Palau national congress (Olbiil Era Kelulau) has passed a bill creating a patent system to protect the rights of inventors.  The House bill 11-38-3, HD1, SD1 passed the Senate this week unanimously.

The bill expands the Intellectual Property Law to include patents.  It creates a Director position to supervise the office, appointed by the Attorney General.  An appeal of a decision made by the Director can be made to the Attorney General.  A decision by the Attorney General can be appealed to the Supreme Court.

Furthermore, the bill provides guidelines on what is patentable and what is not.  It provides for an application process and tasks the Attorney General to establish a system for appeals.

Patents will have attributes of personal property and the Intellectual Property Office in the Office of the Attorney General will keep a Registry of all patents and applications.

The proposed bill creates civil liability for infringement.  Contesting the validity of the patent is a defense against infringement but the burden of proof is on the person contesting the validity.  The bill puts a 6-year statute of limitation for infringement.  Cases of infringements are to be filed in the Trial Court of the Palau Supreme Court.

The patent bill expands on Palau’s Intellectual Property Copyright by amending Title 39, Chapter 8 of the Palau National Code. 

Palau is a member of the Hague Convention 1961 (Apostille).

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