Patents of Invention

– Patents and Designs Act, 2020, in force since February 11, 2022.

Membership in International Conventions

– Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), since December 25, 1978.
– WTO’s TRIPS Agreement, since March 9, 1995.
– Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, Stockholm Act, since December 24, 1999.
– The Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents (Apostille), since July 3, 2021.
– Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), since February 10, 2022.

Filing

Applicant: the inventor or his legal successor.

Foreigners and nationals not living in the country: appointing a local agent as representative in Jamaica is not a requirement.

Employee inventors: an invention made by an employee belongs to the employer where it was made in the course of normal duties, assigned duties or where the employee had a special obligation to further the employer's interests. Further, if the invention or the patent for it (or the combination of both) is of outstanding benefit to the employer, the employee may apply to the court for compensation (within 21 years from the date of grant of the patent).

Patentability: a patent is granted for an invention which is new, involves an inventive step, and is capable of industrial application.

Novelty: from February 11, 2022, worldwide novelty is required.

Unpatentable inventions: inventions relating, inter alia, to mathematical formulae; plant and seed varieties; methods of surgical or therapeutic treatment and of diagnosis applied to the human body or to the bodies of animals; the human body in all its developmental stages and all its elements; scientific theories and aesthetic creations.

Utility models: provided for under the new Patents and Designs Act, 2020. An application for a patent may be converted into an application for a utility model at any time before the grant or refusal of a patent and vice versa, and will retain the initial filing date.

Secret patents: none.

Priority: according to the Paris Convention.

Territory covered: Jamaica.

Filing requirements for an application:
1. Specification;
2. Abstract;
3. Legalized declaration as to ownership;
4. Drawings, in duplicate;
5. Priority document(s) (if any), to be filed within six months from the filing date.

For a change of name or address:
1. Certified copy of the document evidencing the change.

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

Examination

Examination: preliminary and substantive examination.

Amendment of application: possible at any time before the patent is granted. Amendments are also permitted after grant, provided that the amendment does not result in the specification disclosing any additional matter, or claim, or extend the protection.

Division: possible at any time before grant.

Application kept secret: possible before grant. 

Opposition: any person may within thirty days after publication of the application give notice of opposition to the Registrar.

Granting

Registration: where the Registrar is satisfied that the application complies with the requirements of the Law, the Registrar will grant a patent for the invention and publish a reference to the grant of the patent.

Corrections: possible.

Delivery of document: between six months to two years. 

Beginning of protection:  from the date of filing.

Duration: for patents filed from February 11, 2022, twenty years from the filing date (under the old Act the duration was fourteen years). Utility models last for ten years from the date of filing and are not subject to annuities.

Annuities:  from February 11, 2022, the payment of annual fees is necessary to maintain the validity of patents. Payment must be made within ninety days of each anniversary of the filing date falling after the grant of the patent; a ninety-day grace period is provided for with a late fee. Failure to pay annuities will result in the patent ceasing to have effect.

Scope of rights: only the patent holder has full and exclusive right and liberty to make, design, construct or manufacture the invention in Jamaica.

Marking of patented goods: permissible. 

Text of marking: “Patent”, “Letters Patent”, “by the Queen’s Patent”. 

Assignment: possible. 

License for exploitation: possible.

Modification of Protection after Registration

Rights to prior user: not relevant so long as the applicant is the true inventor. 

Revocation: any person may within twelve months after the grant of a patent apply to the Registrar to revoke a patent.

Compulsory licenses: at any time after the expiration of four years from the date of filing of the application, or three years from the date of grant (whichever is later), a person may apply to the court for a license on the ground that there is a demand for the patented product in Jamaica which is not being met on reasonable terms or where there are hindrances and unfair prejudices to commercial and industrial activities.

Validation of invalidated patents: not possible. 

Infringement: by application to the court.