April 27, 2018

Amendments to the patent legislation of Belarus

The Belarus Law “On the introduction of changes and additions to the Law “On Patents for Inventions, Utility Models, Industrial Designs” that was approved in December 2017, will come into force on July 7, 2018. Among the main amendments, the following provisions will be introduced.

The methods of medical treatment including preventive treatment, diagnostics, healing, medical rehabilitation and prosthetics will no longer be patentable. The already granted patents covering the said methods will remain in force until their expiration date. However, in case such patent ceases to be effective due to annuity non-payment it will become impossible to restore it.

Another important amendment concerns the maximum term of protection of a utility model, it will be extended from 8 to 10 years.

Additionally, time limits will be changed for patents on inventions, utility models and designs, namely:

- term for publication in the Official Bulletin of the data on patents will be shortened to 3 months upon registration of a patent, instead of previously stipulated 6 months;

- response to an Office Action will have to be submitted within 3 months from its issuance date, instead of previously stipulated 2 months from the receiving date;

- period of non-use or insufficient use, which is taken into consideration when granting a compulsory licence, will be equated for all patents to 3 years. Previously, this term was 5 years for inventions and 3 years for other IP types.

Therefore, the updated Law is mostly aimed at clarification of provisions, improvement of norms and procedures as well as at bringing the Belarus legislation into conformity with both national and international practices.

Verified by Mikhailyuk, Sorokolat & Partners.

Author: Jessica Chester