Harmonization of patentability criteria in Central America
Staff from the Costa Rican, Salvadorian, Guatemalan, Honduran, Nicaraguan, Panamanian and Dominican PTOs met from June 30 to July 2, 2015 in Panama to unify and harmonize the patentability criteria for the examination of patent applications in these countries. Also attending were representatives from the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office (OEPM), the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI) and the European Patent Office (EPO).
The main goal of the regional meeting is to update the “Manual for the Processing of Patent Applications,” a document drafted jointly by the aforementioned Latin American countries to standardize the technical criteria for the evaluation of patent applications in the region.
According to Oswaldo Gironés, Director of WIPO´s Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean,the update of the manual will “harmonize the treatment given to users and generate greater confidence in the use of patent system.”
Currently, there is discrepancy regarding patentability criteria, resulting in some patents being granted in one country and rejected in another country of the Central American region.
With the update of the manual for the processing of patent applications and the exchange of work among the PTOs of the region, it is expected that users can better understand the exact requirements that patent applications must comply with in each country of the Central American region.