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Understanding Law related to Patents in Pakistan

How to get a patent in Pakistan?

The first patent law in Pakistan was the Patent and Design Act of 1911 which was replaced by the Patents Ordinance of 2000. This Ordinance was amended in 2002, further in 2007 and again in 2010. The patent law in Pakistan is presently governed by the Patents (Amendment) Act, 2010 along with the Patent Rules, 2003.

A patent is an exclusive rights granted for an invention for a limited period to make, use and sell the invention. The grant of patent rights excludes others from making, using, or selling the invention without prior permission or license from the patentee.

Who can apply for a patent in Pakistan?

Persons entitled to make an application for patent in Pakistan:

In accordance with Section 11 of the Patents Ordinance, 2000, any of the following persons, whether alone or jointly with any other person, may make an application for a patent, namely:-

  • The true and first inventor of the invention;
  • The assignee of a person claiming to be the true and first inventor;
  • The legal representative of any deceased person who immediately before his/her death was entitled to make such an application.

What is Patentable in Pakistan?

As per Section 7 (1) of the Patents Ordinance, 2000, an invention should have the following characteristics in order to be patentable:

  • The invention is new.
  • It involves an inventive step.
  • It is capable of industrial application.

What is Non-Patentable in Pakistan?

Sub-section (2) and (4) of Section 7 of the Patents Ordinance following are the “non-patentable” inventions in Pakistan:

  • A discovery, scientific theory or mathematical method;
  • A literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work or any other creation of purely aesthetic character;
  • A scheme, rule or method for performing a mental act, playing a game or doing business;
  • The presentation of information;
  • Substances that exist in nature or if isolated therefrom;
  • For invention the prevention of commercial exploitation of which would be necessary to protect the “ordre public” or morality, including to protect human, animal or plant life or health or to avoid serious prejudice to the environment, provided that such exclusion is not made merely because the exploitation is prohibited by any law for the time being in force;
  • For plants and animals other than micro-organisms, and essentially biological processes for the production of plants or animals other than non-biological and microbiological processes;
  • For diagnostic, therapeutic and surgical methods for the treatment of humans or animals;
  • For a new or subsequent use of a known product or process; and
  • For a mere change in physical appearance of a chemical product where the chemical formula or process of manufacture remains the same provided that this clause shall not apply to an invention fulfilling the criteria of patentability.
Relevant OfficeIPO Pakistan receives applications from the Patent Office, Karachi, IPO-headquarters Islamabad and IPO Regional Office, Lahore.
Law in ForcePatents Ordinance, 2000 along with Patent Rules, 2003
PCT Contracting StateNo
Paris ConventionYes
Document(s) required for filing patent application·       Complete details regarding the applicant and inventor(s) (their names, nationality and addresses). ·       Application Form (for convention or non-convention application) duly executed by applicant. ·       Patent specification and claims in the English language alongwith drawings, if any. ·       A certified copy of the priority document. ·       Duly executed Power of Attorney.
Prosecution Process·        Filing ·        Publication ·        Examination ·        Pre-grant opposition ·        Grant ·        Post-grant opposition ·        Renewal  
Registration TermThe term of a patent is twenty years from the date of the application.

Sources: Patents Ordinance, 2000



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