Seychelles Patent Law
The Patents Act No. 5 of 1901, Chapter 156 (amended several times, most recently by Act no 23 of 1976) govern the patents in Seychelles.
Languages: French, Creole, English (official languages)
Seychelles is a member of the following international agreements:
* Paris Convention (since 2002)
* Patent Cooperation Treaty (since 2002)
* WIPO Convention (since 2000)
Filing requirements for national and PCT applications in Seychelles:
* Power of attorney (notarised)
* Assignment of invention by the inventors (if applicable)
All documents above must be legalised by the UK consul if signed outside the United Kingdom; otherwise only notarisation is required.
For confirmation of a UK patent in Seychelles:
* Power of attorney (notarised)
* Certified copy of the UK patent
* Certificate of the UK Comptroller of Patents, giving full particulars of the issue of the UK patent, together with such evidence as the Registrar may require to prove that the applicant is the bona fide holder of the patent, and that the patent is in force.
All documents must be legalised by the UK consul if signed outside the United Kingdom; otherwise only notarisation is required.
* UK patents must be registered within three years of their date of issue.
Seychelles Patent Registration Procedure
The Non-convention and convention applications, applications for registration of a UK patent, and PCT national phase applications are filed with the office of the Registrar of Patents in Seychelles.
Applications are subjected to formal examination which takes place
automatically. An application with a complete specification must be accepted within 12 months from the date of the application, or within an extended time not exceeding 15 months.
On acceptance of the complete specification, the Registrar shall advertise the acceptance in the Gazette.
Application for opposition must be filed within two month from the date of advertisement of the acceptance of a complete specification. Grounds of opposition include that –
* the applicant is not entitled to the invention
* the invention has already been patented in Seychelles.
If no opposition is entered, or if the opposition is decided in favour of the grant of a patent, the patent shall be granted and sealed.
If not objections are rise, the patent is registered.
The timeframe from filing to registration is 2 to 3 years (depending on the backlog at the Ministry).
Independent patents are granted for a term of 14 years counting from the date of the application, extendible for seven years and exceptionally for 14 years upon payment of the prescribed fees.
Provision is made for the extension of the term of a patent, by an order of court, in cases where the patentee has been inadequately remunerated by the exploitation of the patent.
Registration of UK patents in Seychelles expire with the basic UK patent and remain in force as long as the UK patent is maintained in force.
Since Seychelles is a member of the Paris Convention, priority may be claimed from an earlier application filed in a convention country, provided the application is filed in Seychelles within 12 months from the first filing date.
Seychelles Trademark Law
Legal basis is the Industrial Property Act, 2014, the Industrial Property (Marks) Regulations, 2014 and the Industrial Property (Geographical Indication) Regulations, 2014.
Seychelles is a member of the Paris Convention since 2002.
Trademark protection is obtained by registration and the Act permits the registration of well-known marks as defensive trade marks. It can also be acquired by sufficient public recognition.
Seychelles has its own classification of goods and services, which however closely follows the Nice Classification. Seychelles follows a single class filing system, therefore a separate application has to be filed for each class.
A notarised Power of Attorney is required as well as a certified copy of the priority document when applicable.
Seychelles Trademark Registration Procedure
* The trademark application or an application for the registration of a geographical indication is filed at the Trademark Registration Division, Department of Legal Affairs.
* The application process includes a formal examination, an examination as to distinctiveness and a search for prior trademarks.
Signs not deemed distinctive in the examination can be registered if distinctiveness has been acquired by use.
* Trademark applications accepted by the Registrar are published in the Official Gazette prior to registration.
* The opposition period is 2 months from the publication date of the application.
* If not opposition in logged, the certificate is issued.
The approximate time frame for completing the trademark registration process in Seychelles is approximately 12 to 24 months.
Protection begins with the date of application. A trademark registration is valid for 10 years from the date of application. The registration is renewable for periods of 7 years from the expiry date of the original registration or last renewal.
Seychelles is a member of the Paris Convention and it is possible to claim convention priority.
Cancellation for removal of a trade mark in Seychelles
The Decree provides for different circumstances which could be relied on in order to obtain the cancellation or removal of a trade mark from the register.
Grounds for cancellation for removal of a trade mark in Seychelles
The Court or the Registrar may remove a registered trade mark from the register in respect of any of the goods or services that are covered by the mark, if the trade mark was registered without any bona fide intention to use the trade mark in relation to the goods or services and there has, in fact, been no bona fide use up to one month before the date of the application for cancellation; or that a continuous period of five years or longer has elapsed during which there has been no bona fide use of the trade mark in relation to the goods or services.
The Court or the Registrar may refuse cancellation if it is shown that there has in fact been bona fide use of the trade mark. A trade mark registration shall also not be cancelled if any non-use has occurred due to special circumstances in the trade and if the non-use of the mark is not due to any intention on the part of the proprietor not to use or to abandon the mark.
Cancellation on the grounds of Non-Use in Seychelles
Use of a registered trade mark is a requirement and non-use of a registered trade mark for a period of five years or more shall render the registration vulnerable to cancellation, except where the proprietor can show that the non-use was due to special circumstances.
As indicated above, a trade mark registration shall not be cancelled if any non-use of the trade mark has occurred due to special circumstances in the trade and if the non-use of the mark is not due to any intention on the part of the proprietor not to use or to abandon the trade mark.
Cancellation on the ground that the trade mark has become generic in Seychelles
A registered trade mark may be invalidated if descriptive words are incorporated in the trade mark, except in the following cases:
* if the words that are contained in the mark are commonly used in trade.
* if the goods to which the mark is applied were manufactured under a patent and a period of two years has passed from the date on which the patent lapsed and the word is necessary to describe the goods
* if the trade mark contains the descriptive word in conjunction with additional elements of the mark, the Registrar may decide that the trade mark does not need to be declared invalid (he may order the proprietor of the trade mark to disclaim any exclusive rights in the descriptive part of the trade mark).