Patents of Invention

– Law of December 14, 1922 on Patents of Inventions and Industrial Designs, amended by Law of July 3, 1924. Provisions similar to those in France.

Membership in International Conventions

– Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, Stockholm Act, since July 1, 1958.
– Inter-American Convention of Buenos Aires (1910).
– Inter-American Convention of Washington (1929).
– Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), since November 2, 1983.
– WTO’s TRIPS Agreement, since January 30, 1996.


Applicant: the inventor or his assignee.

Protection of foreigners: foreigners enjoy the same protection as nationals.

Naming of inventor(s): inventors may be named in accordance with the Union Convention.

Definition of an invention: the following are regarded as inventions: any new system for manufacturing industrial products; a new machine or mechanical apparatus for manufacturing industrial products; the discovery of a new industrial product; the application of known means in order to obtain better results and any new, original and ornamental design for an industrial product.

Novelty: an invention is not regarded as new if it has been published in any country prior to being invented by the applicant or if it is in public use or on sale in Haiti one year before the date of filing in Haiti.

Exceptions to protection (unpatentable inventions): there are no exceptions to protection except where the inventions are not considered new, are contrary to the law or are immoral, or where the applications were filed too late.

Kinds of protection: patents are granted for five, ten or twenty years with possible extension to the maximum term before expiration of the original patent. Patents of addition can be obtained during the whole lifetime of the original patent.

Confirmation patents: are not designated by that name under the law, but a patent can be applied for in Haiti within one year of the date of obtention of the first-issued foreign patent.

Secret patents: not provided for.

Priorities: one priority or multiple priorities can be claimed.

Territory covered: Republic of Haiti.

Filing requirements for an application (to be sent to resident agent):
1. Power of attorney (not legalized);
2. 3 copies of the description in French;
3. 3 sets of drawings;
4. Assignment by the inventor(s), legalized;
5. Priority document, if priority is claimed.

Filing by telegraphic order: possible.

Filing without one or more requirements: possible.


Amendment of application: an application can be amended up to the date of issue of the Letters Patent.

Alterations: as for amendments.

Interference: though Haitian patents are granted without guarantee by the government (S.G.D.G.) and without a systematic inquiry as to the novelty of the invention, a patent will be refused if there is proof of prior rights.

Process claims: are accepted as the law provides that any new system for manufacturing industrial products may be regarded as an invention.

Disputes about ownership: a prior user, if he is not the inventor, has the right to file a suit for cancellation of the patent: Article 13 of the patent law provides that disputes about priority rights will be settled by the date of the application in the respective countries where a patent has been granted.

Dispute about novelty: rare, if not impossible, as the specification is only open to inspection once the patent has been granted. Article 16 provides that patents granted for an invention that is not new, will be declared null and void.

Examination (form and novelty): patents are granted without a preliminary examination of the merits and novelty of the invention, at the applicant’s own risk.

Division: the only provisions regarding division are those of Article 4, G, of the Union Convention, London text. However, no division will be necessary as there is no prior examination.

Application kept secret: applications are not open to inspection.

Opposition to application filed: normally no opposition can be filed, as applications are neither published nor open to inspection.

Reasons and procedure for opposition: see under 3. above: “Novelty” and “Exceptions to protection”. A notice of opposition is served on the State of Haiti through a process server.

Provisional registration: not provided for.

Registration: patents are issued after payment of the government fee.

Corrections: during the life of his patent, the patentee can apply for changes, improvements or additions, in the same form as the original application.

Publication: the Letters Patents are published in the Official Gazette “Le Moniteur”.


Delivery of document (and usual duration after filing): may take up to one year.

Beginning of protection: from the date of filing, but the term of the patent runs from the date of issuance.

Duration – extension: five, ten or twenty years. Five and ten-year patents can be extended to twenty years if an application for extension is filed before the original patent expires.

Annuities: there are no annuities to be paid.

Marking of patented goods: not compulsory.

Text of marking: “Breveté S.G.D.G.”.

Revocation: there is no provision for ex officio revocation.

Assignment: the assignment of a patent must be made before a Notary Public. An authentic abstract, legalized by the Consulate of Haiti, must be submitted to the Haitian authorities.

License for exploitation: not provided for, but will be assimilated to partial assignments and granted in the same form.

Working: there are no requirements for working a patent.

Recording at the Chamber of Commerce: patents obtained at the Patent Office must be recorded with the Chamber of Commerce.

Modification of Protection after Granting

Rights of prior user: a prior user can file a suit for cancellation of the patent.

Opposition to granted patents: the procedure is not a procedure of opposition, but a procedure of cancellation of the granted patent, to be brought before the Court of First Instance.

Compulsory licenses: not provided for.

Expropriation: not provided for.

Nullification: a patent can be nullified by the courts at any time during its lifetime. For the grounds, see under “Exceptions to protection“.

Validation of invalidated patents: patents invalidated by the courts remain invalidated.

Infringement: any breach of the patentee’s rights, either by the manufacture of the patented products or by the use of the patented means will constitute the misdemeanor of counterfeiting. The importers, receivers and sellers of the counterfeited articles will be punished as infringers. Security for costs must be posted by the foreign patentee who has no commercial establishment in Haiti, if he applies for permission to seize the goods he claims are counterfeited, before filing his suit before the civil court.

Penalties: a fine of $20 to $1,000, and in the case of repetition of the offense, imprisonment from one to six months, with possible payment of damages and costs.