Patent prosecution in Colombia refers to the process of securing patent protection for an invention in Colombia. Here is an overview of the patent prosecution process in Colombia:
- Patentability study of the invention to increase the chances of success in the subsequent substantive examination
- Proper drafting of the patent according to the rules issued by the international bureau of WIPO
- Filing: The first step in the processing of a patent is to file a patent application with the Colombian Patent Office (Superintendence of Industry and Commerce – SIC). The application can be submitted in Spanish or in any other language with a translation into Spanish.
- Formal examination: At the time of filing, the SIC will carry out a formal examination to verify that the patent application meets all formal requirements, such as adequate documentation and payment of fees. If there are deficiencies, the applicant will be given a period of time to correct them.
- Substantive examination: Once the formal requirements have been met, the SIC will carry out a substantive examination to assess the novelty, inventive step, and industrial applicability of the invention. The examiner will compare the invention with the prior art and relevant technical documents to determine its patentability.
- Amendments and Response: If the examiner objects to or requests amendments to the patent application, the applicant has the opportunity to respond within a specified time frame. The response may include additional arguments, amendments, or explanations to address the examiner’s concerns.
- Grant or denial: If the examiner agrees with the answer and determines that the invention is patentable, the SIC will grant the patent. However, if the examiner still has objections or doubts, the patent application may be denied. The applicant may appeal the denial within a specified time frame.
- Publication and opposition: The patent will be published in the Official Gazette, and third parties will have the opportunity to oppose it within 30 business days following the publication.
- Grant of patent: If there are no oppositions or if they are rejected, the SIC will issue the definitive grant of the patent. The patent will be valid for 20 years from the filing date, subject to the payment of annual maintenance fees.
It is important to note that Colombia follows the first-to-file system, which means that the first person to file a patent application for an invention will generally receive the patent rights, regardless of who invented it first.
Therefore, it is advisable to file a patent application as soon as the invention is developed to ensure the earliest filing date.
It is also recommended to seek the assistance of a Colombian patent attorney or agent who is experienced in the local patent prosecution process, as they can provide guidance and handle the application on behalf of the applicant.
In summary, to protect a trademark in Latin America from China, it is important to first register the trademark in China, research availability in Latin America, register the trademark in each destination country, monitor its use, and retain an intellectual property attorney in case of legal problems.