Patents of Invention
– Industrial Property Law (Decree No. 57-2000) of September 18, 2000, in force since November 1, 2000, amended on June 26, 2013.
Membership in International Conventions
– Convention on Invention Patents, Industrial Designs and Models, Trade Marks and Literary and Artistic Property, Rio de Janeiro, 1906.
– Convention regarding Invention Patents, Designs and Industrial Models, Buenos Aires, 1910.
– Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), since April 30, 1983.
– WTO’s TRIPS Agreement, since July 21, 1995.
– Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, Stockholm Act, since August 18, 1998.
– Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), since October 14, 2006.
– Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of the Deposit of Microorganisms for the Purposes of Patent Procedure, since October 14, 2006.
– U.S.A. with DR-CAFTA (Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement), since July 1, 2006.
– The Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents (Apostille), since September 18, 2017.
Applicant: the inventor or his assignee.
Foreigners and nationals not living in the country: may apply for patents by granting a power of attorney to a person (lawyer) residing in Guatemala.
Protection of foreigners: the same as for nationals.
Naming of inventor(s): the name of the inventor(s) must be stated.
Notion of the invention: an invention is patentable if it has novelty, has inventive level and is industrially useful.
Novelty: is defined as “non-existent” under the current state of the art, which is what has been divulged or made accessible to the public, in any place of the world, through publications, sale or marketing prior to the date of filing or of the foreign patent applications on which priority is claimed. Publications of an invention during the year preceding the filing of an application for patent in Guatemala or during the year preceding the filing of an application on which priority is claimed, shall not result in lack of novelty, if such publication is the direct or indirect result of actions of the applicant or of his predecessor in title or of a breach of contract or of an illicit act.
Inventive level: an invention that has “inventive level” is that which is not obvious to a person that is a professional in the art, in relation to the technological advances on the date of filing the application in Guatemala or abroad if priority is claimed.
Invention industrially useful: an invention is industrially useful when the object may be produced or used in any type of industry. Industry is defined in its broadest term and includes handicrafts, agriculture, mining, fishing and services.
Patent application with no inventive level: if an application for a patent of invention is rejected because it does not have “inventive level”, applicant may appeal of such decision.
Conversion into utility model: the applicant may request that the application for a patent be converted at any time to a utility model application.
Exceptions to protection (non-patentable matter): (1) discoveries that are a product of nature, that do not have human creation; scientific theories; mathematical methods and computer programs; (2) plant varieties, animal breeds, and the essentially biological processes to obtain them, except for microbiological processes and products obtained there from; (3) commercial and financial systems and plans, purely mental, intellectual activities and systems, and plans relative to gambling; (4) methods of surgical or therapeutic treatment, of diagnosis, applicable to the human or animal body, except for products that are destined for use for these methods; (5) inventions that are contrary to public order and to ethics.
Confirmation patents: are not accepted.
Secret patents: there are no secret patents.
Priorities: the law provides priorities under Conventions of which Guatemala is a member.
Classification: according to the Strasbourg Agreement of March 24, 1971.
Territory covered: the Republic of Guatemala.
Filing requirements for an application (to be sent to resident agent):
1. Power of attorney. It must be granted to lawyers only. Agents may not represent an applicant for patents;
2. Affidavit in respect of ownership of the invention by the applicant;
3. Date, serial number and country of patent applications filed abroad, that refer totally or partially to the invention covered by the Guatemalan application (if priority is claimed);
4. Specification of the invention, with claim(s) and abstract in Spanish;
5. Drawings in triplicate;
6. Resume of the invention.
Filing without one or more requirement(s): possible, if applicant complies with requirements within two months.
Electronic filing: not available.
PCT applications: time limit for entering the national phase: 30 months for both Chapters I and II.
Amendment of the application: a patent application may be amended. However, the scope or matter of the invention may not be broadened through an amendment of the application.
Publication: a patent application must be published during the two months following the delivery of the order for publication. It is published once, in the Official Gazette. A patent application becomes public (may be examined by any interested third party), as of the date of the publication. Prior to that date, the application is held confidential.
Examination: first, as to formal requirements. After publication, as to patentability and novelty.
Any third party may file observations within three months after the publication.
Process claims: allowable.
Disputes about ownership: they are settled by the civil and criminal courts.
Application kept secret: the patent application is held secret from the date of filing until publication in the Official Gazette.
Provisional registration: not possible to foreign applicants.
Delivery of document: irregular.
Beginning of protection: from the date of filing of the patent application.
Duration: twenty years.
Annuities: are payable from the filing date and should be paid before the expiration of the corresponding year of life of the patent.
Marking of patented goods: there is no legal obligation to mark patented goods.
Text of marking: there is no specific text of marking.
Amendment of issued patents: not provided for.
Assignment: possible, by furnishing the document proving it.
Voluntary licenses (license agreement): are valid.
Compulsory license: issued by the Industrial Property Register.
Public interest licenses: in cases of national emergency, national security, nutrition, public health and development of a vital sector of the national economy.
Working: no restriction for not working the patent.
Nullification: a patent is nullified when its term expires, upon failure to pay the annuities, or if the patent violated any of the law requirements.
Infringement and penalties: infringers of patents will be obliged to pay a compensation for damages, a fine between Q1,000 to Q5,000, and imprisonment between one to four years.