On August 16, 2018, the Directorate General of Intellectual Property (DGIP) issued a circular regarding the obligations of patent holders, and their proxies, to pay outstanding annual patent fees. This letter was sent to all patent owners who still have outstanding annuity fees according to articles 88 and 115 of the old patent law, Law No. 14 of 2011.

Under the old patent law, a patent cannot be abandoned unless the applicant files a request to abandon the patent with the DGIP. Therefore, any patent holder who has attempted to abandoned their patent by ceasing annuity payments still has an obligation to pay.

The DGIP’s circular letter urges all patent holders to settle their unpaid annuity fees within six months from the date of the circular, i.e. by February 16, 2019. If a patent holder fails to fulfil their obligations within that time, the DGIP will refuse to accept any new patent applications from that patent holder.

To avoid any future issues with filing new patent applications, we suggest that patent holders check their patent portfolio for any outstanding annuities on abandoned patents.