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Syria: Grace Period for Late Payment of Patent Fees

June 28, 2019

The Patent Office in Syria recently announced that it will be granting a grace period for late payment of patent fees.

This update allows inventors who have not paid the annual fees due from the beginning of 2011 a grace period of three months, starting from June 17, 2019, to settle the fees. As for inventors who did not invest in their inventions, the Patent Office is granting a grace period of one year as of June 17, 2019, to reinstate patents for their inventions, or submit a nominal working.

The grace period of six months for late payment of annuities remains unchanged, however.

It is worth noting that Article 35 (3) of Law no. 18 of 2012 states that a patent will be forfeited in case of “[f]ailure by the inventor to put his invention in employment within three years from the date of granting him the invention certificate, unless he proves that he presented his invention directly to the industrialists capable of implementing his invention, and that he did not reject, without a reason, requests for his acceptance to invest his invention in accordance with provisions set in the Executive List.”

By way of background, Syria accepted nominal working as sufficient to satisfy the requirement. This means that isolated advertisements satisfy the requirement when those advertisements are placed in industry magazines and the advertisements offered to grant licenses to anyone interested.

The voluntary “license of right” mechanism helps patent owners comply with the working requirement in Syria. Furthermore, a patent owner may request that their patent be designated as “license of right,” meaning that the patent is available to anyone by license, and such a designation protects the patent owner from being attacked for nonworking.

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