Registration of Patents in Pakistan

Laws of Pakistan regarding Patents:

This brief overview of Patents and Designs laws of Pakistan explains, in a very general terms, the procedure for registration of Patents and Designs in Pakistan. These brief notes are for general guidance only and should not be taken as a substitute for thorough and professional legal advice.

Laws of Pakistan Regarding Patents:

  • Patents Ordinance, 2000
  • Patents Rules, 2003

Patents Office was an attached department of the Ministry of Industries & Production established in 1948, however, it is currently part of IPO Pakistan under the Cabinet Division.

  What is Patent?

A patent is a grant from the Government, which confers on the grantee, for a limited term of 20 years, the following acts, namely:

When patents has been granted in respect of a product:

  • Making, importing, offering for sale, selling and using the product
  • Stocking such product for the purposes of offering for sale, selling or using

When the patents has been granted in respect of a process:

  • Using the process
  • Doing any of the acts referred to in clause (a) in respect of a product obtained directly by means of the process

What are the advantages of patenting?

Patenting has the following distinct advantages:

  • A patentee's right to the exclusive use of his invention would not be prejudiced by the fact that his invention is made known to others
  • The said exclusive right could be enforced legally
  • The protection enjoyed under the patents would enable the patentee to raise capital for working the invention on a commercial scale
  • If the patentee were not himself in a position to work the invention commercially, he would be able to make a profitable use of the invention by selling his patent, or by granting licenses to others permitting the use of his invention
  • Even where the inventor does not desire to earn profits by the use of his invention, a patent would enable him grant licenses judiciously, so as to secure on the one hand, sufficient inducement to manufacturers to take up the working of the invention, and on the other hand, to confer the benefit of his invention on the largest possible section of the public
  • A patent would enable the inventor to establish an official record of his invention
What are patentable inventions in Pakistan?

In order to be patentable an invention should have the following characteristics:

  • The invention must be new.
  • It involves an inventive step.
  • It is capable of industrial application.
  • It should not be contrary to law or morality
What inventions are not patentable in Pakistan?

The following inventions are not patentable in Pakistan:

  • Discoveries of laws of nature
  • Productions
  • Method of producing sound
  • Computer programs (Software)
  • Perpetual motion machines
  • A method of writing music
  • A fancy name for an article
  • A trade mark
  • The discovery of new properties of known substance
  • A system of alphabet
  • Chemical & pharmaceutical product (till 2004)
  • A system of shorthand
  • Literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works
  • Doctor's prescriptions and patent medicines
  • A system of indexing
  • Mere charts, diagrams, or printed sheets
  • A surgical operation
  • Articles harmful to public heath & their prosperity
  • Treatment of human beings, animals, flowers & plants
  • Purely scientific & mathematical formulas & principles

Procedure for obtaining a Patent?

Varieties of Patents:

Four kinds of Patents are granted under the Patents Ordinance, which are as follows:

  • An ordinary patent, which is dated as of the official date of the application for the patent
  • A black/mail box application relating to chemical products intended for use in agriculture and medicines. The application will be kept dormant until 31st December 2004
  • A patent claiming "Priority", which is dated as of the official date of the corresponding application for patent first made in a country which is the member of WTO (World Trade Organisation)
  • A patent of addition, for improvement or modification of an invention for which a patent has already been applied for or granted
Outline of the Procedure:

Steps for obtaining a patent are as follows:

  • Filing the "Application", accompanied by either a Provisional or a Complete Specification
  • Filing the Complete Specification, if the Specification filed with the Application was a Provisional Specification
  • Examination and acceptance of application by the Patent Office
  • Overcoming opposition, if any, to the grant of patent
  • Sealing the patent
A Patent application must be accompanied by prescribed fee and the specification filed with the application should contain a reasonable description of the invention.