Patents of Invention

– Intellectual Property Act No. 36 of 2003, in force since November 12, 2003.
– Intellectual Property Regulations No. 01 of 2006, in force since October 16, 2006.
– Intellectual Property (Amendment) Act No. 7 of 2018, in force since March 28, 2018.
– Intellectual Property (Amendment) Act No. 8 of 2021, in force since January 18, 2021.
– Intellectual Property (Amendment) Act No. 8 of 2022, in force since March 16, 2022.

Membership in International Conventions

– Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, London Act, and Articles 13 to 30 Stockholm Act.
– Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), since September 20, 1978.
– Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), effective from February 26, 1982.
– WTO’s TRIPS Agreement, since January 1, 1995.


Applicant: the actual inventor, his assignee, an inventor with a part interest, the legal representative of a deceased actual inventor or of his assignee, a communicatee. 

Foreigners and nationals not living in the country: may apply through an authorized agent. 

Naming of inventor(s): the inventor must be named unless the inventor does not so desire (the application form requires it). 

Notion of the invention: an invention is patentable if it is new, involves an inventive step and is industrially applicable. 

Exceptions to protection: (a) discoveries, scientific theories and mathematical methods; (b) plant or animal varieties or essentially biological processes for the production of plants or animals, other than micro-biological processes and the products or such processes; (c) schemes, rules, or methods for doing business, performing purely mental acts or playing games; and (d) methods for the treatment of the human or animal body by surgery or therapy, and diagnostic methods practiced on the human or animal body. However, the products used in such methods are patentable.

Priority: a priority date is given to members of Convention countries.

Territory covered: Sri Lanka.

Filing requirements for an application (to be sent to resident agent):
1. Power of attorney;
2. 3 copies of the specification in English with drawings (if any);
3. For a Convention application, 2 certified copies of the application filed in the Convention country.

Electronic filing: possible. 

Electronic signatures: are accepted for simply signed documents, but not for notarially executed documents. Scanned copies of signed documents are accepted, however, the original must be sent at a later date.

For assignments: a power of attorney signed by the assignee and a deed of assignment or any other document of title.

PCT applications: time limit for entering national phase under both Chapter I and Chapter II: 30 months.


Amendment of application: possible, provided amendment does not go beyond disclosure in the initial application. 

Divisional applications: permissible. 

Alterations: the specification may be amended before or after acceptance. 

Process and product claims: possible. 

Prior use: a prior use would invalidate the patent. 

Examination: restricted to form required, however, the applicant may request the Director General to refer the application to an Examiner.

Opposition: no provision. 

Nullification: court may declare a patent invalid.

Publication: on being satisfied that the statutory formalities are complied with the patent will be granted and be open to the public.


Beginning of protection: from the date of application. 

Duration: twenty years.

Annuities: payment may be made within six months after the due date with a fine.

Marking of patented goods: not compulsory. 

Text of marking: at the discretion of the patentee. 

Amendment of issued patents: possible if permitted by the Office of the Director of Intellectual Property. 

Assignment: possible. 

License for exploitation: a licensee is permitted and could be registered.

Compulsory license: provided for.

Modification of Protection after Registration

Right of prior user: the use of an invention prior to the date of application is a ground for revocation. 

Infringement: an action may be brought against the infringer. 

Penalties: damages and an injunction may be awarded.