Colombia has been considered as an emerging economy in the world by international organizations and financial institutions like the World Bank, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU)), BBVA Research, and the FTSE 100 Index of the Financial Times.
From the atmosphere generated by these changes and recognitions, a high degree of awareness about the science, technology and information being essential for economic development has been felt in recent years.
In this way, the importance of innovation and the subsequent generation and protection of IP rights has been recognized.
In view of these changes, in Colombia, Decision 486 was issued in 2000 due to the entry into force of TRIPS, the adhesion to the PCT was implemented in 2001 and in 2008 public policies for generating competitiveness based on innovation and knowledge were implemented, through the establishment of the Economic and Social Policy of PI (CONPESS 3533 of 2008).
Among the most significant evidence of the promotion of the protection of IPRs, highlighs the catching up with backlogged applications, decreasing the time of grant of a patent from 5.9 years to 4.9 years, the acceptance of computer-implemented inventions and invention related to new crystalline forms or polymorphs.
Following the above, the entry of new markets through underwriting and negotiating free trade agreements with several countries has been evident in Colombia, said free trade agreements include specific chapters relating to IP, thus forcing changes associated with the development and management of the IP system.
Specifically, in the case of patents, the PTO was coerced to implement the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) in conjunction with the United States Patent Office (USPTO) in order to take advantage of opportunities offered by the FTA signed with U.S.
This measure, which took effect in Colombia on September 1, 2012, aims to share the study of patentability for applications filed both in Colombia and in the US.
Colombian and foreign applicants who have submitted a patent application after the implementation date, may require that the Examiner takes into consideration the patentability examination conducted in the country where the patent was first obtained so that said it is understood as sufficient to meet the patentability requirements in the country has not yet made a decision.
At the moment, the Colombian PTO has not yet provided feedback regarding this new procedure, however, it must be noted that the PTO has indicated the requirements for submitting an application for an expedited procedure, among which are the following:
- The application of accelerated examination should be made at the time of payment of the patentability examination: in this way the applicant should provide a relevant copy of the patentability assessment, copy of the prosecution records, copy of the claims and a correlation table of the claims that have been granted and the ones that have been submitted to the Colombian PTO
- All claims of the application filed in Colombia should correspond to the claims filed before the USPTO.
It should be noted that while the Colombian Office initially implemented the PPH with the USPTO, the office is currently conducting the necessary actions to implement the PPH with other IP offices worldwide.