The Colombian Patent Office, in an effort to improve their
services and to increase the number of patent applications from
domestic applicants has carried out different actions that are of
interest to businesses and/or individuals seeking to obtain patent
protection in Colombia.
Among the significant advances is
the signing of the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) pilot program
with the South Korean Patent Office (KIPO), which
entered into force on 01 February 2016. This pilot
program is part of the group of offices which have already signed
such programs, including the United States Patent and Trademark
Office (USPTO) since 2012, the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office
(SPTO) since 2013 and the Japanese Patent Office (JPO) since
In addition to this PPH pilot program signed with the KIPO, it
is expected to sign other PPH pilot programs with further
international offices, particularly with the European
Patent Office and the Pacific Alliance, as reported by the
Colombian Patent Office recently.
Another relevant development is the
issuance of Resolution No. 3719 of February 2,
2016, by which the Patent Office of Colombia regulates the filing
of divisional applications, the conversion of patent applications
to utility models, the merger of applications and the possibility
of having up to 3 patentability examinations for an application, as
long as a period of 18 months, counted as from the publication of
the same in the Official Gazette, is not exceeded. Important points
of this resolution are the following: i) the possibility of
filing divisional applications until a final decision is taken,
provided that such division is carried out from the parent
application, the filing and examination fee are paid and provided
that they correspond to a literal division of the initial subject
matter, allowing an ulterior amendment if the corresponding
voluntary amendment fee is paid and ii) in case a new examination
on the amended claims is desired (within 18 mentioned months), it
is necessary paying the examination fee again along with the
response to the substantive examination.
The above are relevant facts
because previously, divisional applications which were submitted by
the applicant's initiative were not accepted (only in response
to a suggestion by the examiner in the substantive examination) and
because a single patentability examination was being issued.
Additionally, it is worth
indicating the practice adopted by the Patent Office in mid-2015
and according to which the formal examination extends beyond the
study of documents, making a first approach on the clarity,
conciseness, support, exceptions to patentability and unity of
invention a priori of the claim set. This has allowed
preparing the claim set for the patentability study, giving the
applicant an additional opportunity to adapt the text according to
the current legislation and for the patentability evaluation to be
carried out for such matter. It has also enabled national
applicants who did not have a complete consultation before the
submission of the application, to review the possibility of
allowing the abandonment of the same by nonresponse (taking into
consideration that the application has not been published), to
correct the text and submit a new application.
Another important aspect of the
latest developments is the reduction in the filing fee and in
decision times. According to statistics from the Colombian
Patent Office, the study of a patent application currently takes an
average of 22 months, in contrast to an average of 62 months for
the period 2000-2012.
The measures taken by the Colombian
Patent Office Colombia are reflected in the increase of patent
applications in Colombia. In 2015, a total of 2242 applications
were filed, in contrast to a total of 2205 in 2014. Similarly, a
response to the effort in increasing national applications is
observed, given that in 2015 a total of 321 applications were
submitted by national applicants, versus 280 applications submitted
Trends show an interest of the Office on increasing
applications in general, facilitating prosecution and providing
greater opportunities to defend patentability, as well as strong
cooperation between offices, taking into account international
examinations by means of the PPH programs. These trends show the
importance that the protection of inventions has been acquired in
our country during the last years.
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