Utility Models

– Law on the Protection of Intellectual Property (Law No. 31/2009) dated October 26, 2009, published on December 14, 2009, amended on September 24, 2018.
– Ministerial Order No. 24 of March 17, 2016, determining the fees payable for registration services of intellectual property.
– Ministerial Order No. 07/10/Minicom of August 25, 2010, determining structure and functioning of the Commission of Appeal in charge of settling industrial property disputes.

Membership in International Conventions

– See under “Patents of Invention“.

Filing, Protection

Applicant: the inventor or his assignee.

Examination: applications are examined as to formal requirements. The Registrar General may carry out substantive examination at his discretion.

Opposition: not applicable.

Amendments: amendments may be made to an application until acceptance, but may not go beyond the disclosure of the original application.

Filing requirements for an application (to be sent to resident agent):
1. Description, claims and abstract in English or French; drawings (if necessary for understanding the invention);
2. Names of the applicant and inventor;
3. Power of attorney (signed, with company’s seal, and notarized if foreign applicant). This may be filed with the application or later; there is no set deadline.

Publication: on registration.

Duration: ten years from the filing date, subject to the payment of a single maintenance fee at the end of the fifth year after the filing date.

Maintenance fee: there is a six-month grace period for the payment of this fee, subject to a surcharge.

Assignment: an assignment must be registered to have any effect against third parties; to register an assignment the assignee must supply the Registrar General with the original or a certified copy of the assignment deed, and a power of attorney signed by the assignee.

Marking: not compulsory but recommended.

Use: failure to work the innovation may be grounds for a compulsory license.

Infringement: it is infringement to make, import, stock, sell or offer to sell a product protected by a utility model registration, or to use a process so protected without the owners’ consent.

Licenses: licenses may be granted by the owner. A licensee may not grant sub-licenses to third parties. A license contract is only valid against third parties when recorded.Requirements for recordal: (a) request by licensor and licensee; (b) original or certified copy of license contract; (c) power of attorney signed by both parties. In cases of non-use, a compulsory license may be granted by the Registrar General.