A new Patent Law entered into force in Paraguay on 29 January 2001, and the implementing Regulations are due to be enacted shortly.

The principle provisions of the new Patent law are as follows:

·         Patents will be granted for patents of invention and utility models. It is no longer possible to apply for revalidation of foreign granted patents.

·         The term of a patent of invention is 20 years from the date of filing, and for a utility model, 10 years from the date of filing.

·         Annuities are payable annually, in advance, in respect of all patents and patent applications commencing on the second anniversary of the filing date (i.e. for the third year). There is a period of grace of 6 months, with penalty.

·         In respect of applications filed or registered under the old law, annuity payments will commence with the annuity due after 29 January 2001. The filing date of patents of revalidation is deemed to be the filing date of the corresponding foreign patent. Any annuities due between 29 January and 29 July 2001 will not be subject to the payment of a late fine, if paid before 29 July 2001. In respect of payments made, or due, after 29 July 2001, the period of grace of 6 months with late fine will apply.

·         Patents for pharmaceutical products will be allowed, but grant has been postponed to 1 January 2003.

·         Patents must be exploited within three years from grant or four years from the date of filing, which ever term expires later.

·         A compulsory licence may be granted for reasons such as lack of exploitation, public interest, and anti-competitive practices.

·         Notarial certification and consular legalisation will no longer be required for supporting documentation.