The protection of patents in the Principality of Andorra will be possible with the new Patent Law dated 30th of October 2014 and the later approval of its Implementing Regulation dated 22nd of July 2015.
When it comes into force in January 2016 Andorra advances towards the complete adaptation to both Community Patent Law and that of the International Organizations of which it is member or wishes to join. Moreover, the Principality of Andorra will be closer to signing an agreement with the EPO for its validation of European Patents, which is still under negotiation, as well as its adhesion to the PCT Treaty of 1970. This law also seeks to promote compliance with both the already ratified Paris Convention and the WTO TRIPS Agreement.
The most outstanding characteristics of the Patent Regulation in Andorra are the following:
- The conditions of patentability will not be examined unless there is an obvious lack of novelty. Therefore, the application and granting are reduced to a simple deposit.
- The patents will be completely valid during the period for which they have been granted, which means that the application of both verification diligences and interim measures as well as the use of actions based on a patent will have to include a principle of proof of novelty, inventive step and industrial applicability of the title. Although the Law does not include a numerus clausus for the means of evidence, European and national patents will have this consideration after having passed an in-depth examination.
- The patent application can be submitted in Catalonian, Spanish, English or French, although the claims must always be submitted in Catalonian.
- Inventions will only be protectable by means of a national patent until the signature of the validation agreement with EPO and its adhesion to the PCT Treaty.
- Those who have applied for patent or utility model in a country included in the Paris Convention or a member of the WTO, will have the priority right for twelve months from the date when they submitted the first application.
Up to now it was not possible to apply for a patent in Andorra (only trademarks), so this new law makes the protection of inventions possible in a new country where there are many commercial interests.