The governmental body responsible for administrating the patent system in Peru is the Instituto Nacional de Defensa de la Competencia y de la Proteccion de la Propiedad Intelectual (INDECOPI). Patents can be issued for any type of invention except medical procedures. Software and business methods are not considered inventions and therefore cannot be patented. However, software and business methods can be protected through copyright in Peru.
Filing Patents in Peru
All patent applications must be filed with the INDECOPI. The examination process typically takes between 3.5 to 5 years. If there is an unreasonable delay during the examination procedure, which includes anything over 5 years, the applicant must be compensated for the delay. Patent applications must contain a description of the invention, claims, and an abstract. The description should include any necessary drawings. It is not required for applicants to submit a prior art disclosure. The examination process does include an opportunity for interested third parties to raise oppositions within 60 work days of the application’s publication. If all maintenance fees are paid each year, patents remain valid for 20 years from the filing date.
PCT National Stage in Peru
The Patent Cooperation Treaty took force in Peru on June 6, 2009. Applicants must enter the Peruvian national stage within 30 months of the PCT application’s priority date. The application must be submitted to the national stage in Spanish.
Recent IP Legal Trends in Peru
It was announced that nine South American countries, including Peru, will attempt to improve their patent registration systems through international cooperation. The project is intended to improve the speed and quality of examinations by allowing the respective offices to share information pertaining to specific applications.