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Patent

Forms part of

  • Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property; and
  • Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
  • Patents of invention;
  • Patents of addition (improvement to an invention described under an existing patent); and
  • Patents of importation (i.e. an article that is patented under the laws of another jurisdiction may be extended to the Democratic Republic of the Congo).

Absolute novelty applies.

There is a six-month grace period.  The novelty of an invention will not be destroyed by the disclosure of the invention within six months prior to the filing date on account of:

  • an evident abuse in relation to the applicant or their predecessor in title;
  • or the display of the invention by the applicant or their predecessor in title at an official or officially recognised exhibition.

Patent applications are examined as to compliance with formal requirements only; i.e. the novel and inventive merit of the invention is not assessed.

Patents are valid for twenty years from the date of filing the patent application.  Importantly, patents pertaining to a medicament endures for fifteen years only.

Annual renewal fees are due from the third year from the date of filing of the patent application and are payable in advance.  There is a six-month grace period for affecting late payment of the annual renewal fees.

A patented invention must be worked in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  “Work” means “effective technical exploitation”.  A patent of invention or patent of addition should be worked within five years from the filing date or three years from the date of grant, whichever is later.