Antigua & Barbuda: New Patent law 2018 and Regulations

Antigua & Barbuda, a nation comprising two main islands and a number of smaller ones, has passed a new Patents Act (No. 22 of 2018) and Regulations, which replaces the Patents Act 2003. The new law came into force on 22 November 2018.

Antigua & Barbuda has been a member of the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) and the Paris Convention since 17 March 2000.

Patent statistics from WIPO for Antigua & Barbuda are as follows:

We highlight some important aspects of the Patents Act 2018 below:

Filing language: English

Novelty: Absolute novelty is the requirement, with a 12-month grace period for disclosure due to acts committed by the inventor or applicant, or an abuse committed by a third party.

Not patentable:

  • A discovery, scientific theory or mathematical method;
  • A scheme, rule or method for doing business, performing a mental act or playing a game;
  • computer programmes as such;
  • A method for the treatment of the human or animal body by surgery or therapy, as well as diagnostic methods practised on the human or animal body;
  • Plants and animals other than micro-organisms;
  • Essentially biological processes for the production of plants or animals other than non-biological microbiological processes;
  • Plant varieties;
  • Known substances for which a new use has been discovered;
  • An invention which, if commercially exploited, would harm public order or morality (including human, animal or plant life or health) or cause serious prejudice to the environment, provided that the exclusion is not based simply on the fact that the exploitation is prohibited by law.

Pharmaceuticals (medical indications): Products for use in medical methods are patentable. EPC 2000 format claims should be allowable.

Examination: Substantive examination is now conducted and it must be requested within six months of the publication date. If examination is not requested within the prescribed term, the application is deemed to be abandoned.

Expedited examination: There is no provision for this.

Prior art disclosure obligation: There is no obligation, but the Registrar may request information concerning corresponding foreign applications, patents or other titles of protection from the Applicant.

Divisional filing and deadlines: Divisional applications may be filed any time before grant. These may be in response to a lack of unity-objection, or it may be voluntary.

Online filing: This is not possible at present.

Budapest Treaty: This is recognised.

PCT National phase deadline: The period is 30 months.

PCT Rule 49(6) late entry: This is allowed.

Post-grant amendments: This is possible, provided that the scope of the claims as granted are not broadened.

Opposition: There is no provision for opposition to pending patent applications. After grant a third party may file and opposition/invalidity/revocation application. 

Renewals: These are payable annually from the patent application filing date. There is a six-month grace period with a surcharge fee.

Restoration: This is possible.

Term: The term is 20 years from the filing date of the application.

Utility Models/Certificates: These are provided for.

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Date published: 22 February 2019
Author: Spoor & Fisher

Tags: Antigua & Barbuda patents Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) Paris Convention