Fiji Patent Law
The Fiji legislation on patent is the Patents Act, Cap 239 of Ordinances Nos. 3 of 1879, 7 of 1882, 12 of 1924, Edited on 1978.
* The Patent Law in Fiji was Amended by the Patents (Amendment) Act 2002 (Act No. 21 of 2002) and the Patents (Amendment) Decree 2012 (Decree No. 55 of 2012) which provides for both national patent applications and applications to extend rights under a UK registration within three years from the date of registration in the UK.
Patent Requirements for a National application in Fiji:
1. Declaration of the inventor (Simply signed)
2. Simply signed Power of Attorney
Patent Requirements for a UK-based application in Fiji:
1. Certified copy of the UK Certificate
2. Simply signed Power of Attorney
Fiji Patent Registration Procedure
The patent application is filed at the Fiji Intellectual Property Office (FIPO).
The FIPO of Fiji will check that all formalities of the Patent Act are meets.
All National applications are sent to Australia for a complete examination.
* The UK based applications do not undergoing substantive examination.
The patent application in Fiji is published for two (2) months in the official Gazette.
* For UK based, Advertising is necessary; however, the opposition period is waived.
If no opposition is filed in Fiji to the National patent application, The FIPO within three (3) months will issued the patent certificate with such reservations, provisos and conditions as may be deemed fit.
It usually takes about 2-4 years for the Registrar of the Fiji Intellectual Property Office (FIPO) to process a national application for registration.
A UK-based application in Fiji usually takes about 2 years to be processed. Paris Convention priority cannot be claimed. Once the registration is complete the FIPO will issue a Certificate of Registration.
* A national patent registration in Fiji is valid for 14 years from the date of issue of letters patent.
* A UK-based patent registration in Fiji is valid for the same period as specified on the underlying UK registration on which it is based.
PCT (Patent Cooperation Treaty)
* Fiji is not a signatory to the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT).
* National phase filing of a PCT patent is not possible.
IP Rights enforcement in Fiji
In Fiji, most rights must be enforced through private action for damages and injunction. There are also provisions under the Customs Act 1986 and accompanying regulations that prevent the importation of goods that infringe existing patent , trademark or copyright protection.
Opposition procedure on Patents in Fiji (For National Application only in Fiji)
Any person desiring to oppose such application shall within three (3) months of the date of the first notice of the application for letters patent provided for in section 14 give notice in writing of his opposition to such application and of the grounds thereof to the Administrator-General who shall, after hearing the parties to and against such application and such witnesses as he may deem necessary, decide the same and intimate his decision to the Attorney-General who shall within three months from the date of such intimation, if the same be favourable to the person holding a provisional certificate, direct the issue of letters patent to such person with such reservations, provisos and conditions as may be meet. In case the decision be adverse to the party holding the provisional certificate he may appeal against such decision to the Supreme Court which shall within three months from the date of such appeal either direct the issue of letters patent to the appellant subject to such reservations, provisos and conditions as it may deem fit or make such other order as may be meet.
Fiji Trademark Law
The trademark legislation in Fiji is the Trade-Marks Act 1933. Amended by Trade Marks Act (Cap. 240) (1978). The Fiji Trade-Marks Act is based on the UK Trade Marks Act of 1905.
Fiji is not a member of the Madrid Agreement, the Madrid Protocol or the European Union.
Trademark protection is obtained by registration.
There is two ways for trademark registrations in Fiji
* National Trademark Registration
* UK Based Trademark Registration
Fiji is member of the following agreements and conventions
-Berne Convention (for the Protection of Literacy & Artistic Works)
-Rome Convention (for the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms & Broadcasting Organisations)
-Phonograms Convention (for the Protection of Producers of Phonograms Against Unauthorised Duplication of Their Phonograms)
* Fiji is not a member of the Paris Convention and accordingly, priority cannot be claimed when filing applications for registration.
-For National application Fiji uses the old pre-1938 British Trade Mark classes (Goods only but not service marks). A separate application has to be filed for each class.
-For UK based application, The Nice classification of goods and services may apply in Fiji.
- Simply signed Power of Attorney (POA)
- For UK based only, a Certified copy of UK Trademark Registration
Fiji Trademark Registration Procedure
The application is filed at the Fiji Intellectual Property Office which considers applications on behalf of the Solicitor-General.
The application process includes a formal examination, an examination of distinctiveness and a search for prior trademarks.
Signs not deemed distinctive in the examination can be registered if distinctiveness has been acquired by use.
A trade mark application may be made independently or may be based on a national UK registration certificate issued by the United Kingdom Comptroller-General (and not an EU or Madrid registration).
Independent applications undergo examination and advertising for opposition before registration. On the other hand “UK-based” applications are to be registered as of right without examination or opposition.
Independent trademark applications accepted by the Registrar are published once in both the Fiji Government Gazette and a local newspaper for opposition purposes prior to registration.
National Opposition Period
The opposition period is 3 months from the publication date of the application in the Fiji Government Gazette. The period for filing oppositions may be extended. If an opposition is filed, a counter statement must be filed within 21 days or such extended time as may be allowed, failing which the application will be deemed to have been abandoned.
The approximate time frame for completing the registration process of a trademark in Fiji for national registrations (if unopposed), and for UK-based registrations is from 12 to 18 months, but at times may be longer.
* For an National trademark registration in Fiji, protection begins with the date of application. An National trademark registration is valid for 14 years from date of application. The registration is renewable for periods of 14 years. There is a six month grace period for filing applications for renewal although a small penalty fee payable.
* For a trade mark registration that is based on a UK registration, the trademark registration is valid for the duration of the corresponding UK registration in respect of the goods which the trade is registered in Fiji. The registration may be renewed for periods of 10 years provided the basic UK registration is renewed.
Priority in Fiji is not available on filing of applications but the existence of a prior application will at least put the Registrar on notice of a possible conflict in respect of any subsequent rival application.