The “Código Orgánico de la Economía Social de los Conocimientos, Creatividad e Innovación,” (Organic Code on Social Economics of Know-how, Creativity and Innovation), which supersedes the current Intellectual Property Law, was recently published on December 9, 2016.

As indicated in Article 1 of said Code, “The purpose of this code is to regular the National System of Science, Technology, Innovation and Ancestral Knowledge…and to primarily coordinate it with the National Education System, the Higher Education System and the National Cultural Studies System, for the purpose of establishing a legal framework in which the social economics of knowledge, creativity and innovation are structured.”

Specifically, and as justified in the whereas clauses of this new Code: “…the Intellectual Property Law of 1998 is not consistent with the rights and guarantees established in the Constitution of the Republic of Ecuador”, considerable changes are introduced in the current intellectual property regulation: designs, plant variety rights, trademarks and trade names, paying particular attention to copyright and patent regulations.

As for such regulations, it is necessary to point out the limitation placed on what is considered patentable material, the requirements established for defining “inventive step”, issues relating to patent revocation and the rights of employees participating in an inventive activity, among others.

Nevertheless, it must be borne in mind that Decision 486 (Intellectual Property), Decision 345 (Plant Variety Rights), Decision 351 (Copyrights) and Decision 391 (conventional know-how) prevail over this lay as Ecuador is a member of the Andean Community.