News on IP Laws


Denmark: The Act Amending the Patents Act and Various Other Laws was adopted by the National Parliament of Denmark (Folketing) on December 28, 2011 and enters into force on February 1, 2012. It amends provisions concerning fees in the following laws: The Consolidated Patents Act, The Consolidated Trademarks Act, The Consolidated Designs Act, The Consolidated Utility Models Act, the Collective Marks Act and the Protection of the Topographies of Semiconductor Products Act. Henceforth, the publication fee of a Danish patent is modified so that the additional fee for publication, which is DKK 80 per page over 35 pages, will be charged, at the maximum, for 400 pages. This affects the publication of granted patents, validated European patents in Denmark and amended patents due to opposition or administrative re-examination. The Act supersedes the Order on the Fees of the Danish Patent and Trademark Office, which ceases to be the legal basis for fees from February 1, 2012.

Brunei Darussalam

Brunei Darussalam: The Patents Order, 2011 was approved by the Sultan of Brunei on October 12, 2011 and entered into force on January 1, 2012. It repeals the Emergency (Patents) Order, 1999 and Chapter 72 - Inventions. The Order establishes an independent patent system for the receipt, processing and grant of patents by a new Registry of Patents and facilitates the international filing of patents after Brunei has acceded to the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) and the Budapest Treaty.

United States of America

United States of America: The Leahy-Smith America Invents Act was recently passed by the US Congress and on September 16, 2011, signed by the President of the United States into law. The various provisions contained in the 37 sections of the Act enter into force at various dates. The Act includes major changes to the Patent Law, Title 35 United States Code. The most significant change is the conversion of America's "first to invent" patent priority system to a "first to file" which is aimed at simplifying the patent process and harmonizing the US Patent System with other countries. The new Act also improves patent quality, reduces patent litigation costs and introduces new opportunities for challenging patents and patent applications before the U.S. Patents and Trademarks Office (USPTO).


Ecuador: Resolution No. 11-029 P-IEPI granting Direct Application to the Andean Community Decision with regard to Requests for Extension to file Oppositions against the Application for Registration of Distinctive Signs was issued by the Ecuadorian Institute of Intellectual Property on June 29, 2011. The Resolution came into force on July 1, 2011. It states that Article 146 of the Andean Community Decision No. 486, which provides for the time limit to file oppositions against the registration of distinctive signs, applies directly to Ecuador and therefore supersedes Article 208 of its Law on Intellectual Property (Consolidation No. 2006-013).


Colombia: Law No. 1450 of 2011 - By which the National Plan of Development is issued, 2010 – 2014, was enacted by the Colombian Congress on June 16, 2011 and entered into force on the same date. Article 28 of this law amends Article 20 of Law 23 of 1982 - on Copyright with regards to the ownership of economic rights of works created under the existence of service agreements or employment contracts; article 29 concerns the ownership of industrial property rights generated under the existence of service agreements or employment contracts; article 30 amends Article 183 of Law No. 23 of 1982, regarding the contractual transfer regime of economic rights on copyrights and related rights; and article 31 concerns the ownership of intellectual property rights generated from research projects financed with national budget funds.

South Africa

South Africa: The Companies Act, No. 71 of 2008 was assented to by the President on April 9, 2009 and entered into force on May 1, 2011. The Act provides for a regulatory framework for enterprises. Chapter 8 of the Act entitled "Regulatory Agencies and Administration of Act" establishes the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) of South Africa, to function as an organ of state within the public administration, focusing on the registration of companies and intellectual property rights. The additional functions of CIPC include education and awareness, investigation, compliance and enforcement.


Belarus: The President of the Republic of Belarus signed the Law of the Republic of Belarus of 17 May 2011 No. 262-3 (on Copyright and Related Rights), which was adopted by the National Assembly on April 28, 2011. The law was officially published on May 30, 2011 and, according to Article 61 of the law, it shall come into force six months after its official publication (i.e. November 30, 2011). Article 59 of the new law provides for the repeal of the Law of the Republic of Belarus of May 16, 1996 No. 370-XIII on Copyright and Related Rights. The new law regulates relations arising from the creation and use of works of science, such as books, articles, reports, scientific lectures, theses, literature and art (copyright), as well as performances, phonograms and broadcasting (related rights). Chapter IV on "Cases of free use of objects of copyright and related rights", regulates such issues as the free use of works in mass media (Article 33), reproduction of works for the blind and visually impaired persons (Article 34), and the free use of works by libraries and archives (Article 37).



Peru: The Supreme Decree approving the Regulation for Protecting the Rights of Plant Breeders, Supreme Decree No. 035-2011-PCM was issued by the President of the Republic on April 14, 2011 and entered into force on April 16, 2011, the day following its publication in the Official Journal. The Decree establishes a regulatory framework for the promotion and protection of the rights of plant breeders as provided for under Decision 345 of the Commission of the Cartagena Agreement and the International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants of 1991. In addition, by means of this same Decree, Supreme Decree Nº 008-96-ITINCI was repealed, as well as all other legal dispositions contrary to this new regulation.


China: The Intangible Cultural Heritage Law was adopted at the 19th meeting of the Standing Committee of the Eleventh National People’s Congress on February 25, 2011 and enters into force on June 1, 2011. It protects intangible cultural heritage, such as traditional oral literature, fine arts, calligraphy, traditional medicine, traditional calendars, sports, etc. (Article 2, sections 1-6).


Kenya: The new Constitution of Kenya was adopted on August 4, 2010 and entered into force on August 27, 2010. It replaces the first Constitution of Kenya, which was adopted in 1963. Article 11.2(c) of the new Constitution obliges the state to "promote the intellectual property rights of the people of Kenya".


Colombia: The Copyright Law No. 1403 of 2010 (or Law “Fanny Mikey”) was signed into law by the President of the Republic on July 19, 2010, and entered into force on the same day. It amends the Copyright Law No. 23 of 1982, and provides remuneration for public communication to artists and performers of audiovisual works and sound recordings.