It appears that the Registrar in Guyana is now interpreting Section 21 of the Patents & Designs Act, which provides for the payment of renewal fees on local patents (filed under Title I of the law), to apply equally to reregistration patents (filed under Title II of the law). We strongly disagree with this interpretation of the law, as we believe that the intention of the legislators when drawing up this law was that Title II, from Section 54 onwards, was meant to deal specifically with the reregistration of UK patents, and that the foregoing provisions of the law regarding the duration of the patent and the requirement to pay renewal payments were not intended to relate to such reregistration patents. In addition, we have specifically been advised previously that renewal fees are not payable on reregistration patents, and furthermore we have never before received any notifications from the Registry advising us of a renewal fee being due for payment or overdue, as is required of the Registry according to Section 56 of the law. That being said, and whilst I reiterate that we strongly disagree with this interpretation of the law, the Registrar has made a decision and we unfortunately will have to respect that decision.

 

Compounding things further, however the Registrar is apparently refusing to issue any Practice Directive confirming the above or providing any guidance on this issue, so all we have to go on is a report of a verbal conversation between the Registrar and the local associates. However, we have been assured that all “overdue” back annuities from the 5th annuity through to the current year’s fee can be paid now without penalty in order to regularise any live patent cases still of interest to the proprietors.

 

It appears that the due dates for renewal fees should be calculated from the parent (UK) filing date. However, the schedule of official fees in the law comprises only renewals for the 5th to 16th years, whilst as you know, reregistration patents have a term of 20 years from the parent (UK) filing date. This disparity clearly adds yet further to the confusion of this situation.

 

However, considering the sum of all of the above, which is clearly a very unsatisfactory and unclear situation to be in, we feel that it is prudent to recommend to our clients that we regularise any patent cases in Guyana which are still of interest, by instructing the payment of the relevant renewal fees as soon as possible. 

 

Please do not hesitate to contact us should you require any assistance in paying any such Guyanese annuities on your behalf.