Patents of Invention
– Patents Act No. 39 of 2004, in force since August 4, 2008 (repeals and replaces the Patents Act (Cap. 110) and the Registration of United Kingdom Patents Act (Cap. 112) of the 1990 Revised Laws of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines).
– Patents Regulations of 2009, in force since July 8, 2009.
– The Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents (Apostille), in effect since April 25, 1965.
– WTO’s TRIPS Agreement, since January 1, 1995.
– Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), since August 29, 1995.
– Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, Stockholm Act, since August 29, 1995.
– Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), since August 6, 2002.
Note: under the new Patents Act, it is no longer necessary for a patent to be registered in the United Kingdom in order for it to be registered in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. It revises the law relating to patents in order to give effect to certain international conventions on patents and for related matters.
Applicant: any person either alone or jointly with another or the successor(s) in title.
Naming of the inventor(s): not compulsory.
Types of patents: patents of invention, utility certificate. Claimed inventions which only meet the criteria of novelty and industrial applicability/usefulness may qualify for the grant of a utility certificate.
Conversion of a patent application into an application for a utility certificate may be requested at any time before granting, upon payment of the prescribed fee.
Patentability: the invention must be new, involve an inventive step and be capable of industrial application.
Novelty: international. Disclosure made within twelve months before the filing of the application shall be disregarded if the disclosure occurred within the twelve months immediately preceding the date of filing the application for the patent and the disclosure was due to, or made in consequence of (a) acts committed by the applicant or his predecessor in title; (b) an abuse committed by a third party with regard to the applicant or his predecessor in title.
Novelty grace period: twelve months.
Exceptions to protection: (a) a discovery, scientific theory or mathematical method; (b) a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work or any other aesthetic creation whatsoever; (c) a scheme, rule or method for performing a mental act, playing a game or doing business; (d) diagnostic, therapeutic and surgical methods for the treatment of humans or animals; (e) the presentation of information; (f) an invention, the commercial exploitation of which would be contrary to public order or morality; (g) an invention which is prejudicial to human, animal or plant life, to health or to the environment; or (h) any plant or animal variety or any biological process for the generation of plants or animals, not being a microbiological process or the product of such a process.
Priority: one year for Convention applications. Multiple priorities can be claimed.
Territory covered: Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
Filing requirements for an application (to be sent to registered resident agent):
1. A request which includes the applicant’s name, address, nationality and residence and contact information, an address for service and the title of the invention;
2. A description of the invention;
3. One or more claims;
4. An abstract which provides a summary of technical information about the invention;
5. Drawings, where required.
Requirements for a PCT application: a certified translation into English of the international application and payment of the prescribed fee. Time limit for entering the national phase under both Chapters I and II: 31 months. The International Bureau of WIPO has been appointed as the receiving Office.
Examination: formal and substantive.
Amendments: possible before granting, provided the amendment does not extend the matter disclosed in the application as filed.
Divisions: possible at any time before granting the patent.
Publication: a notice of the grant and particulars of the patent is published in the Official Journal.
Beginning of protection: from the date of the notice of grant in the Official Journal.
Duration of protection: twenty years from the effective filing date. For a utility certificate: ten years.
Annuities: due from the second year as of the filing date.
Annuity grace period: six months with 10% surcharge. If a patent lapsed due to failure to pay the maintenance fee, an application for restoration may be made to the Registrar, in writing, with the prescribed fee and supporting evidence. The outstanding maintenance fee is required to be paid prior to restoration.
License: voluntary license possible; must be in writing, recorded in the Register and published in the Official Journal.
Modification of Protection after Registration
Revocation of a granted patent: possible by any person before the court, under the following grounds: (a) the subject matter is not patentable; (b) the specification does not disclose the invention in a sufficiently clear and complete manner; (c) the subject matter extends beyond the content of the application; (d) the protection was extended by an amendment which should not have been allowed; (e) the patent was granted to a person not entitled thereto.
Compulsory license: any interested person may apply to the court for the grant of a compulsory license at any time after the expiration of three years from the date of grant or four years from the filing date, whichever is later, if the market is not being supplied, or is not supplied on reasonable terms in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Such license will not be granted in respect of a patent relating to integrated circuit.
Infringement and penalties: the owner of a patent is entitled to prevent other persons from exploiting his invention commercially without his permission. It is up to the owner of the patented invention to take the necessary steps to prevent others from infringing his patent. Under the Patents Act of 2004, patent rights can be enforced by commencing proceedings at the High Court to obtain one or more of the following remedies: a declaration of the validity of the patent and of the fact of infringement; an injunction to restrain the infringement; an order for the delivery or destruction of the infringing product or article; damages in respect of the infringement or alternatively, an account of the profits derived from the infringement.