Patents of Invention

– Patent Act of June 20, 1955, amended by Act of November 5, 1956 (Industrial Property 1956 p. 24 and 1957 p. 169).
– Application Ordinance of January 30, 1957 (Industrial Property 1958 p. 62).
– Sovereign Ordinances No. 10382 of November 27, 1991, and No. 10427 of January 9, 1992, relating to European Patent.

Membership in International Conventions

– Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, Stockholm Act, since April 29, 1956.
– Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), since March 3, 1975.
– Strasbourg Agreement Concerning the International Patent Classification, since June 13, 1976.
– Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), since June 22, 1979.
– European Patent Convention (EPC), since December 1, 1991.
– Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of the Deposit of Microorganisms for the Purposes of Patent Procedure, since January 23, 1999.
– The Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents (Apostille), since December 31, 2002.

Filing

Applicant: individuals and companies.

Foreigners: protection is the same as for nationals. Applicants not residing nor established in Monaco must appoint an agent to represent them.

Types of patents: patents of invention and patents of addition.

Unpatentable: methods of treatment and diagnostic, plans and financial systems, theoretical and scientific principles. Pharmaceutical compositions and medicines are also excluded, however, the processes and devices to manufacture medicines are patentable.

Novelty: no publication or prior use anywhere in the world whereby the invention could be put into practice. A description of the invention in a prior unpublished patent application in Monaco is a bar to novelty.

Priority: Convention priority may be claimed.

Filing requirements for an application (to be sent to resident agent):
1. Application signed by applicant or attorney (1 copy);
2. Specification (4 typed copies);
3. Drawings (4 copies);
4. Power of attorney (unlegalized).

Note: in case of a priority claim, a certified copy of the prior application with a translation (1 copy) certified by the translator or by the applicant and an assignment of priority rights if the applicant is not the same; must be filed within six months of filing date.

Electronic filing: not available.

PCT applications: only a European patent can be obtained via the PCT route. Time limit for entering the regional phase under Chapters I and II: 31 months.

Examination and Granting

Examination: as to form only.

Division: not provided for.

Publication: the application is not published before the grant.

Granting: may be delayed for a year or eighteen months if no priority has been claimed. The decision of granting the patent is published in the Journal de Monaco.

Opposition: not provided for.

Duration: twenty years from filing date.

Annuities: must be paid from the date of filing and each year thereafter on or before the anniversary date.

Annuity grace period: six months with a 20% additional fee.

Restoration: there is no legal provision for restitutio in integrum in Monaco.

Supplementary Protection Certificate: not provided for.

Marking: not compulsory. Nevertheless, in case of marking, it must indicate the patent number and letters M.C.

Working: within three years of grant otherwise a compulsory license may be granted.

Modification of Protection after Registration

Assignment and license: have to be registered on the Monegasque Register in order to be effective against third parties. Documents required are: original assignment or license deed, or certified copy; translation into French if the deed is not in French language; power of attorney.

Cancellation proceedings: can be instituted before the court on the grounds that the patent has been granted in contradiction with the legal provisions.

Certificates of addition: can be filed and remain in force until the lapse of the original patent.

Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT)

A PCT application can designate Monaco by the designation of the European Patent.

The International Search and Preliminary Examination are entrusted to the European Patent Office acting as International Searching and Preliminary Examining Authority. It is not compulsory to name a representative but it is advisable.

The “Direction de l’Expansion Economique – Division de la Propriété Intellectuelle” in Monaco is competent to act as the receiving Office for nationals or applicants domiciled in Monaco. Three copies of the application in French are required. A transmission fee is requested by the Monegasque Office.

European Patent Convention (EPC)

The EPC entered into force for Monaco on December 1, 1991, so that Monaco may be a designated country.

The “Direction de l’Expansion Economique – Division de la Propriété Intellectuelle” in Monaco is competent to act as receiving Office for nationals or applicants domiciled in Monaco. It is not compulsory to name a representative but it is advisable.

Validation: no translation of the granted EP Patent is requested by the national Office under Article 65 EPC. Provisional protection (optional) under Article 67(3) EPC, however, requires the filing of a French translation of the claims of the European patent application, if the application was filed in English or German.

Annuities: have to be paid after grant. The due date falls on the last day of the month of the anniversary of the filing date of the European application.

Annuity grace period: six months with a 20% additional fee.

Restoration: there is no legal provision for restitutio in integrum in Monaco.