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  • NOTE: The information given here is intended to be general information and is not intended to provide legal or other advice. We strongly recommend taking professional legal advice relating to the registration of intellectual property and it's protection under the relevant laws.

    Up to the latter part of 2000 the registration and protection of patents and designs were controlled by The Pakistan Patents and Designs Act, 1911. This act has been repealed and replaced by two separate ordinances namely, The Patents Ordinance, 2000, relating to the registration and protection of Patents, and The Registered Designs Ordinance, 2000, relating to registration and protection of Industrial Designs. Rules for Patents Ordinance were introduced on 31 December 2003, with immediate effect, by the Federal Government of Pakistan for carrying out the purposes of the Patents Ordinance 2000, namely The Patents Rules, 2003. However, the Patents and Designs Rules, 1933, as framed under the Patents Act, 1911, continue to apply for the registration and protection of Designs until such time as the rules framed under the new The Registered Designs Ordinance is notified. These ordinances have been brought into effect in order to bring Pakistani law relating to Patents and Designs into conformity with the GATT TRIPS agreements. However, the commencement of the Patents (Amendments) Ordinance on 26 October 2002 has caused some significant issues relating with the Pakistan's obligations with GATT TRIPS. To resolve these issues work at the Government level is under progress and hopefully it will be dealt soon.

    Under the Patents Ordinance, 2000, the term of a registered patent has been extended from 16 years to 20 years.

    An application for a patent must be filed only by the true and first inventor or his assign. In the latter case, the inventor or inventors in the presence of two witnesses must endorse the application.

    Rule 5 requires the filing of the text of the specifications (in duplicate) in English on A4 sized paper having a margin of 2cm on top, right and bottom and 2.5cm on the left sides of the paper. The specification should commence with the title of the invention and the name of the applicant and should be signed and dated by the applicant or his agent. In the latter case a Power of Authority in favour of the agent would have to be executed.

    Drawings not included in the specification should be filed on smooth white A4 paper size having a margin of 2.5cm on the top and left sides, 1.5cm on the right side and 1 cm at the bottom of the paper, The specification should describe by reference to drawings the particular features, which render the article novel in relation to other articles of it's kind.

    An applicant is entitled to claim priority date of the application filed in Paris Convention or in any of the member country of the WTO (World Trade Organisation) provided that the Pakistan application is made "within twelve months of the application for protection in that country". A certified copy of the application, on which the priority is based, is required to be filed at the time of filing the Pakistan application or within three months thereafter. Neither notarisation nor legalisation is required. If the publication of the specification is in a language other than English, the Patent Office also requires a certified verification of translation of the priority document.

    Pakistan is not a contracting country of PCT.

    The minimum information required for filing in Pakistan is as follows:
    (a)   Name and full address of the Applicant;
    (b)   Specification in legible form (in duplicate);
    (c)   Application Form which we can sign as an agent on behalf of the Applicant; and
    (d)   Drawings, if any.

    The amendments now made through the Patents (Amendment) Ordinance 2006 have taken away the requirement that applications for the grant of patents must be examined within 18 months (or 21 months upon an application for extension of time being submitted). In other words, there is no deadline for filing a response to the official action.

    After acceptance the application is advertised in the Official Gazette for the purposes of inviting opposition to the grant of Letters Patent. If there is no opposition within four months from the date of publication of the acceptance, the application is sealed on payment of the sealing fee.

    Renewal fee is due annually, beginning with the 5th year of the patent term. The 5th annuity of a patent is payable before the expiry of 4th year from the date of filing of a patent or in case of a patent claiming priority date, before the expiry of 4th year from the priority date. If the annuity is not paid on the due date as noted above, it can be paid along with a fine within the grace period of 6 months. However, in view of the promulgation of the Patents (Amendment) Ordinance 2006, the accumulated annuities due will have to be paid if the application is accepted and sealed after the due date of the 5th annuity.

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