International Arrangements:

  • WIPO (from 30 March 1977)
  • Paris Union (from 3 September 1977)

Types of Patents Available:

  • Patents of Invention
  • Patents of Addition

Novelty Requirements: 

Absolute novelty is required. However, novelty will not be destroyed if the disclosure of the invention to the public occurred not earlier than twelve months preceding the filing date or where applicable the priority date, arising from:

  • clear abuse in relation to the applicant or his successor in title;
  • the fact that the applicant or his successor in title has displayed it at an official or officially recognized international exhibition.


Methods of surgical or therapeutic treatment of the human or animal body as well as diagnostic methods are not patentable. However, products for use in any such methods may be patented. Pharmaceutical products are excluded from patent protection in terms of TRIPS until 1 January 2016. 

Filing Requirements:

  • Patents of Invention Power of Attorney (simply signed) (can be late filed within 2 months)
  • Specification, claims and abstract in French or English (required on the day of filing)
  • Formal drawings, if applicable (required on the day of filing)
  • Assignment of Priority Rights (can be late filed, no set deadline)
  • Priority document with verified French or English translation (can be late filed within three months)


The term of a Patent of Invention is twenty years from the filing date. If the patent is granted more than four years after the date of filing, the term of protection granted by the patent shall automatically be extended by the entire period which has elapsed as from the date of filing. Patents of Addition expire with the main case. 


Renewal fees are payable for 5 year periods in advance commencing from the filing date of the patent application.

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