Trinidad & Tobago Patent Guide
A patent can be registered in Trinidad & Tobago pursuant to the Patents Act (Act 21 of 1996) (Cap. 82:76) (as amended) and the Patents Rules which provide for local patent applications.
The following information and documentation is required:
- a request for the grant of the patent
- a description of the invention
- one or more claims and any drawings referred to in the description or any claim
- an abstract
- applicant’s name and address
- Authorisation of Agent (TM-No. 1) (on size A4 paper)
- certified copy of priority document (if priority is claimed)
- PCT application if required
It usually takes about 2-3 years for the Intellectual Property Office in the Registrar General’s Department in the Ministry of Legal Affairs to process an application for registration. Paris Convention priority can be claimed. Once the registration is complete the Intellectual Property Office will issue a Registration Certificate.
Patent Cooperation Treaty
Trinidad & Tobago are signatory to the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) and accordingly national phase filing of a PCT patent is possible. This is encouraged if you are seeking coverage in another domicile. A PCT application can simplify the process of seeking a patent in countries that are party to the Patent Cooperation Treaty.
Whilst there is no requirement to conduct a search in Trinidad & Tobago prior to the filing of an application for registration a search is recommended to ascertain that there will be no discrepancies concerning the innovativeness of the patent. The result can usually be provided within four weeks.
Once a patent has been registered in Trinidad & Tobago there is an annual fee payable to the Trinidadian Government each year. The fee is due on the anniversary of the application date. Annual fees for a PCT issued patent are due on the same date.
When the annual fee has been paid the Intellectual Property Office will issue an official receipt.
Failure to pay an annual fee will result in the rights protected by the registration being placed in abeyance. This will effectively prevent any enforcement action being taken.
A grace period of six months, however, is allowed for the late payment of an annual fee upon payment of a late fee. After that time the patent application shall be deemed to have been withdrawn or the patent will lapse.
A patent registration is valid for 20 years. Once the registration has expired it cannot be renewed.
Please inform us as soon as possible if you wish to abandon your patent or allow it to lapse so that we can update our records and advise the Intellectual Property Office accordingly. This will avoid us sending out unnecessary Reminder Notices.
Please inform us as soon as possible if the patent has been assigned so that we can file an application to record the assignment in Trinidad & Tobago.
To record the assignment of a patent registration the documentation required is a Request for the Record of Change in Ownership (TM-No.12), the Certificate of Transfer (TM-No. 13), the Transfer Document (TM- No. 14) and an Authorisation of Agent (TM-No.1) (on size A4 paper).
It usually takes six months or less for the Intellectual Property Office to process an application to record an assignment. Once the recording is complete the Intellectual Property Office will issue a Certificate of Recording showing the assignment.
Change of Particulars
Please inform us as soon as possible if there is any change to the registration so that we can file an application to record the change in Trinidad & Tobago.
To record a change of name and/or address for a patent registration the only documentation required is a Request for Record of Change in Name or Address (TM-No. 15) and an Authorisation of Agent (TM-No.1) (on size A4 paper).
It usually takes six months or less for the Intellectual Property Office to process an application to record a Change of Particulars. Once the recording is complete the Intellectual Property Office will issue a Certificate of Recording showing the change.