FAQ - PATENTS
1. Meaning of A Patent Under Belize Law
A patent is an exclusive title granted to an inventor to make, use or sell an invention in Belize for a period of twenty years. The title protects the invention against unauthorized uses by third parties. An invention is the idea of an inventor which permits in practice the solution to a specific problem in the field of technology. An invention may relate to a product (like a new cellphone) or a process (like the process to make a drug to cure cancer). (See Section 2 of the Patents Act, Chapter 253, available on this website).
2. Inventions Which Can Be Patented
For an invention to be protected by a patent under Belize law, it must be new – it must never have been made known to anyone anywhere in the world before the date of filing the patent application. In other words, the art of the invention must not form part of the general knowledge in its technical field. This is the condition in section 9 of the Patents Act, Chapter 253, providing that the patent must not form part of “prior art”.
3. Matters That Cannot Be Patented In Belize
In Belize, the following cannot be patented, even if they are inventions-
4. Benefits You Obtain From Registering A Patent In Belize
When your patent is registered in Belize, you will have the exclusive right of exploiting the patented invention in Belize for a period of twenty years. Where the invention is a product, this means that you will have the exclusive right to make, import, offer for sale and use the product in Belize, including stocking the product for the purposes of sale for a period of twenty years. Where the invention is a process, this means you will have the exclusive right to use the process in Belize for a period of twenty years. These rights are set out in section 33 of the Patents Act, Chapter 253.
5. How You Apply For A Patent
To apply for a patent in Belize, your application should contain (a) a request, (b) a description, (c) one or more claims (d) one or more drawings where required, and (e) an abstract.
6. How You Classify Your Product or Process (Invention) In Your Patent Application
To classify your product or your process in your patent application in Belize, refer to the 8th Edition of the International Patent Classification (IPC) which can be accessed by clicking www.wipo.int/classifications/en/index.html (See "The Classifications - International Patent Classification (IPC) Eight Edition")
7. The Date Your Patent Will Be Granted
The date of grant of your patent in Belize will be the date the notice of the grant of the patent will be published in the Intellectual Property Journal, available on the website of the Belize Intellectual Property Office at www.belipo.bz. (see section 27(8) of the Patents Act, Chapter 253).
8. Duration of Your Patent
A patent expires twenty years after the filing date of the application (see section 28(1) of the Patents Act, Chapter 253). For PCT applications, the twenty years will be calculated from the international filing date.
9. If You Have Previously Surrendered Your Patent, You can Apply To Have It Restored or re-registered
To have your patent restored on the Register, or re-registered, you fill the
10. You Can Also Oppose the Restoration of Your Opponent’s Patent
You do this by filing duplicate Notices of Opposition to Petition for Restoration of a Patent in Form No. 12 (see Patent Forms ) and paying the official fees for the Belize Intellectual Property Office and our attorney (agency) fees (See Patent Fees). You should also file an Application for an Address of Service in Belize, which will be the address of your local patent attorney in Belize, in Form No. 2 A and a Power of Attorney in Form No. 2B, authorizing your local patent attorney to prosecute the opposition of restoration before the Belize Intellectual Property Office. Your notice of opposition should be made within two weeks from the date of publication of the application for restoration of the patent. This time limit is very important since notice of application to restore a patent is only published in one issue of the Intellectual Property Journal, so that you need our local services to keep a watch of the publications and advise you as things happen.
11. If Your Application To Restore a Patent is Opposed, You May Answer the Opposition.
You do this by filing duplicate Forms of Answer to Opposition for Restoration of a Patent in Form No. 13 (See Patent Forms) and by paying the official fees of the Belize Intellectual Property Office and our local attorney (agency) fees.(See Patent Fees).
12. How You Maintain Your Patent
You maintain your patent by paying, in advance of each renewal year for the twenty years of the duration of your patent, the official fees of the Belize Intellectual Property Office and our attorney (agency) fees. These fees are set out on this website (See Patent Fees).
13. You Can Claim Priority From An Earlier Application Made In A Country Which Is A Member Of The Paris Convention For The Protection Of Industrial Property Or The World Trade Organization (WTO)
You can claim priority from an earlier patent application filed in or for a country which is a Party to the Paris Convention or a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Your priority claim in Belize must be made within one year of the earlier application. The date of filing of such an application claiming priority shall be the date of filing of the application in Belize. If the earlier application was not made in English, you must provide an English translation of the earlier application (see section 21 of the Patent Act, Chapter 253)
14 You Can Apply For A Recordal Of A Transfer Or Assignment of Your Patent
To apply for a recordal of a transfer or assignment of your patent, you fill the following Forms:
15 You Can Apply For An Amendment To The Patent Application, Or Other Details On The Register
You can apply to amend your patent application, or other details appearing on the Patents Register, like your name, address, and so on. To do this, you fill out
16. You Can Also Apply for A Recordal Of A Licence Contract Or Cancellation Of A Record Of A Licence-Contract Or Recordal Of A Transfer Of A Licence-Contract
You apply for a recordal of a licence-contract or cancellation of a record of a licence-contract or recordal of a transfer of a licence contract by filling the following forms:
17. You Can Apply For A Recordal Of A Sub-Licence Contract Or For The Cancellation Of A Record Of A Sub-Licence Contract Or For The Recordal Of A Transfer Of A Sub-Licence Contract
To apply for a recordal of a sub-licence contract or for the cancellation of a record of a sub-licence contract or for the recordal of a transfer of a sub-licence contract in respect of your patent, you must fill out the following forms:
18. The Belize Patents Act Also Allows The Registration Of Utility Models
A utility model is an invention which is different from a patent because it does not require an inventive step. The invention, however, must be new and capable of industrial application. Such types of inventions are registrable under the Patents Act, Chapter 253, as utility models. Upon registration, you obtain legal title in your invention through a Utility Model Certificate, which expires seven (7) years after the date of filing of the application, and which is non-renewable. To apply for a utility model certificate, you use the same forms required for the grant of a patent. You can convert the application for a utility model certificate into an application for the grant of a patent (or vice versa) at any time before the grant of the utility model certificate. You do not need to pay any annual renewal fees in order to maintain your rights in a registered utility model. (see section 22 and Part XII of the Patents Act, Chapter 253).
19. For All Matters Before The Belize Intellectual Property Office, You May Apply For An Extension of Time
To apply for an extension of time, you must swear to an affidavit (duly executed according to the laws of the country where you reside) stating the facts on which you rely in your application for an extension of time. You should contact us immediately and transmit the affidavit to us, to enable us to prosecute your request before the Belize Intellectual Property Office.
20. If You Have Any Other Questions Kindly Contact Us
You can do this by clicking on the “contact us” button on this website or click here.
The information on this website [and any attachments or weblinks thereto] is subject to a disclaimer that if you do not seek our professional legal advice, and do not act in accordance therewith, we will not be responsible in any way whatsoever for the information furnished, since Belizean intellectual property law, like all the other intellectual property legal regimes under the WTO, is continuously changing to meet the demands of the market place.
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