A patent is the legal instrument provided nationally, on a European level and/or internationally, for the protection of any manufacture used for, amongst others, industrial purposes. By registering a patent, an inventor will exclude others from commercially exploiting the invention for a limited period, in return for the disclosure of the invention.

The Patent Law 16(I)/98, which is the main part of the legislation governing this field of IP rights, has been enacted in Cyprus on 1 April 1998, and amended later by Laws 21(I)/99, 153(I)/2000, 163(I)/2002, and 122(I)/2006, (together the “Patent Laws”) and supplemented by the relevant Patent Regulations K. Δ. ∏ No. 46/99, as these have been amended by K. Δ. ∏No. 320/2000.

Here below is a summary of the main provisions of the applicable regimes, for your ease of reference:

A) National application

The requirements provided by the Laws, in relation to the inventions granted Certificate of Patent, are the following:

1) The invention must be novel, this means that the invention is not a part of an ‘existing art’. ‘Existing art’ is defined as anything which has been published by written form, oral description or with its usage, or by any other means around the world;

2) The invention should involve an inventive step, which means that the invention is not arisen by the existing level of art; and

3) The invention must be industrially applicable, which means that the invention can be created or used in any industrial field.

In order to obtain the aforementioned Certificate, an application is filed with the Patent Registrar (the “Registrar”) by providing the prescribed information, including, but not limited to, the following:

a) Request for a patent to be granted;

b) The title of the invention;

c) Description of the invention;

d) Claim or claims which must be drafted in the manner prescribed by the law, including clear and accurate information and must state in detail, the extent of the protection to be conferred by the application for a patent;

e) Any drawings referred to in the description or claims; and

f) An abstract of the invention, in no more than 150 words.

The Registrar will then forward the patent application to the European Patent Organization for examination. If the application fulfills the requirements provided by applicable laws and regulations, then the examiner will send the relevant report to the Registrar who will inform the applicant, as to who should prepare and submit the search report.

On receipt of the report and subject to the provisions of the Laws, the Registrar will then publish in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Cyprus; the issued Patent Certificate of Registration together with the search report. The duration of a patent is 20 years from the date of the submission of the relevant application.

B) International application

The Patent Corporation Treaty of 1970 (PCT), makes it possible to seek patent protection for an invention in a large number of countries, who are signing parties to the treaty, by submitting a single “international” patent application.

After the expiration of 18 months from the earliest submission date of such application, the content of the international application will be disclosed to the world.

Upon the completion of the aforementioned PCT procedure and usually after 30 months from the earliest filing date of your initial application, from which you claim priority, you may start to pursue the grant of your patents directly before the national (or regional) patent Offices of the countries in which you want to obtain patents. Of course there is a possibility to “claim priority” and request an early entry into the national phase.

C) European application

The most popular way to file a European application is online, using the EPO Online Filing, provided free of charge. The European Patent Office (EPO) acts as a Regional patent office which grants patents that take effect in some or all of the countries signatories to the Convention on the Grant of European Patents (EPC). Thus, the applicant may indicate in his / her application the countries where the applicant wants his / her patent to be protected. If the application complies with the requirements provided by the EPO, then the EPO grants the patent in respect of the states indicated in the said application.

Should you have a new, industrially applicable idea which is inventive in nature, be proactive, have it registered and keep it safe for your use.