Until recently, renewal fees have been payable in Ecuador in respect of PCT national phase applications annually, in advance, on the last day of the month containing the anniversary of the national filing date. However, we have just learnt that, with effect from 1 June 2010, annuities are now payable on the first and each subsequent anniversary of the internationalfiling date.

It is not yet clear whether these new rules affect all PCT national phase cases, or only those filed on or after 1 June 2010, nor is it clear whether any back annuities are due in respect of pending cases in respect of years already passed. However, in order to safeguard the rights of applicants in their Ecuador patents, we would recommend that payments are made in respect of any renewal fees that will fall due imminently by virtue of the above-stated new calculation methods. Failure to pay annuities when due, or within a six-month period of grace thereafter, will lead to lapse of the patent or application. 

Further news in this regard will be reported when known.