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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Patents are governed by the Patents Act.
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.
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.
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).
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.
Act 33 of 1995 on the Patent Protection of Inventions. The relevant EU directives have been duly implemented.
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.
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.
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.
The Patents Law 1967 (Patent Law) governs patents in Israel.
The Industrial Property Code is the statute governing patents in Italy.
Italy is also party to the main international patent treaties and conventions, including the European Patent Convention. Italy also joined the Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court system, but it is not in force yet.
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).
The Law of 20 July 1992 amending the System for Patents for Invention, as amended governs patents in Luxembourg.
Second Title of the Industrial Property Law (Ley de la Propiedad Industrial).
Patent Act 1995 governs patents.
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.
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.
The Industrial Property Law is the law applicable to both patents and utility models.
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.
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.
Part IV of the Russian Civil Code governs patents.
Russia is a party to the Patent Cooperation Treaty and Paris Convention.
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).
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.
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
The legislation governing registered patents is the PA.
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.
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.
The Federal Patents Act and the Federal Ordinance on Patents govern patents. Switzerland is also a member of the European Patent Convention.
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.
The legal framework with regard to patents for inventions and utility models in Ukraine includes 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. Further, Ukraine is a member to the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, Patent Law Treaty and Patent Cooperation Treaty as well as 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).
The United Kingdom became party to the Patent Cooperation Treaty in 1978 and the Paris Convention in 1884.
The Patents Act 1977 governs patents.
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.