World Intellectual Property Organization

Cyprus

Patents Law of 1998

 

 

Patents Law

ARRANGEMENT OF ARTICLES

Article

Short title 1

Part I: Definitions

Interpretation 2

Part II: Administration

Register 3

Inspection of Register and Granting of Certified Copies 4

Part III: Patentability

Patentable Inventions 5

Novelty 6

Inventive Step 7

Industrial Applicability 8

Part IV: Right to Apply for and Obtain a Patent and Be Mentioned as Inventor

Entitlement to File an Application 9

Right to a Patent 10

Inventions Made in Execution of Commission or by Employees 11

Mention of the Inventor 12

Part V: Applications

Requirements of Application 13

Date of Filing 14

Description 15

Claims 16

Abstract 17

Unity of Invention 18

Amendment and Division of Application 19

Right of Priority 20

Part VI: Examination and Grant or Refusal

Examination as to Formalities 21

Submission of Search Report 22

Withdrawal of Application 23

Grant 24

Publication of Applications or Patents 25

Part VII: Effects of a Patent Application and a Patent

Term of Patent 26

Rights Conferred by a Patent 27

Rights Conferred by a Patent Application after

Publication 28

Extent of Protection 29

Part VIII: Supplementary Protection Certificate for Medicinal Products

Definitions 30

Scope 31

Conditions for Obtaining a Certificate 32

Subject-Matter of Protection 33

Effects of the Certificate 34

Entitlement to the Certificate 35

Application for a Certificate 36

Content of the Application for a Certificate 37

Lodging of an Application for a Certificate 38

Grant of the Certificate or Rejection of the Application 39

Publication 40

Annual Fees 41

Duration of the Certificate 42

Expiry of the Certificate 43

Invalidity of the Certificate 44

Notification of Lapse or Invalidity 45

Appeals 46

Procedure 47

Transitional Provisions 48

Part IX: Use without Authorization and Government Use

Non-Voluntary Licenses 49

Provisions about Licenses under Article 49 50

Exercise of Powers on Applications under Article 49 51

Opposition and Arbitration 52

Supplementary Provisions 53

Special Provisions where Patented Invention Is Being Worked Abroad 54

Exploitation by Government or by Third Parties Authorized by Government 55

Provisions for Non-Voluntary License 56

Part X: Surrender and Invalidation

Surrender 57

Invalidation 58

Effects of Invalidation 59

Part XI: Infringement

Acts of Infringement 60

Infringement Proceedings 61

Declaration of Non-Infringement 62

Part XII: Applications Pursuant to the European Patent Convention

Application of the European Patent Convention 63

Filing of the European Patent Application 64

Rights Conferred by a European Patent Application after Publication 65

Translation of the European Patent 66

Authentic Text of the European Patent Application and the European Patent 67

Effect of Entry in the Register of European Patents 68

Register 69

Conversion of a European Patent Application into a National Patent Application 70

Prohibition of Simultaneous Protection 71

Stay of Proceedings 72

Representation 73

Part XIII: International Applications Pursuant to the Patent Cooperation Treaty

Application of the Patent Cooperation Treaty 74

International Applications Designating Cyprus 75

International Applications Filed with the Office of the Registrar as Receiving Office; Transmittal Fee 76

Competent International Searching Authority and International Preliminary Examining Authority 77

Part XIV: Miscellaneous

Regulations 78

Agents 79

Repeal and Transitional Provisions 80

[Untitled] 81

Short Title

Art. 1. This Law may be cited as the Patents Law of 1998.

Part I
Definitions

Interpretation

Art. 2. In this Law, unless the context otherwise requires-

"the Court" means the Supreme Court of Cyprus;

"prescribed" means prescribed by this Law or the rules made thereunder;

"the Register" means the Register of Patents kept under this Law and includes the Register kept under the Patents Law repealed by this Law;

"the Registrar" means the Official Receiver and Registrar and includes any other person appointed to exercise all or any of the powers and perform all or any of the duties of the Registrar.

Part II
Administration

Register

Art. 3.-(1) There shall continue to be a Register kept at the Office of the Registrar and known as the Register of Patents in which patents granted shall be recorded, numbered in the order of their grant.

(2) The Register shall include such matters constituting or relating to the patent as are prescribed and entries of all corrections, amendments, assignments, transmissions or other matters that the Registrar is empowered or required by this Law to record.

(3) The Register shall be prima facie evidence of all matters directed or authorized by or under this Law to be entered therein.

Inspection of Register and Granting of Certified Copies

Art. 4.-(1) The Register shall be open to public inspection, subject to such rules as may be prescribed under Article 54 of this Law.

(2) Certified copies of any entry in the Register shall be given by the Registrar to any person requiring the same on payment of the prescribed fee and a copy so certified shall be admissible in evidence in all courts and proceedings without further proof or production of the original.

Part III
Patentability

Patentable Inventions

Art. 5.-(1) An invention shall not be patentable unless it is novel, involves an inventive step and is industrially applicable.

(2) The following, in particular, shall not be regarded as inventions within the meaning of paragraph (1):

(a) discoveries, scientific theories and mathematical methods;

(b) esthetic creations;

(c) schemes, rules and methods for performing mental acts, playing games or doing business, and programs for computers;

(d) presentations of information.

(3) A patent shall not be granted in respect of an invention the publication or exploitation of which would be contrary to public order or morality, provided that the exploitation shall not be deemed to be so contrary merely because it is prohibited by law or regulation.

Novelty

Art. 6.-(1) An invention shall be considered novel if it does not form part of the prior art.

(2) The prior art shall consist of everything which, before the filing date or, where priority is claimed, the priority date of the application claiming the invention, has been made available to the public in a written or other graphic form, by an oral description, by use or in any other way anywhere in the world.

(3) The prior art shall also include the content of any patent application as filed in, or with effect for, Cyprus to the extent that such application or the patent granted thereon is published subsequently by or for the Office of the Registrar, provided that the filing date or, where priority is claimed, the priority date of such application is earlier than the date referred to in paragraph (2).

Inventive Step

Art. 7. An invention shall be considered to involve an inventive step if, having regard to the prior art as defined in Article 6(2), it is not obvious to a person skilled in the art.

Industrial Applicability

Art. 8.-(1) An invention shall be considered industrially applicable if it can be made or used in any kind of industry.

(2) "Industry" shall be understood in its broadest sense and shall cover, in particular, handicraft, agriculture, fishery and services.

Part IV
Right to Apply for and Obtain a Patent and Be Mentioned as Inventor

Entitlement to File an Application

Art. 9. Any natural person or legal entity may file an application for a patent either alone or jointly with another.

Right to a Patent

Art. 10.-(1) The right to a patent shall belong to the inventor or his successor in title. Joint inventors shall, unless they agree otherwise, have equal rights.

(2) Where two or more applications have been filed by different persons in respect of the same invention and the inventors concerned made the invention independently of each other, the right to a patent for that invention shall belong to the applicant whose application has the earliest filing date or, where priority is claimed, the earliest priority date, as long as his application is not withdrawn or abandoned, considered to be withdrawn or abandoned, or rejected.

Inventions Made in Execution of Commission or by Employees

Art. 11.-(1) Notwithstanding Article 10, when an invention is made in execution of a commission or an employment contract, the right to the patent for that invention shall belong, in the absence of contractual provisions to the contrary, to the person having commissioned the work or to the employer.

(2) The employee shall have a right to equitable remuneration taking into account his salary, the economic value of the invention and any benefit derived from the invention by the employer. In the absence of agreement between the parties, the remuneration shall be fixed by the Court.

Mention of the Inventor

Art. 12. The inventor shall be mentioned as inventor on the patent unless with special written statement to the Registrar he states that he does not wish to be named.

Part V
Applications

Requirements of Application

Art. 13.-(1) An application for a patent shall be made in the prescribed form and shall be filed at the Office of the Registrar and shall contain:

(a) a request for the grant of a patent;

(b) a part which, on the face of it, appears to be a description of the invention for which a patent is applied;

(c) a part which, on the face of it, appears to be a claim or claims;

(d) any drawings referred to in the description or the claims;

(e) an abstract.

(2) The application shall name the inventor or, where there are several inventors, all of them.

(3) The application shall be accompanied by the prescribed filing fee.

Date of Filing

Art. 14.-(1) The filing date of an application shall be the date of receipt by the Office of the Registrar of an application that contains:

(a) an express or implicit indication that the granting of a patent is sought;

(b) indications allowing the identity of the applicant to be established;

(c) a part which, on the face of it, appears to be a description of the invention for which a patent is applied;

(2)(a) If the Office of the Registrar finds that, at the time of receipt of an application, the requirements referred to in paragraph (1) have not been fulfilled, it shall invite the applicant to comply with the missing requirement.

(b) If the applicant complies with the invitation referred to in subparagraph (a), the filing date of the application shall be the date of receipt of all missing requirements. If the applicant fails to comply with such an invitation, the application shall be treated as if it had not been filed.

(c) Where the description refers to drawings which are not included in the application, the Office of the Registrar shall invite the applicant to furnish the missing drawings. If the applicant complies with the invitation, the filing date of the application shall be the date of receipt of the missing drawings. If the applicant fails to comply with the invitation, the filing date shall be the date of receipt of the application and any reference to the drawings shall be treated as non-existent.

Description

Art. 15. The description shall disclose the invention in a manner sufficiently clear and complete for the invention to be carried out by a person skilled in the art.

Claims

Art. 16.-(1) The claims shall define the invention for which patent protection is sought.

(2) The claims shall be clear and concise.

(3) The claims shall be supported by the description.

(4) The claims shall be presented in the prescribed manner.

Abstract

Art. 17. The abstract shall merely serve the purpose of technical information; in particular, it shall not be taken into account for the purpose of interpreting the claims.

Unity of Invention

Art. 18.-(1) An application shall relate to one invention only or to a group of inventions so linked as to form a single general inventive concept.

(2) Failure to comply with the requirement of unity of invention shall not be a ground for invalidation or revocation of a patent.

Amendment and Division of Application

Art. 19.-(1) The applicant may amend the application, provided that the amendment shall not go beyond the disclosure in the initial application.

(2)(a) The applicant may divide the application into two or more applications ("divisional applications"), provided that each divisional application shall not go beyond the disclosure in the initial application.

(b) Each divisional application shall be entitled to the filing date or, where priority is claimed, the priority date of the initial application.

(c) Priority documents and any required translations thereof that are submitted to the Office of the Registrar in respect of the initial application shall be considered as having been submitted in respect of all divisional applications.

Right of Priority

Art. 20.-(1) The application may contain a declaration claiming the priority, pursuant to the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, of one or more earlier national, regional or international applications filed by the applicant or his predecessor in title in or for any State part to that Convention.

(2) Where the application contains a declaration under paragraph (1), the Office of the Registrar may require that the applicant furnish, within the prescribed time limit, a copy of the earlier application, certified as correct by the Office with which it was filed or, where the earlier application is an international application filed under the Patent Cooperation Treaty, by the International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Organization.

(3) The effect of the declaration referred to in paragraph (1) shall be as provided in the Convention referred to in that paragraph.

(4) If the Office of the Registrar finds that the requirements under this Article and the Regulations pertaining thereto have not been fulfilled, it shall invite the applicant to file the required correction. If the applicant does not comply with the invitation, the declaration referred to in paragraph (1) shall be considered not to have been made.

Part VI
Examination and Grant or Refusal

Examination as to Formalities

Art. 21.-(1) Where an application for a patent has a date of filing and is not withdrawn, the Registrar shall refer the application to an examiner to determine whether the application complies with those requirements of this Law and the rules which are designated by the rules as formal requirements for the purpose of this Law and to report the determination to the Registrar.

(2) If it is reported to the Registrar that not all the formal requirements are complied with, the applicant shall be given an opportunity to make observations on the report and to amend the application within a prescribed period so as to comply with those requirements, and if the applicant fails to do so the Registrar may refuse the application.

(3) If it is reported to the Registrar that the application, whether as originally filed or as amended pursuant to paragraph (2), complies with all the formal requirements at any time before the end of the prescribed period referred to in paragraph (2), the Registrar shall notify the applicant of that fact.

Submission of Search Report

Art. 22. Where the applicant has been notified pursuant to Article 21(3) that his application complies with all the formal requirements, he shall, within the prescribed period, submit to the Office of the Registrar a search report drawn up by a prescribed authority quoting those elements of the state of the art that may be taken into consideration to assess, within the meaning of Articles 6 and 7, the patentability of the invention. If the applicant fails to do so within the prescribed period, the Registrar may refuse the application.

Withdrawal of Application

Art. 23. The applicant may withdraw the application at any time during its pendency.

Grant

Art. 24.-(1) Where the applicant has been notified pursuant to Article 21(3) that his application complies with all the formal requirements and he submits a search report in accordance with Article 22, the Registrar shall, on payment of the prescribed fee, grant a patent on the application.

(2) As soon as possible after the decision to grant a patent, the Registrar shall publish a notification that the patent has been granted and shall publish the patent in the prescribed manner, together with the search report submitted in accordance with Article 22.

Publication of Applications or Patents

Art. 25.-(1)(a) Subject to subparagraphs (b) and (c), the Office of the Registrar shall, within the time limit provided for in paragraph (2) and in the prescribed manner, publish all applications filed with it.

(b) No application shall be published if it is withdrawn or abandoned, is considered withdrawn or abandoned, or is rejected before the expiration of 17 months from the filing date or, where priority is claimed, the priority date of the application.

(c) If, by the time an application should be published according to paragraph (2), a patent has been granted on that application, the Office of the Registrar may not publish the application but shall publish the patent in the prescribed manner, together with the search report submitted in accordance with Article 23, and shall allow any interested person to inspect the application.

(2) The industrial property office shall publish each application filed with it promptly after the expiration of 18 months from the filing date or, where priority is claimed, from the priority date of the application. However, where, before the expiration of that period of 18 months, the applicant presents a written request to the Office of the Registrar that his application be published, the Office of the Registrar shall publish the application promptly after the receipt of the request.

Part VII
Effects of a Patent Application and a Patent

Term of Patent

Art. 26.-(1) Subject to paragraph (2) and Articles 30 to 48, the term of a patent shall be 20 years as from the date of filing of the application.

(2) The term of a patent granted on a divisional application shall be 20 years as from the date of filing of the application from which the divisional application is derived.

(3) The maintenance of a patent is subject to the payment of the prescribed renewal fees.

Rights Conferred by a Patent

Art. 27.-(1) Where the patent concerns a product, the owner of the patent shall have the right to prevent third parties from performing without his authorization, the following acts:

(i) the making of a product incorporating the protected invention,

(ii) the offering or the putting on the market of a product incorporating the protected invention, the using of such a product, or the importing or stocking of such a product for such offering or putting on the market or for such use,

(iii) the inducing of third parties to perform any of the above acts.

(2) Where the patent concerns a process, the owner of the patent shall have the right to prevent third parties from performing, without his authorization, the following acts:

(i) the using of a process which is the subject-matter of the patent,

(ii) in respect of any product directly resulting from the use of the process, any of the acts referred to in paragraph (1)(ii), even where a patent cannot be obtained for such product,

(iii) the inducing of third parties to perform any of the above acts.

(3) Notwithstanding paragraphs (1) and (2), the proprietor of a patent shall have no right to prevent third parties from performing, without his authorization, the acts referred to in paragraphs (1) and (2) in the following circumstances:

(i) where the act concerns a product which has been put on the market by the proprietor of the patent, or with his express consent, insofar as such an act is performed after that product has been so put on the market in Cyprus;

(ii) where the act is done privately and on a non-commercial scale, provided that it does not significantly prejudice the economic interests of the proprietor of the patent;

(iii) where the act consists of making or using for purely experimental purposes or for scientific research;

(iv) where the act consists of the extemporaneous preparation for individual cases, in a pharmacy or by a medical doctor, of a medicine in accordance with a medical prescription or acts concerning the medicine so prepared.

(4)(a) Subject to subparagraph (b), a patent shall also confer on its proprietor the right to prevent third parties from supplying or offering to supply a person, other than a party entitled to exploit the patented invention, with means, relating to an element of that invention, exclusively for carrying out the invention, when the third party knows, or it is obvious in the circumstances, that those means are suitable and intended for carrying out that invention. This provision shall not apply when the means are staple commercial products and the circumstances of the supply of such products do not constitute inducement to infringe the patent.

(b) Persons performing the acts referred to in paragraph (3)(ii), (iii) and (iv) shall not be considered to be parties entitled to exploit the invention within the meaning of subparagraph (a).

Rights Conferred by a Patent Application after Publication

Art. 28.-(1) A patent application shall, where published under Article 25, provisionally confer upon the applicant from the date of such publication the same rights in respect of the subject-matter of the application as are conferred by Article 27 in respect of the subject-matter of a patent.

(2) The Court may decide to stay any proceedings brought before it in respect of unauthorized acts performed in relation to an invention that is the subject of a published application until a final decision has been made by the Registrar to grant or refuse a patent on the application.

(3) A patent application shall be deemed never to have had the effects set out in paragraph (1) if it is withdrawn, deemed to be withdrawn or finally refused.

Extent of Protection

Art. 29.-(1) The extent of protection conferred by a patent or a patent application shall be determined by the claims, with due regard to the description and drawings.

(2) For the period up to grant of the patent, the extent of the protection conferred by a patent application shall be determined by the latest filed claims contained in the publication under Article 25. However, the patent as granted or as amended in revocation proceedings shall determine retroactively the protection conferred by the patent application, insofar as such protection is not thereby extended.

Part VIII
Supplementary Protection Certificate for Medicinal Products

Definitions

Art. 30. For the purpose of Articles 31 to 48:

(a) "medicinal product" means any substance or combination of substances presented for treating or preventing disease in human beings or animals and any substance or combination of substances which may be administered to human beings or animals with a view to making a medicinal diagnosis or to restoring, correcting or modifying physiological functions in humans or in animals;

(b) "product" means the active ingredient or combination of active ingredients of a medicinal product;

(c) "basic patent" means a patent which protects a product as defined in (b) as such, a process to obtain a product or an application of a product, and which is designated by its holder for the purpose of the procedure for grant of a certificate;

(d) "certificate" means the supplementary protection certificate.

Scope

Art. 31. Any product protected by a patent in Cyprus and subject, prior to being placed on the market as a medicinal product, to an administrative authorization procedure in Cyprus may under the terms and conditions provided for in this Law, be the subject of a certificate.

Conditions for Obtaining a Certificate

Art. 32. A certificate shall be granted if, at the date of that application:

(a) the product is protected in Cyprus by a basic patent in force;

(b) a valid authorization to place the product on the market as a medicinal product has been granted;

(c) the product has not already been the subject of a certificate;

(d) the authorization referred to in (b) is the first authorization to place the product on the market as a medicinal product.

Subject-Matter of Protection

Art. 33. Within the limits of the protection conferred by the basic patent, the protection conferred by a certificate shall extend only to the product covered by the authorization to place the corresponding medicinal product on the market and for any use of the product as a medicinal product that has been authorized before the expiry of the certificate.

Effects of the Certificate

Art. 34. Subject to the provisions of Article 33, the certificate shall confer the same rights as conferred by the basic patent and shall be subject to the same limitations and the same obligations.

Entitlement to the Certificate

Art. 35. The certificate shall be granted to the holder of the basic patent or his successor in title.

Application for a Certificate

Art. 36.-(1) The application for a certificate shall be lodged within six months of the date on which the authorization referred to in Article 32(b) to place the product on the market as a medicinal product was granted.

(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), where the authorization to place the product on the market is granted before the basic patent is granted, the application for a certificate shall be lodged within six months of the date on which the patent is granted.

Content of the Application for a Certificate

Art. 37.-(1) The application for a certificate shall contain:

(a) a request for the grant of a certificate, stating in particular:

(i) the name and address of the applicant;

(ii) if he has appointed a representative, the name and address of the representative;

(iii) the number of the basic patent and the title of the invention;

(iv) the number and date of the first authorization to place the product on the market, as referred to in Article 32(b) and, if this authorization is not the first authorization for placing the product on the market in the Community, the number and date of that authorization;

(b) a copy of the authorization to place the product on the market, as referred to in Article 32(b), in which the product is identified, containing in particular the number and date of the authorization and the summary of the product characteristics;

(c) if the authorization referred to in (b) is not the first authorization for placing the product on the market as a medicinal product, information regarding the identity of the product thus authorized and the legal provision under which the authorization procedure took place.

Lodging of an Application for a Certificate

Art. 38.-(1) The application for a certificate shall be lodged with the Registrar.

(2) Notification of the application for a certificate shall be published by the Registrar. The notification shall contain at least the following information:

(a) the name and address of the applicant;

(b) the number of the basic patent;

(c) the title of the invention;

(d) the number and date of authorization to place the product on the market, referred to in Article 32(b), and the product identified in that authorization.

Grant of the Certificate or Rejection of the Application

Art. 39.-(1) Where the application for a certificate and the product to which it relates meet the conditions laid down in this Law, the Registrar shall grant the certificate.

(2) The Registrar shall, subject to paragraph (3), reject the application for a certificate if the application or the product to which it relates does not meet the conditions laid down in this Law.

(3) Where the application for a certificate does not meet the conditions laid down in Article 37, the Registrar shall ask the applicant to rectify the irregularity, or to settle the fee, within a stated time.

(4) If the irregularity is not rectified or the fee is not settled under paragraph (3) within the stated time, the Registrar shall reject the application.

Publication

Art. 40.-(1) Notification of the fact that a certificate has been granted shall be published by the Registrar. The notification shall contain at least the following information:

(a) the name and address of the holder of the certificate;

(b) the number of the basic patent;

(c) the title of the invention;

(d) the number and date of the authorization to place the product on the market referred to in Article 32(b) and the product identified in that authorization;

(e) the duration of the certificate.

(2) Notification of the fact that the application for a certificate has been rejected shall be published by the Registrar. The notification shall contain at least the information listed in Article 38(2).

Annual Fees

Art. 41. Maintenance of the certificate shall be subject to the payment of annual fees.

Duration of the Certificate

Art. 42.-(1) The certificate shall take effect at the end of the statutory term of the basic patent for a period equal to the period which elapsed between the date on which the application for a basic patent was lodged and the date of the first authorization to place the product on the market reduced by a period of five years.

(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), the duration of the certificate may not exceed five years from the date on which it takes effect.

Expiry of the Certificate

Art. 43. The certificate shall lapse:

(a) at the end of the period provided for in Article 42;

(b) if the certificate holder surrenders it;

(c) if the annual fee laid down in accordance with Article 41 is not paid in time;

(d) if and as long as the product covered by the certificate may no longer be placed on the market following the withdrawal of the appropriate authorization or authorizations to place same on the market. The Registrar may decide on the lapse of the certificate either of his own motion or at the request of a third party.

Invalidity of the Certificate

Art. 44.-(1) The certificate shall be invalid if:

(a) it was granted contrary to the provisions of Article 32;

(b) the basic patent has lapsed before its statutory term expires;

(c) the basic patent is revoked or limited to the extent that the product for which the certificate was granted would no longer be protected by the claims of the basic patent or, after the basic patent has expired, grounds for revocation exist which would have justified such revocation or limitation.

(2) Any person may submit an application or bring an action for a declaration of invalidity of the certificate before the Court for the revocation of the corresponding basic patent.

Notification of Lapse or Invalidity

Art. 45. If the certificate lapses in accordance with Article 43(b), (c) or (d) or is invalid in accordance with Article 44, notification thereof shall be published by the Registrar.

Appeals

Art. 46. The decisions of the Registrar or of the Court which are referred to in Article 44(2) taken under Articles 30 to 48 shall be open to the same appeals as those provided for in Cyprus law against similar decisions taken in respect of Cyprus patents.

Procedure

Art. 47.-(1) The procedural provisions of this Law, corresponding to the basic patent, shall also apply to the certificate.

(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), the procedure for opposition to the granting of a certificate shall be excluded.

Transitional Provisions

Art. 48.-(1) Any product which, on the date on which this Law enters into force, is protected by a valid basic patent and for which the first authorization to place it on the market as a medicinal product was obtained, may be granted a certificate.

(2) An application for a certificate as referred to in paragraph (1) shall be submitted within six months of the date on which this Law enters into force.

Part IX
Use without Authorization and Government Use

Non-Voluntary Licenses

Art. 49.-(1) At any time after the expiration of four years, or of such other period as may be prescribed, from the date of the grant of a patent, any person may apply to the Registrar on one or more of the grounds specified in paragraph (2) below

(a) for a non-voluntary license under the patent,

(b) where the applicant is a government department, for the grant to any person specified in the application of a license under the patent.

(2) The grounds for the submission for non-voluntary license are:

(a) where the patented invention is capable of being commercially worked in Cyprus but it is not being so worked or is not being so worked to the fullest extent that is reasonable practicable;

(b) where the patented invention is a product for which demand in Cyprus

(a) is not being met or

(b) is not being met on reasonable terms or

(c) that by reason of the refusal of the proprietor of the patent to grant a license or licenses on reasonable terms:

(i) a market for the export of any patented product made in Cyprus is not being supplied or

(ii) the working or efficient working in Cyprus of any other patented invention which makes a substantial contribution to the art is prevented or hindered or

(iii) the establishment or development of commercial or industrial activities in Cyprus is unfairly prejudiced;

(d) that by reason of conditions imposed by the proprietor of the patent on the grant of licenses under the patent, or on the disposal or use of the patented product or on the use of the patented process, the manufacture, use or disposal of materials not protected by the patent, or the establishment or development of commercial or industrial activities in Cyprus is unfairly prejudiced.

(3) Subject to the provisions of paragraphs (4) and (6) below, if the Registrar is satisfied that any of the therein mentioned grounds are established, he may-

(a) where the application is under paragraph (1)(a) above, order the grant of a license to the applicant on such terms as the Registrar thinks fit;

(b) where the application is under paragraph (1)(b) above, order the grant of a license to the person specified in the application on such terms as the Registrar thinks fit.

(4) Where the application is made on the ground that the patented invention is not being commercially worked in Cyprus or is not being so worked to the fullest extent that is reasonably practicable, and it appears to the Registrar that the time which has elapsed since the publication in the Official Gazette of a notice of the grant of the patent has for any reason been insufficient to enable the invention to be so worked, the Registrar may by order adjourn the application for such period as will in his opinion give sufficient time for the invention to be so worked.

(5) No entry shall be made in the register under this Article on the ground mentioned in paragraph (2)(c)(i) above, and any license granted under this Article on that ground shall contain such provisions as appear to the Registrar to be expedient for restricting the countries in which any product concerned may be disposed of or used by the licensee.

(6) No order or entry shall be made under this Article in respect of a patent (the patent concerned) on the ground mentioned in paragraph (2)(c)(ii) above unless the Registrar is satisfied that the proprietor of the patent for the other invention is able and willing to grant to the proprietor of the patent concerned and his licensees a license under the patent for the other invention on reasonable terms.

(7) An application may be made under this Article in respect of a patent notwithstanding that the applicant is already the holder of a license under the patent; and no person shall be stopped or barred from alleging any of the matters specified in paragraph (2) above by reason of any admission made by him, whether in such a license or otherwise, or by reason of his having accepted such a license.

Provisions about Licenses under Article 49

Art. 50.-(1) Where the Registrar is satisfied, on an application made under Article 49 above in respect of a patent, that the manufacture, use or disposal of materials not protected by the patent is unfairly prejudiced by reason of conditions imposed by the proprietor of the patent on the grant of licenses under the patent, or on the disposal or use of the patented product or the use of the patented process, he may (subject to the provisions of that Article) order the grant of licenses under the patent to such customers of the applicant as he thinks fit as well as to the applicant.

(2) Where an application under Article 49 above is made in respect of a patent by a person who holds a license under the patent, the Registrar-

(a) may, if he orders the grant of a license to the applicant, order the existing license to be canceled or

(b) may, instead of ordering the grant of a license to the applicant, order the existing license to be amended.

(3) Where, on an application under Article 49 above in respect of a patent, the Registrar orders the grant of a license, he may direct that the license shall operate-

(a) to deprive the proprietor of the patent of any right he has to work the invention concerned or grant licenses under the patent;

(b) to revoke all existing licenses granted under the patent.

Exercise of Powers on Applications under Article 49

Art. 51.-(1) The powers of the Registrar on an application under Article 49 above in respect of a patent shall be exercised with a view to securing the following general purposes:

(a) that inventions which can be worked on a commercial scale in Cyprus and which should in the public interest be so worked shall be worked there without undue delay and to the fullest extent that is reasonably practicable;

(b) that the inventor or other person beneficially entitled to a patent shall receive reasonable remuneration having regard to the nature of the invention;

(c) that the interests of any person for the time being working or developing an invention in Cyprus under the protection of a patent shall not be unfairly prejudiced.

(2) Subject to paragraph (1) above, the Registrar shall, in determining whether to make an order or entry in pursuance of such an application, take account of the following matters, that is to say-

(a) the nature of the invention, the time which has elapsed since the publication in the Official Gazette of the Republic of a notice of the grant of the patent and the measures already taken by the proprietor of the patent or any licensee to make full use of the invention;

(b) the ability of any person to whom a license would be granted under the order concerned to work the invention to the public advantage; and

(c) the risks to be undertaken by that person in providing capital and working the invention if the application for an order is granted,

but shall not be required to take account of matters subsequent to the making of the application.

Opposition and Arbitration

Art. 52.-(1) The proprietor of the patent concerned or any other person wishing to oppose an application under Articles 49 to 51 above may, in accordance with the rules, give to the Registrar notice of opposition and the Registrar shall consider the opposition in deciding whether to grant the application.

(2) Where an application under Articles 49 to 51 above is opposed under paragraph (1) above and either-

(a) the parties consent or

(b) the proceedings require a prolonged examination of documents or any scientific or local investigation which cannot in the opinion of the Registrar conveniently be made before him,

the Registrar may at any time order the whole proceedings, or any question or issue of fact arising in them, to be referred to an arbitrator or mediator agreed upon by the parties, or in default of agreement, appointed by the Registrar.

(3) Where a question or issue of fact is so referred, the arbitrator or arbiter shall report his findings to the Registrar and the Registrar shall proceed to issue a decision.

Supplementary Provisions

Art. 53. In any proceedings on an application made in relation to a patent under Articles 49 to 51 above, any statement with respect to any activity in relation to the patented invention, or with respect to the grant or refusal of licenses under the patent, contained in a report of the Commission for Protection against Unfair Competition shall be prima facie evidence of the matters stated.

Special Provisions where Patented Invention Is Being Worked Abroad

Art. 54. The import into Cyprus of any product protected by a patent granted by any country member of the World Trade Organization shall be considered as use in Cyprus.

Exploitation by Government or by Third Parties Authorized by Government

Art. 55. Where the national security or public safety so requires, the Council of Ministers may authorize, even without the agreement of the proprietor of the patent or the patent application, by notice published in the Official Gazette, a government agency or a person designated in such notice to make, use or sell an invention to which a patent or an application for a patent relates, subject to payment of equitable remuneration to the proprietor of the patent or the application for the patent. The decision of the Council of Ministers with regard to remuneration may be the subject of a recourse to the Court.

Provisions for Non-Voluntary License

Art. 56. Where according to Articles 50, 51 and 55 of the present Law a license is given for use of the subject-matter of a patent without the authorization of the right holder, including use by the government or third parties authorized by the government, the following provisions shall be respected:

(a) authorization of such use shall be considered on its individual merits;

(b) such use may only be permitted if, prior to such use, the proposed user has made efforts to obtain authorization from the right holder on reasonable commercial terms and conditions and that such efforts have not been successful within a reasonable period of time. This requirement is waived in the case of a national emergency or other circumstances of extreme urgency or in cases of public non-commercial use. In situations of national emergency or other circumstances of extreme urgency, the right holder shall, nevertheless, be notified as soon as reasonably practicable. In the case of public non-commercial use, where the government or contractor, without making a patent search, knows or has demonstrable grounds to know that a valid patent is or will be used by or for the government, the right holder shall be informed promptly;

(c) the scope and duration of such use shall be limited to the purpose for which it was authorized, and in the case of semiconductor technology shall only be for public non-commercial use or to remedy a practice determined after judicial or administrative process to be anti-competitive;

(d) such use shall be non-exclusive;

(e) such use shall be non-assignable, except with that part of the enterprise or goodwill which enjoys such use;

(f) any such use shall be authorized predominantly for the supply of the domestic market;

(g) authorization for such use shall be liable, subject to adequate protection of the legitimate interests of the persons so authorized, to be terminated if and when the circumstances which led to it cease to exist and are unlikely to recur. The Registrar shall have the authority to review, upon motivated request, the continued existence of these circumstances;

(h) the right holder shall be paid adequate remuneration in the circumstances of each case, taking into account the economic value of the authorization;

(i) the legal validity of any decision relating to the authorization of such use shall be subject to review by the Court.

Part X
Surrender and Invalidation

Surrender

Art. 57.-(1) The proprietor of a patent may surrender the patent by written declaration submitted to the Office of the Registrar. The surrender may be limited to one or more claims of the patent.

(2) The Office of the Registrar shall record the surrender and publish notification of it as soon as possible. The surrender shall take effect as from the date of receipt of the declaration by the Office of the Registrar.

Invalidation

Art. 58.-(1) The Court may, on the application of any person, invalidate a patent, in whole or in part, on any of the following and no other grounds:

(i) that the subject-matter of the patent is not patentable within the terms of Articles 5 to 8;

(ii) that the patent does not disclose the invention in a manner sufficiently clear and complete for it to be carried out by a person skilled in the art;

(iii) that the right to the patent does not belong to the person to whom the patent was granted.

(2) The Court may require the proprietor of the patent to submit to it, for the purpose of examination, publications and other documents showing the prior art which has been referred to either in connection with an application for a patent or other title of protection filed, for the same or essentially the same invention, by the proprietor of the patent, with any other national or regional industrial property office, or in connection with any proceedings relating to the patent or other title of protection upon such application.

Effects of Invalidation

Art. 59.-(1) Any invalidated patent, or claim or part of a claim, shall be considered to be null and void from the date of the grant of the patent.

(2) When a decision of the Court to invalidate a patent, in whole or in part, becomes final, the Registrar of the Court shall notify the Office of the Registrar of the decision, which shall record the decision and publish it as soon as possible.

Part XI
Infringement

Acts of Infringement

Art. 60.-(1) Subject to this Law, the performance of any act referred to in Article 27(1), (2) and (4) in Cyprus by a person other than the proprietor of the patent, and without the consent of the latter, in relation to a product or process falling within the scope of protection of the patent shall constitute an infringement of the patent.

(2) Subject to this Law, the performance of any act referred to in Article 27(1), (2) and (4) in Cyprus by a person other than the applicant, and without the consent of the applicant, in relation to a product or process falling within the scope of provisional protection conferred on a published patent application shall constitute an infringement of that provisional protection.

Infringement Proceedings

Art. 61.-(1) The proprietor of a patent and an applicant shall have cause of action against any person who has infringed or is infringing the patent or the provisional protection conferred on a published patent application. The proprietor of the patent and the applicant shall have the same rights against any person who has performed acts or is performing acts which make it likely that such infringement will occur ("imminent infringement"). The proceedings may not be instituted after five years from the act of infringement.

(2)(a) If the proprietor of the patent proves that an infringement has been committed or is being committed, the Court shall award damages and shall grant an injunction to prevent further infringement and any other remedy provided in the Law.

(b) If the proprietor of the patent proves imminent infringement, the Court shall grant an injunction to prevent infringement and any other remedy provided in the Law.

(3) The defendant in any proceedings referred to in this Article may request in the same proceedings the invalidation of the patent. In that case, the provisions of Article 58 shall apply.

(4)(a) Unless the license contract provides otherwise, any licensee may request the proprietor of the patent to institute Court proceedings for any infringement indicated by the licensee, who must specify the relief desired.

(b) Such licensee may, if he proves that the proprietor of the patent received the request but refuses or fails to institute the proceedings within three months from the receipt of the request, institute the proceedings in his own name, after notifying the proprietor of the patent of his intention. The proprietor shall have the right to join in the proceedings.

(c) Even before the end of the three-month period referred to in paragraph (4)(b) of this Article, the Court shall, on the request of the licensee, grant an appropriate injunction to prevent infringement or to prohibit its continuation, if the licensee proves that immediate action is necessary to avoid substantial damage.

Declaration of Non-Infringement

Art. 62.-(1) Subject to paragraph (4) of this Article, any interested person shall have the right to request, by instituting proceedings against the proprietor of the patent, that the Court declare that the performance of a specific act does not constitute an infringement of the patent.

(2) If the person making the request proves that the act in question does not constitute an infringement of the patent, the Court shall grant the declaration of non-infringement.

(3) The proprietor of the patent shall have the obligation to notify any licensees of the proceedings. The licensees shall have the right to join in the proceedings in the absence of any provision to the contrary in the license contract.

(4) If the act in question is already the subject of infringement proceedings, the defendant in the infringement proceedings may not institute proceedings for a declaration of non-infringement.

(5) Proceedings for a declaration of non-infringement may be instituted together with proceedings to invalidate the patent, except where invalidation of the patent is requested under Article 61(3).

Part XII
Applications Pursuant to the European Patent Convention

Application of the European Patent Convention

Art. 63.-(1) The European Patent Convention of October 5, 1973 (hereinafter referred to as the "EPC") shall be given full effect and shall apply in accordance with the provisions of this Law.

(2) In the case of conflict between the provisions of the EPC and the provisions of this Law, the former shall prevail.

Filing of the European Patent Application

Art. 64. Any European patent application may be filed at the Office of the Registrar.

Rights Conferred by a European Patent Application after Publication

Art. 65. The rights specified in Article 27, paragraph (1), shall only be effective as from the date on which a translation of the claims into (language), submitted by the applicant, has been published by the Office of the Registrar in the prescribed manner or has been notified to the alleged infringer.

Translation of the European Patent

Art. 66.-(1) When the European Patent Office grants a European patent designating Cyprus, the proprietor of the patent shall fine with the Office of the Registrar a translation into (language) of the patent and, where applicable, of the patent as amended in opposition proceedings.

(2) The translation referred to in paragraph (1) shall be filed and the prescribed fee shall be paid before the end of the prescribed period. The translation shall be published by the Office of the Registrar in the prescribed manner.

(3) Where the translation is not filed or the fee is not paid in accordance with the provisions of paragraph (2), the patent shall be deemed to be void ab initio.

Authentic Text of the European Patent Application and the European Patent

Art. 67.-(1) Where a translation into (language) has been made in accordance with Article 65 (or Article 66), such translation shall be regarded as authentic if the European patent application or the European patent in its translated text confers less protection than that conferred by the application or patent in the language of the proceedings.

(2) However, a corrected translation may be filed at any time by the applicant for (or proprietor of) the patent. Such translation shall not have legal effect, however, until the requirements of Article 65 (or of Article 66) have been satisfied.

(3) Any person who in good faith is using or has made effective and serious preparations for using an invention the use of which would not constitute infringement of the application or patent in the original translation may, after the corrected translation takes effect, continue such use in the course of his business or for the needs thereof without payment.

(4) Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraphs (1) to (3), the language of the proceedings shall be authentic in revocation proceedings.

Effect of Entry in the Register of European Patents

Art. 68. Entry in the Register of European Patents of acts transmitting or amending the rights deriving from a European patent application or a European patent shall give such acts the effect specified in Article 3, paragraph (3).

Register

Art. 69. As soon as the grant of the European patent designating Cyprus has been mentioned in the European Patent Bulletin, the Office of the Registrar shall enter it in the Register referred to in Article 3.

Conversion of a European Patent Application into a National Patent Application

Art. 70.-(1) A European patent application may be converted into a national patent application in the circumstances set out in Article 135(1)(a) EPC. It may also be converted into a national patent application in the case provided for by Article 90(3) EPC insofar as it refers to Article 14(2) EPC.

(2) From the date on which the Office of the Registrar receives the request for conversion the European patent application shall be considered a national patent application.

(3) Where a search report has been drawn up prior to conversion of the application, such report shall take the place of the search report required to be submitted under Article 22.

(4) The patent application shall be refused if, within the prescribed period, the applicant fails to provide evidence of payment of the filing fee referred to in Article 13(3) and to provide a translation into (language) of the original text of the European patent application, as well as, where appropriate, of the text as amended in the course of proceedings before the European Patent Office which the applicant wishes to use as a basis for grant procedure before the Office of the Registrar.

(5) If an applicant does not have his ordinary residence or principal place of business in Cyprus, he must, within the prescribed period, authorize in the prescribed manner an agent in Cyprus to represent him.

Prohibition of Simultaneous Protection

Art. 71.-(1) Where a national patent relates to an invention for which a European patent has been granted to the same inventor or his successor in title, with the same date of filing or priority, the national patent shall be ineffective from either the date on which the period for filing an opposition to the European patent has expired without any opposition being filed or the date on which the opposition proceedings are concluded with a decision to maintain the European patent.

(2) Where a national patent is granted at a date later than either of the dates referred to in paragraph (1), as the case may be, such patent shall take no effect.

(3) The subsequent lapse or revocation of the European patent shall not affect the provisions of paragraphs (1) and (2).

Stay of Proceedings

Art. 72.-(1) Article 28, paragraph (2), shall apply mutatis mutandis to European patent applications. It shall also apply to European patents until the period for filing an opposition has expired without any opposition being filed or until a final decision has been made on an opposition already filed.

(2)(a) The Court hearing proceedings for the infringement of a national patent which covers the same invention as a European patent applied for by the same inventor or granted to him or his successor in title with the same date of filing or priority may stay proceedings until the date on which the national patent ceases to have effect in accordance with Article 71 of this Law or until the date on which the European patent application is refused, withdrawn or deemed to have been withdrawn or the European patent is revoked.

(b) Where the infringement proceedings are based solely on the national patent, the plaintiff may pursue the proceedings, on resumption thereof, by replacing the national patent by the European patent for the acts subsequent to the date on which the national patent ceases to have effect and for those parts which are common.

Representation

Art. 73.-(1) Article 79, paragraph (2), shall not apply to the filing of European patent applications.

(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of Article 79, paragraph (2), the applicant for or the proprietor of a European patent or his authorized representative before the European Patent Office may, in accordance with the rules, file the translation required under Article 66, 67 or 68.

Part XIII
International Applications Pursuant to the Patent Cooperation Treaty

Application of the Patent Cooperation Treaty

Art. 74.-(1) The Patent Cooperation Treaty of June 19, 1970 (hereinafter referred to as the "PCT") shall be given full effect and shall apply in accordance with the provisions of this Law.

(2) In the case of conflict between the provisions of the PCT and the provisions of this Law, the former shall prevail.

(3) Where reference is made in this Law to the PCT, such reference shall include the Regulations under the PCT.

International Applications Designating Cyprus

Art. 75. Where an international application filed under the PCT contains the designation of Cyprus, it shall have the effect of an indication of the wish to obtain a European patent under the EPC.

International Applications Filed with the Office of the Registrar as Receiving Office; Transmittal Fee

Art. 76.-(1) International applications under the PCT may be filed with the Office of the Registrar as receiving Office within the meaning of Article 2(xv) of the PCT if the applicant is a national or resident of Cyprus.

(2) The transmittal fee provided for in Rule 14 of the Regulations under the PCT shall be payable to the Office of the Registrar as prescribed.

Competent International Searching Authority and International Preliminary Examining Authority

Art. 77.-(1) The European Patent Office shall be competent to carry out international searches for international applications filed with the Office of the Registrar.

(2) The European Patent Office shall be competent to carry out the international preliminary examination under Chapter II of the PCT for international applications referred to in paragraph (1).

Part XIV
Miscellaneous

Regulations

Art. 78. The Council of Ministers may from time to time make regulations not inconsistent with this Law, prescribing all matters which by this Law are required or permitted to be prescribed, or which are necessary or desirable to be prescribed for carrying out or giving effect this Law, or for the conduct of any business relating to the Office of the Registrar.

Agents

Art. 79.-(1) Where by this Law any act has to be done by or to any person in connection with any proceeding or matter under this Law, the act may, under and in accordance with the regulations, be done by or to an agent of that person duly authorized in the prescribed manner.

(2) If an applicant does not have his ordinary residence or principal place of business in Cyprus, he shall authorize in the prescribed manner an agent in Cyprus to represent him.

Repeal and Transitional Provisions

Art. 80.-(1) The Patents Law 1957 (hereinafter in this Article called "the repealed Law") is hereby repealed. Notwithstanding its repeal, the repealed Law shall apply to and in relation to applications for the registration of patents made before the commencement of this Law, and to and in relation to the registration of patents based on those applications, but this Law shall apply to and in relation to patents so granted or registered.

(2) Any patent registered before the commencement of this Law under the repealed Law shall be deemed to be granted under the corresponding provision of this Law.

(3) Any regulation, order requirement, certificate, notice, decision, direction, authorization, consent, application, request or thing made, issued, given or done under the repealed Law shall, if in force at the commencement of this Law, insofar as they could have been made, issued, given or done under this Law, continue in force and have effect as if made, issued, given or done under the corresponding enactment of this Law.

(4) It is understood that the time limit to file an application for the registration of a patent which is already registered in the United Kingdom and could have been registered under the repealed Law until the entry into force of the present Law in Cyprus, expires when the time limit would have expired according to the repealed Law, irrespective of any other provisions in the present Law.

(5) An applicant for a United Kingdom Patent or a European patent designating the United Kingdom or a PCT patent designating the United Kingdom, either directly or through a European application and which is pending on the day of the entry into force of the present Law, may within 18 months from the acceptance of his application and the issue of the patent apply to the Registrar in Cyprus for his patent to be registered as a Cyprus patent.

Art. 81. The present Law comes into force on April 1, 1998.

*Official English title.

* Entry into force: April 1, 1998.

* Source: English translation communicated by the Cypriot authorities.

 

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