Patents of Invention
– Decree No. 47/2015 of December 31, 2015, in force since March 31, 2016.
Membership in International Conventions
– WTO’s TRIPS Agreement, since August 26, 1995.
– Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), in force since December 23, 1996.
– Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, Stockholm Act, since July 9, 1998.
– Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), since May 18, 2000.
– ARIPO, Harare Protocol, since May 8, 2000, but no enabling local law yet.
Applicant: the inventor(s) or his successors, at any title.
Foreign applicant: must appoint a local agent and has the obligation to declare any identical invention filed abroad as well as any examination report and Letters Patent.
Naming of the inventor(s): compulsory.
Patentability conditions: an invention is patentable, if it is new, involves an inventive step and is susceptible of industrial application.
Exceptions to protection: (a) scientific theories and mathematical methods; (b) discoveries which aim to give knowledge or reveal a thing which already exists in nature, even if it had been before unknown to man; (c) systems, plans, rules and methods in the exercise of purely intellectual activities, in the field of games or economics; (d) projects, whatever their nature or area of application; (e) computer programs; (f) presentation of information; (g) aesthetic creations, artistic or literary works; (h) methods of surgical and therapeutical treatment or diagnosis, applicable to the human or animal body; however the products substance or composition used in any of those methods may be patented; (i) substances, materials, elements or products of any kind as well as the change of its physical or chemical properties and the corresponding processes of obtaining or modifying the same, when they result of nuclear transformation; (j) what is contrary to accepted principles of morality, safety, public order and public health; (k) living beings in their whole or parts thereof; however, the microbiological processes and the products obtained by those processes may be patented.
Priorities: may be claimed within twelve months for a patent filed in any country of the Paris Union, or in any country which is a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Multiple priorities may be claimed.
Filing requirements for an application (to be sent to resident agent):
1. A power of attorney, notarized;
2. A description with one or several claims, in Portuguese or accompanied by an official translation;
3. An abstract;
4. Drawings, if any.
Note: the drawings may be filed later. In this case, the date of filing shall be the date on which the drawings are received.
Electronic filing: not available.
Electronic signatures: are not accepted (only wet signatures). Scanned copies of signed documents are acceptable, provided they are clear and the notary stamp visible, and the subsequent submission of the original is not required.
PCT applications: time limit for entering the national phase under both Chapters I and II: 31 months, and through ARIPO Chapters I and II: 31 months.
Examination: once a date of filing is granted, the Institute of Industrial Property (Instituto da Propriedade Industrial – IPI) makes a formal examination of the application.
A substantive examination is carried out by the express request of the applicant and payment of the fee. The examination must be requested after the expiration of the opposition period and for a maximum period of thirty-six months from the date of filing the application.
Alteration of the patent: upon request by the patent owner, the Director General of the Institute of Industrial Property may authorize amendments in order to limit the scope of the granted protection.
Lack of translation: may be presented within the term of thirty days.
Rejection on the grounds of the complexity of the initial application (divisions): if the initial application is a complex one, the applicant is invited to divide the application within a term of one hundred and eighty days.
Withdrawal of the application: the applicant may at any time withdraw his application presenting a written declaration signed by all the applicants as well as those having a right with regard to the patent application.
Conversion of the patent application: the holder of the patent application may convert the patent application into an application for a utility model until the examination act of the application.
Rights derived from a prior use: are protected provided that the use was made in good faith.
Opposition to application filed: within sixty days from the date of publication of the application in the Bulletin; any person considering himself prejudiced by the grant of the patent is entitled to file an opposition against payment of a fee. This term may be extended for another period of sixty days. The lack of response by the applicant to the opposition is deemed as a withdrawal of the application.
Appeal: any of the parties can appeal against the decision by the Director General of the Institute of Industrial Property.
Publication: a transcription of the abstract of the description of the patent is published in the Industrial Property Gazette. Full copies of claims, descriptions and drawings can be requested after the publication of the abstract. The application can only be published eighteen months after the filing of the application or after the priority date, unless a request is made for an advanced publication.
Provisional protection: the patent application provisionally confers from the date of publication, the protection that would be conferred with the granting of the right.
Duration: twenty years from the date of filing.
Annuities: must be paid from the date of filing, however, if the applicant has claimed a priority under the Paris Convention, the annuities must be paid taking into account the priority date and not the filing date in Mozambique.
Assignment: must be made by a notarial public deed and be registered.
Modification of Protection after Granting
Compulsory working: the owner of a patent is obliged to directly or indirectly exploit his patented invention within the term of three years from the date of the grant of the patent or four years after the filing of the application thereto, whichever is longer.
Compulsory license: the invention may be exploited by third parties: (1) if the invention is not exploited; or (2) if another patent depends on its exploitation provided that the third party has made serious efforts to obtain the inventor’s consent.
Opposition to non-exploitation: the owner of the patent may, at any time, bring an opposition to the request by a third party of a compulsory license, on the grounds of facts that exempt him from the charge of not abiding by the law.
Evidence of exploitation: the proof of exploitation is made by means of an official certificate that should be issued by a competent body in the respective area of exploitation.