A Patent is an Industrial Property title granted to protect an invention. The Industrial Property Act of the Kingdom of Bhutan, 2001 states “Invention” as an idea of an inventor which permits in practice the solution to a specific problem in the field
A patent provides protection for the invention to the owner of the patent. The protection is granted for a limited period, generally 20 years upon payment of annual maintenance fees.
Patents provide incentives to individuals by offering them recognition for their creativity and material reward for their marketable inventions. These incentives encourage innovation, which assures that the quality of human life is continuously enhanced.
Anyone who has new invention can apply for a patent in their national Intellectual Property Office.
In order to have patent protection, you must apply for and receive a patent. Since patent laws are national, you must obtain patent protection in each country in which you want protection.
As per Industrial Property Act of Kingdom of Bhutan, 2001, an invention is patentable if it is new, involves an inventive step and is industrially applicable. An invention is new if it not anticipated by prior art. Prior art shall consist of everything disclosed to the public, anywhere in the world, by publication in tangible form or by oral disclosure, by use or in any other way, prior to the filing or, where appropriate, the priority date, of the application claiming the invention. An invention shall be considered as involving as an inventive step if, having regard to the prior art relevant to the application claiming the invention, it would not have been obvious to a person having ordinary skill in the art. An invention shall be considered industrially applicable if it can be made or used in any kind of industry. Industry shall cover, in particular, handicraft, agriculture, fishery and services.
The following are excluded from patent protection: (i) discoveries, scientific theories and mathematical methods; (ii) schemes, rules or methods for doing business, performing purely mental acts or playing games; (iii) methods for treatment of the human or animal body by surgery or therapy, as well as diagnostic methods practiced on the human or animal body; this shall not apply to products for use in any of those methods.
8. My invention was featured in the media and was also published in a scientific journal. Can I still apply for a patent?
Public disclosure of your invention may destroy the novelty of your invention. However, the disclosure to the public of your invention shall not be taken into consideration if it occurred within months preceding the filing date or, where applicable, the priority date of your application.
9. My invention was displayed in an exhibition. Can I still apply for a Patent for the same invention?
If the invention was displayed in an exhibition, the disclosure will be disregarded if you: (a) state, on filing the patent application, that the invention has been so displayed, (b) furnish with the application or one month of filing the application, full particulars of disclosure; where the disclosure was made at an exhibition, (c) file within the same period, a duly authenticated certificate issued by the authority responsible for the exhibition containing particulars of the exhibition and stating that the invention was in fact exhibited there.
Before you apply, consult the “Office Practice and Procedure Manual for Patent Registration System, 2012” which has been uploaded on the office website (www.ipbhutan.gov.bt) for insight into the process. Once you are ready, you can apply for your patent in Bhutan by submitting a patent application (in three copies) with the appropriate fee to: The Patent Registry Department of Intellectual Property Ministry of Economic Affairs Thimphu Bhutan
Yes, a non-resident can file a patent application in Bhutan but he/she should be represented by a Patent agent.
When the applicant is not the inventor, the request shall be accompanied by a statement justifying the applicant’s right to the patent. If the applicant is represented by an agent, the request shall indicate and state the agent’s name and address.
13. Is there any difference in the amount of fees to be paid by an individual or a legal entity for filing a patent application?
Yes, the application filing fees for an individual person (natural person) is Nu.1, 000/- and for a legal entity other than individual is Nu.4, 000/- up to 10 claims and 30 pages. However, in case, the number of pages exceed beyond 30, then natural person has to pay Nu.100/- for each additional page and a legal entity has to pay Nu.400/- per page. Similarly if the number of claims exceed beyond 10, then natural person has to pay Nu.200/- for each additional claim and a legal entity has to pay Nu.800/- for each additional claim.
A complete application includes: 1. A Request (Form No. PT 1) in three copies; 2. A description; 3. Claim or claims to the invention; 4. Any drawings mentioned in the description; and 5. Abstract of the invention.
In all cases of incomplete applications, the office will make every effort to inform the applicant for non-compliance by means of a notification letter specifying the required corrections. The corrections should be submitted within two months from the date of the notification.
Yes. An applicant can request for the extension of time on Form No. PT 11 along with a fee as prescribed in the Schedule of Fees, before the expiry of the required time limit.
17. What are the consequences of not submitting the required corrections within the given timeframe?
If the corrections are not submitted within the given timeframe, the patent application will be deemed as not filed or rejected. In case an extension of time is requested and the applicant fails to submit the required correction within that timeframe, the application will be deemed as not filed or rejected.
No, you can have only one invention in a patent application.
Where an original patent application describes and claims more than one invention, the applicant must limit the claims to one invention only and any other invention described may be made the subject of a separate divisional application.
Divisional applications will retain the filing date of the original applications and must be filed before the issue of a patent on the original application.
Bhutan, like many countries, allows priority claims to be made in a patent application. If an applicant has an application filed earlier in a Paris Convention country (other than Bhutan), he may claim priority from this first-filed application, provided he files in Bhutan within 12 months from the date of the first filing. Similarly, an application which is first filed in Bhutan can be used to claim priority in a corresponding application filed in a Paris Convention country, provided that the corresponding application is filed within 12 months from the date of filing in Bhutan.
A request for priority can be made in the request form, Form No. PT 1. You must provide the following information related to each priority document: 1. application number, 2. the filing date, 3. filing office, 4. the country of filing, 5. status of the application and 6. the International Patent Classification.
The office will carry out a formality examination of your application and accord a filing date. A Substantive Search and Examination to assess the novelty, inventive step and industrial applicability of your patent application will be carried out. If your invention fulfills all these criteria for patentability, a Patent will be granted to your invention and published in our official gazette.
You can withdraw your application anytime during its pendency by submitting the request in writing.
The Registrar will, whenever possible, reach a final decision on the application not later than two years after the commencement of the Substantive Search and Examination.
The exploitation of the patented invention in Bhutan by persons other than the owner of the patent shall require the latter’s agreement. Exploitation of a patented invention means any of the following acts: 1. when the patent has been granted in respect of a product: 2. making, using, offering for sale, selling or importing for these purposes that product; 3. stocking such product for the purposes of offering for sale, selling or using; 4. when the patent has been granted in respect of a process: 5. using the process; 6. doing any of the acts referred to in paragraph (a) in respect of a product obtained directly by means of the process.
Yes. The rights under the patent shall not extend: 1. To acts in respect of articles which have been put on the market in Bhutan by the owner of the patent or with his consent; or 2. To the use of articles on aircraft, land vehicles or vessels of other countries which temporarily or accidentally enter the airspace, territory or waters of Bhutan; or 3. To acts done only for experimental purposes relating to a patented invention; or 4. To acts performed by any person who in good faith, before the filing or, where priority is claimed, the priority date of the application on which the patent is granted, was using the invention or was making effective and serious preparations for such use in Bhutan.
The right to a Patent shall belong to the inventor.
If two or more persons have jointly made an invention, the right to the patent shall belong to them jointly.
When an invention is made in execution of an employment contract, the right to the patent shall belong, in the absence of contractual provisions to the contrary, to the employer.
A patent will expire twenty years from the filing date of the application for the patent.
In order to maintain Patent, an annual fee as prescribed in the Schedule of Fees shall be paid in advance to the Registrar for each year, starting one year after the filing date of the application.
A period of grace of six months will be allowed for the late payment of the annual fee on payment of the prescribed surcharge. You patent application will be deemed to have been withdrawn or your patent shall lapse if you do not pay the maintenance fee before the deadline of this grace period.
Yes. As with other forms of Intellectual Property, a Patent is a right that can be assigned or licensed to another party. An application to register such transactions with the Registry of Patent shall be made on Form No. PT-9 with a fee as prescribed in the Schedule of Fees.
Any person may apply to invalidate a Patent for an invention on any of the grounds set out in Section 16 of the Industrial Property Act of the Kingdom of Bhutan, 2001. The request shall be made to the Registrar on Form No. PT 7 along with a fee as prescribed in the Schedule of Fees.