How to apply for a patent in Jamaica
Applying for Patents in Jamaica
by Aneisha Dobson, Associate Writer
It’s no question that Jamaicans are full of creativity. Just take a visit to our local craft markets and you’ll see what I’m talking about.
However, in most cases the imaginative and artistic ideas that went into these “inventions” are usually left unprotected for anyone to copy. And in several situations the inventor is left uncompensated.
So, are you an intellectual mind who has a passion for creating new and useful inventions? If the answer is yes, then it is important for you to protect that invention by getting it patented here in Jamaica.
But before we jump into the application process, let’s get you fully aware of what a patent is.
What is a patent?
According to the Jamaica Intellectual Property Office, a patent is a set of exclusive rights granted by the government to an inventor or their assignee for a limited period of time in exchange for a public disclosure of an invention.
The word “invention” is defined under the Patent Act, 1857, as “’any new and useful process, machines, manufacture or composition of matters or any new and useful improvement thereof.’’
So, the beautiful thing is that as long as you are an inventor with a new and useful invention you can apply for a patent!
However, it should be noted that not everything can be patented.
Here is the list of what is not patentable:
- Methods for performing Mental acts and Mathematical Algorithms or formulas,
- Naturally occurring things,
- Scientific principles,
- Rules and playing games
- Methods doing business
- Programs for computers
- Business Methods
In addition, in order for a patent to be granted the invention must meet certain conditions.
These basic conditions are:
- Novelty - The invention must be new (novel), basically not be known or used in the island at any point before.
- Public Utility - This means that the invention must be capable of being reproduced in large quantities and used by the general Jamaican public.
Here in Jamaica a patent last for 14 years from the date on which the patent is granted. Therefore, after the patent is expired the invention can be used or sold by anyone.
However, after expiration the patent may be extended for seven additional years by the Governor General, once the extension is necessary.
Another important note is that foreign patents do not protect an invention in Jamaica. Likewise, Jamaican patents does not offer protection to that invention in foreign countries.
The Jamaica Intellectual Property Office (JIPO) is the organization that deals with protecting intellectual property. Therefore, when applying for a patent you will be communicating with this organization.
Now, to the meat of the matter...
How do you apply for a Patent in Jamaica?
- The application process for a patent begins by submitting a petition to the Governor General.
This petition is a formal request to the Governor General for grant of a patent.
- Along with the petition, the Declaration and Specification must be submitted as supporting documents.
The Declaration is a sworn statement that is made by the inventor that he is the first to create the invention and it is not used by other person(s). This must be done in the presence of a Justice of the Peace.
Now, the specification is basically a written description about the invention. The Specification contains quite a number of elements:
- A discussion of the prior art, i.e. background information and a statement of the problem to be solved.
- Statement of the object of invention, that is, the benefits to be provided
- A summary or definition of the invention, that is, the solution to the problem that the invention will provide.
- Detailed elaboration of all aspects of the invention.
- Description of the usefulness of the invention.
- Working examples which support the claims.
The inventor can complete the Patent Application himself. However, if he needs assistance it is recommended that the inventor consult an Attorney-at-Law who has experience in the field.
If this is the case, then additional documents will be needed. These documents are, The Power of Attorney, and The Assignment and Affidavit.
- After all the documents are filed to the Jamaica Intellectual Property Office (JIPO), they will be sent to examiners.
Examiners are responsible for technically assessing the invention.
This includes verifying the novelty of the invention and assessing the public utility. If these conditions are met the application will be recommended for grant of Patent.
And with that your application is basically complete.
- Then Wait :-). The success of your application is solely dependent on whether or not the invention meets the conditions required.
There you go! I hope this helps. If you desire to get more information about patents you can visit the Jamaica Intellectual Property Office (JIPO) at:
Jamaica Intellectual Property Office (JIPO)
PCJ Building, 36 Traflgar Road,
Kingston 10, Jamaica, W.I.
Tel: (876)754-6350, (876) 754-6360
Source: "Patents", The Jamaica Intellectual Property Office (JIPO), Retrieved July 17, 2018, https://www.jipo.gov.jm/node/45
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