Change in annuity payment system
On June 01, 2010 the Ecuadorian PTO increased the official fees and also established new rules regarding annuities. These new rules are quite controversial and have raised several questions and doubts, which need to be cleared.
Up to now, the first annuity was paid at the moment of filing the application in Ecuador. The following annuities were then due each year on the last day of the month in which the national patent application was filed.
The new rules are now as follows:
- Utility models pay annuities as from June 01, 2010.
- Granted patents, industrial designs and utility models pay annuities within the first three months of each year.
- Annuities should be paid on the last day of the filing anniversary month.
Regarding point 2, it can be clearly stated that this rule is against the current law and such disposition is therefore not applicable. This was confirmed with the local PTO.
Point 3 has raised one essential doubt: This rule does not mention which filing date it refers to, nevertheless the list of official fees refers to annuity as from the national or international filing date.
The PTO Director declared some days ago that annuities should be paid as from the international filing date and in consequence, she ordered the responsible PTO officers to change the current system in this sense.
She explained that the fee list mentions national or international date meaning that the PTO could choose between both dates and she also stated that the WIPO had requested such a change.
There will be a six-month grace period for paying outstanding annuities in order to adapt to the new system.