Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Brunei implements new patent law

Flag Brunei
I came across this notification posted by my INTA buddy Denise Mirandah.

Brunei Darussalam has implemented a national patent system. The new Patents Order came into force on 1 January 2012.

Under the previous legislation patent protection was obtained by re-registration of a granted UK, European Patent Office (designating UK), Malaysian or Singapore patent. The re-registration application had to be filed within three years from the date of issue of the original grant.

There are subject matter exclusions under the new legislation. These include:
  • method of treatment of the human or animal body by surgery or therapy; and
  • diagnosis practiced on the human or animal body.

All other inventions, including business methods and software/computer-implemented inventions, can be patented if they meet the usual patentability requirements of novelty, inventive step and industrial applicability.

The standard for novelty under the new law is absolute novelty. This means that an invention is only novel if it has not been publicly disclosed by use or by written or oral description or in any other form worldwide before the effective filing date.

There are some grace period provisions that allow an application to be filed within 12 months of disclosure. The grace period is available if:
  • disclosure was due to or made in consequence of the matter having been obtained unlawfully or in breach of confidence by any person; or
  • disclosure was due to or made in consequence of the inventor displaying the invention at an international exhibition; or
  • disclosure was due to or made in consequence of the inventor describing the invention in a paper read by him or another person with his consent before any learned society or published with his consent in the transactions of any learned society.

Patent term is 20 years from the filing date. Annuities are payable yearly starting from the fifth year. A 6-month grace period is available for the late payment of annuities.

I understand that Brunei has acceded to the Paris Convention, but not the Patent Cooperation Treaty. However, the new legislation includes provisions that will allow for the processing of PCT applications when Brunei has acceded to the Treaty.

Photo courtesy of author erjkprunczyk under Creative Commons licence. 

1 comment:

  1. Brunei remains on a "watch list" of countries identified as violators of intellectual property rights (IPR), according to a report by the the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR).


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