership and licenses shall be recorded in the Angolan Institute of Industrial Property to be effective against third parties.

    Remedies for infringement

    Whenever there is violation of or justified fear that another party may cause serious and difficult-to-repair harm to an industrial property right, including patent rights, the court may, at request of the interested party, order the appropriate measures to prevent any imminent violation or to prohibit continuation of the violation.

    Whoever illegally violates the industrial property rights of another person with intent or by negligence shall be obliged to pay a compensation to the injured party for damages resulting from the violation.

    In determining the amount of compensation for losses and damages, the court shall take into account the profit obtained by the infringer and the resulting damages and lost profits suffered by the injured party. The costs borne out of protection of the right in question and the investigation and termination of the harmful conduct shall also be taken in consideration, as well as personal injury.

    Infringement of the exclusive right granted by a patent may be also punishable as crime with imprisonment up to 6 months or a fine.

  • Trademarks

    Nature of right

    A trademark is a sign that distinguishes a company's goods or services, from the goods and services provided by other companies. There are 3 types of trademarks, namely:

    • Nominative: when constituted by letter(s) or word(s)
    • Figurative: consisting of figures or images and
    • Mixed: when it includes a combination of figures and words or letters in its constitution.

    The registered trademark confers to the owner, the right to prevent third parties that do not have their consent from using in the course of trade any sign which is identical or similar to the trademark in relation to goods and/or services which are identical or similar to those for which the trademark is registered.

    Legal framework

    Trademarks are governed by the following:

    • Chapter II, the Industrial Property Law (Articles 29 to 40)
    • Membership of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), approved by Resolution No. 9/84 of July 20
    • Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property – approved by Resolution No. 22/05 of August 19 and
    • Membership of the World Trade Organization (WTO), hence the TRIPS Agreement (Accession November 23, 1996).

    Angola is not a party to either the Madrid Agreement or the Madrid Protocol. As such, International Registrations (IRs) cannot be extended to Angola. Angola's accession to the Madrid Agreement and/or the Madrid Protocol is currently the subject of consultation, but the position is unlikely to change for a number of years to come.

    Duration of right

    National trademark registrations remain valid for 10 years starting from the date of filing of the application and may be indefinitely renewed for equal periods.

    Ownership / licenses

    Trademarks can be transferred in writing, wholly or partially, whether or not for financial reward. A transfer of the whole of the undertaking shall include the transfer of the trademark except where there is agreement to the contrary or circumstances clearly dictate otherwise.

    Trademarks may also be licensed in writing, wholly or partially, whether or not for financial reward, on an exclusive or non-exclusive basis.

    Transfer of ownership and licenses must be recorded in the Angolan Institute of Industrial Property to be effective against third parties.

    Remedies for infringement

    Whenever there is violation of or justified fear that another party may cause serious and difficult-to-repair harm to an industrial property right, including trademarks, the court may, at request of the interested party, order appropriate measures to prevent any imminent violation or to prohibit continuation of the violation.

    Whoever illegally violates the industrial property rights of another person with intent or by negligence shall be obliged to pay a compensation to the injured party for the damages resulting from the violation.

    In determining the amount of compensation for losses and damages, the court shall take into account the profit obtained by the infringer and the resulting damages and lost profits suffered by the injured party. The costs borne out of protection of the right in question and the investigation and termination of the harmful conduct shall also be taken in consideration, as well as personal injury.

    Trademark infringement is punishable as crime with imprisonment up to 3 months or a fine.

  • Trade secrets

    Nature of right

    Trade secrets are not protected as property in Angola. However, the Angolan Industrial Property Law, in the chapter related to Crimes of Unfair Competition, characterizes as crimes certain conducts involving the unauthorized use of trade secrets. As a result, there is legal protection against the violation of trade secrets.

    Legal framework

    Trade secrets are addressed in article 73 of the Angolan Industrial Property Law.

    Duration of right

    Not applicable for this jurisdiction.

    Ownership / licenses

    Not applicable for this jurisdiction.

    Remedies for infringement

    Remedies available for infringement of trade secrets can include criminal remedies (imprisonment and monetary fine) and civil remedies (injunction to prevent the continuation of infringements and damages).

    Trade secret violation is punishable with a fine, if a more serious sanction does not apply by applying the provisions of the penal code and Law No. 9/89 (Law on Crimes Against the Economy).

  • Other key IP rights

    Nature of right

    Design

    Industrial design means any new arrangement or set of lines or colors that, for industrial or commercial purposes, can be applied to the ornamentation of a product by any manual, mechanical, chemical, simple or combined process.

    The registered design confers to the owner the right to prevent third parties that do not have their consent from using it. The aforementioned use shall cover, in particular, the making, offering, putting on the market, importing, exporting or using of a product in which the design is incorporated or to which it is applied, or stocking such a product for those purposes.

    Industrial designs

    Industrial designs

    Legal framework

    Design

    Designs are governed by Chapter III of the Industrial Property Law (Articles 15 to 28).

    Duration of right

    Design

    Designs registrations remain valid for 5 years starting from the date of filing of the application and may be renewed for 2 consecutive times of 5 years each.

    Ownership / licenses

    Design

    Designs may be licensed in writing, wholly or partially, whether or not for financial reward, on an exclusive or non-exclusive basis.

    Transfer of ownership and licenses must be recorded in the Angolan Institute of Industrial Property to be effective against third parties.

    Remedies for infringement

    Design

    Whenever there is violation of or justified fear that another party may cause serious and difficult-to-repair harm to an industrial property right, including designs, the court may, at request of the interested party, order appropriate measures to prevent any imminent violation or to prohibit continuation of the violation.

    Whoever illegally violates the industrial property rights of another person with intent or by negligence shall be obliged to pay a compensation to the injured party for the damages resulting from the violation.

    In determining the amount of compensation for losses and damages, the court shall take into account the profit obtained by the infringer and the resulting damages and lost profits suffered by the injured party. The costs borne out of protection of the right in question and the investigation and termination of the harmful conduct shall also be taken in consideration, as well as personal injury.

    Infringement of the exclusive right granted by a registered design may be punishable with a fine.

  • Intellectual property in employment context

    Employees

    As a general rule, the copyright over a work made under a labor agreement or in compliance with functional obligations is determined by agreement between the parties. In case no agreement exists, it is presumed that the ownership over the work belongs to the respective intellectual creator. In cases where there is a service provision contract, the property rights over the work are transferred to the contractor or entity represented by it.

    The right to patent shall belong to the inventor or their successors in title. Notwithstanding, if an invention was made during the performance of an employment contract in which inventive activity is provided for, the right to the patent belongs to the employer.

    Consultants / contractors

    In principle, consultants and contractors will retain ownership of the intellectual property developed by them, unless otherwise agreed by the parties or provided for in the law.

  • Key commercial contract considerations

    Registration of commercial agreements

    There are no general registration requirements for commercial contracts under Angolan law; however, certain exceptions may arise. Furthermore, Industrial Property Rights licenses are subject to registration within the Angolan Industrial Property Institute (IAPI) in order to be enforceable against third parties.

    Recognized language of commercial agreements

    There are no general requirements under Angolan law that provide that contracts must be written in Portuguese. However, in certain cases – for instance, contracts with consumers – the Portuguese language is mandatory, and, if the contract is to be used in specific situations – for example, for purposes of evidence in court or used with public authorities – translation to Portuguese is required.

    Country-specific issues for online content

    Electronic contracts are regulated under Presidential Decree No. 202/11 of July 22.

    Enforceability of online/clickwrap/shrinkwrap terms

    Contracts may be concluded electronically, provided that it does not affect its validity or effectiveness due to the use of this medium. Please note that general contractual clauses requiring electronic conclusion of consumer contracts are prohibited.

    The provider shall make available to the recipients, before the conclusion, unambiguous minimum information including (i) the contract conclusion process, (ii) whether or not the contract is stored by the service provider and accessibility by the recipient, (iii) the language or languages in which the contract may be concluded, (iv) the technical means which the provider makes available so that errors of introduction which may be contained in the order form may be identified and corrected, (v) the contractual terms and general clauses of the contract to be concluded, (vi) the codes of conduct subscribed and information on how to consult them electronically  and (vii) the effective technical means which allows the recipient to identify and correct inserted errors.

    Governing law

    The interpretation and enforceability of contracts is a matter of governing law. The choice of law by the parties is accepted as a general principle, except when otherwise provided for by law; please, however, note that, in certain cases, there are rules of mandatory application – for instance, in the scope of contracts concluded with consumers.

  • Key commercial contract terms

    Enforceability of warranty disclaimers

    This will depend on the specific warranty. Notwithstanding, the law may provide some restrictions on the enforceability of warranty disclaimers (eg, for reasons of consumer protection).

    Enforceability of exclusions/limitations of liability indemnification

    As general rule, the enforceability of exclusions or limitation of liability is limited under Angolan law. According to civil law, limitation of liability or exclusion of liability concerns the grounds of liability itself and the damages and losses. The law is not absolutely clear when dealing with the matter; therefore, some hold the opinion that the law does not prevent clauses limiting or excluding liability for acts of mere negligence, while others suggest that all clauses of exclusion or limitation are completely null and void.

    Indemnification

    Indemnification clauses in contracts are, in principle, enforceable, but may be subject to restrictions provided for in the law. It is relatively common to stipulate in commercial agreements that the indemnifying party will indemnify and hold harmless the other party against claims of third parties related to the subject matter of the agreement.

    Electronic signatures

    According to Angolan law, a qualified electronic signature is equivalent to an autographic signature in paper documents. An electronic document shall only be deemed to be signed for purposes of evidence where it meets the requirements set by the law on electronic signature and certification.

  • Key contacts
    Murillo Costa Sanches
    Murillo Costa Sanches
    Of Counsel DLA Piper [email protected] T +351 213 583 659 View bio
    Joni Garcia
    Joni Garcia
    Associate DLA Piper ADCA Angola [email protected] T +244 926 612 525

Patents

Legal framework

Angola

Patents are governed by the following:

  • Chapter II, the Industrial Property Law (Articles 2 to 14)
  • Membership of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), approved by Resolution No. 9/84 of July 20
  • Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property – approved by Resolution No. 22/05 of August 19
  • Cooperation Treaty patent (PCT) approved by Resolution No. 22/05 of August 19 and
  • Membership of the World Trade Organization (WTO), hence the TRIPS Agreement (Accession November 23, 1996).

Argentina

Patents are governed by the Patent Law – Law 24,481, as amended. In addition, they are governed by the Trips Agreement and by the Paris Convention. Argentina is not a party to the Patent Cooperation Treaty.

Australia

Patents are governed by the Patents Act 1990 (Cth).

Australia is a party to the Paris Convention, the Patent Cooperation Treaty, the Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of the Deposit of Microorganisms for the Purposes of Patent Procedure 1977, the TRIPS Agreement and the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement.

Austria

Patents in Austria are governed by the Austrian Patent Law 1970. Austria became party to the Patent Cooperation Treaty in 1979 and to the Paris Convention in 1908.

Belgium

Patents in Belgium are governed by Title 1 (Patents) of Book XI (Intellectual Property and Trade Secrets) of the Code of Economic Law.

There are several expected updates on EU level, including:

  • Regulation (EU) No 1257/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of December 17, 2012 implementing enhanced cooperation in the area of the creation of unitary patent protection
  • Council Regulation (EU) No 1260/2012 of December 17, 2012 implementing enhanced cooperation in the area of the creation of unitary patent protection with regard to the applicable translation arrangements
  • Agreement on the Unified Patent Court 16351/12 of January 11, 2013

Institute for Patent Attorneys – the new Belgian law of July 8, 2018 regulates the profession of Patent Attorneys in Belgium. An Institute for Patent Attorneys will be established and everyone who is registered in the register of authorized representatives becomes a member of the institute and will have the right to speak in patent litigation before the Belgian courts. A Royal decree still needs to be issued prior to the law coming into effect.

Brazil

Patents are governed by the Federal Constitution (Article 5, XXIX) and Federal Law no. 9,279/96 (the Industrial Property Law). Brazil became party to Patent Cooperation Treaty in 1978 and Paris Convention in 1884.

Canada

The Patent Act governs the protection of patents.

Canada became a party to the Patent Cooperation Treaty in 1990 and to the Paris Convention in 1923.

Chile

At the national level: Law No. 19,039 on Industrial Property.

At the international level: Budapest Treaty, WIPO Patent Cooperation Treaty.

The authority responsible for registration is the National Institute of Industrial Property (INAPI). After registration, the invention should visibly bear the patent number, either in the product itself or in the packaging, and the expression "Patente de Invención" or the initials "P.I.”, except when this is not possible due to the nature of the invention. The omission of such requirement does not affect the validity of the patent, but deprives the holder of the power to enforce criminal penalties.

China

China enacted its patent system in 1985, and became party to the Patent Cooperation Treaty in 1994 and the Paris Convention in 1985. The relevant legal basis shall include the Patent Law, Implementation Regulations and various Judicial Interpretations issued by the Supreme People's Court.

Colombia

Patents are governed by Resolution 486 of 2000 issued by CAN. Moreover, Colombia is party to the Patent Cooperation Treaty in 1998 and to the Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of the Deposit of Microorganisms for the Purposes of the Patent Procedure in 2016.

Czech Republic

Patents are governed by the Patents Act.

Denmark

Patents are governed by the Danish Patent Act (LBK 90 29/01/2019).

Denmark became party to the European Patent Convention in 1990 and the Patent Cooperation Treaty in 1978.

Denmark signed the Paris Convention in 1894 and ratified the Patent Law Treaty in 2005.

Denmark has also signed the Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), the Strasbourg Agreement and the Budapest Treaty.

Regulation (EU) No 1257/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2012 implementing enhanced cooperation in the area of unitary patent protection makes a type of European patent called the unitary patent possible. It remains unclear when this will enter into force.

Finland

Patents are regulated on both a national and an international level. The Finnish Patents Act and the Finnish Patents Decree govern the national patent system, while the European Patent Convention (EPC) pertains to the protection of European patents. Finland is a signatory of the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) and has ratified the Patent Law Treaty (PLT).

Finland has signed in January 2016 the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court (UPC) which is part of the legislative package aiming to establish the European Patent with Unitary Effect. At the end of 2018, the process of establishing the European Patent with Unitary Effect is still pending. However, the start of the new Unitary Patent system is currently expected for the first half of 2020.

For inventions that do not meet the full criteria of a patenting "petty patents" can be registered as utility models. The registration of utility models is governed by the Act on Utility Model Rights.

The Finnish Penal Code governs also patent infringement crimes.

France

Patents are governed by Part VI of the French Intellectual Property Code (Articles L. 611-1 et seq. and R. 611-1 et seq.), the European Patent Convention (also referred to as the Munich Convention) and EU regulations Nos. 1257/2012 and 1260/2012 of December 17, 2012 regarding the unitary patent (not yet effective − they will only apply from the date of entry into force of the UPC Agreement).

Germany

The German Patent Act (Patentgesetz), the European Patent Convention (EPC),  the Regulations on the International Patent Convention (Gesetz zum Internationalen Patentübereinkommen) and German Act for Utility Models (Gebrauchsmustergesetz) govern patents.

Germany became party to the Patent Cooperation Treaty in 1978 and the Paris Convention in 1903.

Hong Kong, SAR

Patents are governed by the Patents Ordinance (Cap. 514). Hong Kong became party to the Patent Cooperation Treaty in 1981 and the Paris Convention in 1997.

There are two types of patents, standard and short-term. The grant of a standard patent in Hong Kong is based on the registration of a patent granted by one of three designated patent offices the United Kingdom Patent Office, the European Patent Office and the China National Intellectual Property Administration.  Under this “re-registration” system, the Hong Kong Intellectual Property Department does not conduct substantive examination of patent applications. The short-term patent application involves formality examination only.

Following the passing of the Patents (Amendment) Ordinance 2016 and the Patents (General) (Amendment) Rules 2019, the new “original grant” patent (OGP) system came into effect on December 19, 2019. The OGP system introduces an alternative mechanism for protection of standard patents in Hong Kong while the current “re-registration system is retained. Patent applicants now have the option of filing standard patent applications directly in Hong Kong without the requirement to first obtain a patent in a designated patent office outside of Hong Kong. Substantive examination of patent applications will be conducted under the OGP system.

Apart from the introduction of the OGP system, the new patent system also refines the existing short-term patent system. Main changes include, amongst others, the increase of the maximum number of independent claims allowed in an application from one to two and the introduction of a post-grant substantive examination mechanism.

 

Hungary

Act 33 of 1995 on the Patent Protection of Inventions. The relevant EU directives have been duly implemented.

India

India is a party to the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) and Paris Convention. The federal legislation in India that grants statutory right to patents is the Patents Act. India is also party to the Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of the Deposit of Micro-organisms for the Purpose of Patent Procedure (2001). The same is in force in India.

Indonesia

Law Number 13 of 2016 on Patents ("Patent Law") is the governing statute for patents. Indonesia became party to the Patent Cooperation Treaty in 1997 and became party to the Paris Convention in 1950.

Ireland

The Patent Act 1992 (as amended) governs patents in Ireland. Ireland ratified the Patent Cooperation Treaty in 1992 and the Paris Convention entered into force in Ireland on December 4, 1925.

Israel

The Patents Law 1967 (Patent Law) governs patents in Israel.

Italy

The Industrial Property Code is the statute governing patents in Italy (Section 45 et seq.).

Italy is also party to the main international patent treaties and conventions, including the European Patent Convention. In addition, Italy joined the Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court system, which is not in force yet.

Japan

Inventions are protected by the Patent Act. (Act No. 121 of 1959).

Japan joined the Patent Cooperation Treaty in 1978 and Paris Convention in 1899.

Utility models are protected by the Utility Model Act (Act No. 123 of 1959).

Designs are protected by the Design Act (Act No. 125 of 1959).

Luxembourg

The Law of 20 July 1992 amending the System for Patents for Invention, as amended governs patents in Luxembourg.

Mexico

Second Title of the Industrial Property Law (Ley de la Propiedad Industrial).

Netherlands

Patent Act 1995 governs patents.

New Zealand

Patents are governed by the Patents Act 2013. New Zealand is a party to the Patent Cooperation Treaty, the Paris Convention, the TRIPS Agreement and the Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of the Deposit of Microorganisms for the Purposes of Patent Procedure.

Norway

Patents are governed by the Norwegian Patent Act (No: patentloven).

Norway became party to the European Patent Convention on January 1, 2008 and ratified the Patent Cooperation Treaty on October 1, 1979.

Norway is also a signatory of the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement, the London Agreement, Strasbourg Agreement Concerning the International Patent Classification and Paris Convention Treaty.

Philippines

Patents are governed by the IPC, in Part II, as amended by Republic Act No. 9502, or the Universally Accessible Cheaper and Quality Medicines Act of 2008.

Poland

The Industrial Property Law is the law applicable to both patents and utility models.

Portugal

Patents are governed by:

  • Title II, Chapter I, Subchapter I of the Industrial Property Code (Articles 50 to 118)
  • European Patent Convention, of 5 October 1973, as revised by the Act revising its Article 63 of 17 December 1991 and the Act revising the European Patent Convention of 29 November 2000

Portugal became party to the Patent Cooperation Treaty in 1992.

Portugal became party to the Paris Convention in 1884.

Romania

Patents are governed by Law no. 64 of October 11, 1991 regarding patents and Law no. 83 of June 26, 2014 regarding labor inventions (Labor Inventions Law). Romanian became party to the Patent Cooperation Treaty in 1970 and the Paris Convention in 1920.

Russia

Part IV of the Russian Civil Code governs patents.

Russia is a party to the Patent Cooperation Treaty and Paris Convention.

Saudi Arabia

The Law of Patents, Layout-Designs of Integrated Circuits, Plant Varieties, and Industrial Designs (promulgated by Royal Decree No. M/27 of 29/5/1425H (corresponding to 17 July 2004)), and its Implementing Regulations (Patents Law).

Singapore

The protection of patents in Singapore is regulated by the Patents Act (Cap 221). Under the Patents Act an application may be made to the Registry of Patents for the grant of a patent. Singapore acceded to the Patent Cooperation Treaty on February 23, 1995 and the Paris Convention on November 23, 1994, which came into force in Singapore on February 23, 1995.

Slovak Republic

Legal protection of patents is regulated by the Slovak Act No. 435/2001 Coll. on patents, as amended (Patent Act). Slovak Republic is signatory of several international agreements regarding patents:

  • Patent Cooperation Treaty
  • Paris Convention
  • Strasbourg Agreement Concerning the International Patent Classification
  • Patent Law Treaty
  • European Patent Convention
  • Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of the Deposit of Microorganisms for the Purposes of Patent Procedure

South Korea

The legislation governing registered patents is the PA.

Spain

In Spain, the Spanish Patents and Trade Marks Office (Oficina Española de Patentes y Marcas) has the authority to grant patents and trademarks.

The new Spanish Patents Act 24/2015 (New Patents Act) entered into force on April 1, 2017. One of the most significant changes brought by the New Patents Act is related to the procedure for the granting of patents. The previous "à la carte" examination procedure (whereby applicants are free to choose whether or not their application should be submitted to substantive examination) was substituted by the granting procedure involving a prior examination of the merits of the patent. Another important change is in the field of patent litigation. In accordance with the New Patents Act, the patent holder will be able to limit the scope of their patents by amending the claims at any time during the life of the patent. Finally, among other changes of the New Patents Act are provisions relating to Supplementary Protection Certificates (SPCs), which introduces protective letters and patent specialist judges.

In addition to the national patent application system, regional registration systems are also available. Such systems allow the applicant to obtain protection for the invention in one or more countries; however each country determines whether or not to protect the patent in its territory pursuant to the applicable legislation. Since Spain's ratification of the European Patent Convention (EPC) in 1973, Spain may be designated in a European patent application. The EPC system allows the registration of a bundle of national patents enforceable in the countries designated by the applicant.

Additionally, there have been significant developments with regard to the creation of a unitary patent protection within the European Union. Such a unitary patent protection is expected to be available in 2020, although Spain has initially decided not to join these efforts due to linguistic issues.

Sweden

Patents are regulated under the following legislative acts:

  • Patents Act (1967:837) (Patentlagen) pertains to the protection of Swedish patents
  • The European Patent Convention (EPC) pertains to the protection of European patents

Sweden became a party to the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) in 1978.

Sweden ratified the Patent Law Treaty (PLT) in 2007.

Sweden signed the Strasbourg Agreement Concerning the International Patent Classification in 1973.

Sweden has also signed the Paris Convention, the TRIPS Agreement and the London Agreement.

Switzerland

The Federal Patents Act and the Federal Ordinance on Patents govern patents. Switzerland is also a member of the European Patent Convention.

Taiwan, China

The Patent Act was promulgated on May 29, 1944, which classifies patent into three types, ie, invention patent, utility model patent and design patent (including derivative design patent).

The grant of a patent right is based on the registration of a patent with the Intellectual Property Office, Ministry of Economic Affairs.

Ukraine

The legal framework with regard to patents for inventions and utility models in Ukraine includes the Civil Code of Ukraine dated January 16, 2003 and the Law of Ukraine "On Protection of the Rights to Inventions and Utility Models" dated December 23, 1993. In addition, Ukraine is a member to the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, Patent Law Treaty and Patent Cooperation Treaty as well as the Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of the Deposit of Microorganisms for the Purposes of Patent Procedure.

United Arab Emirates

Federal Law No. 17 of 2002 on Patents (as amended) (Patent Law) governs patents. Patents may also be protected in the UAE through a Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) Patent (administered by the GCC Patent Office in Saudi Arabia, and governed by the GCC Patent Law).

The UAE is a member of the Patent Cooperation Treaty 1970 (PCT) and WIPO Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property 1883 (Paris Convention).

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom became party to the Patent Cooperation Treaty in 1978 and the Paris Convention in 1884.

The Patents Act 1977 governs patents.

United States

Patents are governed by Title 35 of the US Code. The US became party to the Patent Cooperation Treaty in 1970 and the Paris Convention in 1887.