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FAQ - Iran

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General information about patents in Iran

What types of industrial property rights exist in Iran?

Iran has patents, designs and trade marks. There are no utility models available. The legal authority for registering industrial property rights in Iran is the Intellectual Property Center (IPC).

How long is the term of protection for Iranian patents?

The term of protection for patents is 20 years from the filing date, subject to the payment of annual fees. This regulation was introduced by the Patents, Industrial Designs and Trademarks Registration Act of the Islamic Republic of Iran (2008). Under previous legislation, applicants could choose between a term of five, ten, 15 or 20 years from the filing date.

What inventions cannot be patented in Iran?

According to Article 4 of the Patents, Industrial Designs and Trademarks Registration Act, the following are excluded from the scope of protection:

  1. Discoveries, scientific theories, mathematical methods and works of art;
  2. Schemes, rules or methods for doing business, performing mental or social acts;
  3. Methods for treatment or diagnosis of human or animal diseases;
    This subsection does not include products falling within the scope of definition of the patent and those used in the said methods.
  4. Genetic resources and genetic components comprising the same, as well as biological processes for the production of the same.
  5. Anything that has been already anticipated in industries and techniques.
  6. Those inventions the commercial exploitation of which would be contrary to Sharia Rules, public order or morality.

Is Iran a member of the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT)?

Yes, Iran became a member of the PCT on 4 October 2013. As a result, any international application filed on or after 4 October 2013 automatically includes the designation of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Is Iran a member of the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT)?

Yes, Iran became a member of the PCT on 4 October 2013. As a result, any international application filed on or after 4 October 2013 automatically includes the designation of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

From filing to grant

As a foreign applicant, do I need to appoint a professional representative in Iran?

Yes, foreigners need to perform patent prosecution in Iran through an agent. The original document granting power of attorney must be legalised and submitted together with the application.

What language must I use for a patent application in Iran?

Any document submitted under Iranian patent law and its implementing regulations must be in Persian (Farsi).

Can I claim priority for an application filed in Iran?

Yes, the priority term is 12 months from the earliest claimed priority, as stipulated in the Paris Convention. You need to submit a certified copy of the priority document at the same time as the patent application, or within 15 days from the filing date.

What do I need to do to get an early filing date in Iran?

It is currently not possible to obtain an early filing date in Iran by filing a provisional application. No provisions for accelerated examination are currently available yet either.

Does Iran allow divisional applications?

Yes, it does. If your application comprises multiple inventions, you can divide it into two or more applications. You may file a divisional application at any time before the decision to grant or reject the application is taken. The divisional application bears the same filing date or, if applicable, the priority date of the original application.

Are Iranian patents subject to substantive examination?

Yes, all patent applications are subject to substantive examination. The competent searching authorities (selected from certain institutions, e.g. universities) conduct the substantive examination on behalf of the patent office after the formal examination has been completed. A final decision on patentability will be taken by the patent office.

How soon after filing an application in Iran do I need to file a request for examination?

You do not need to file a request for examination. The substantive examination starts after the formalities check and payment of the examination fees.

Can I access information on pending patent applications?

The patent office only publishes patents once they have been granted and does not publish patent applications. It is therefore not possible to obtain information on pending applications.

Can I withdraw my application before it is granted?

Yes, you can.

Can I submit third-party observations on an Iranian patent application?

As third parties cannot access information on pending applications (see above), it is not possible to submit third-party observations.

What is the time limit for responding to official actions in Iran?

The deadline for responding to official actions is 30 days for residents and 60 days for non-residents.

After grant

When do I have to pay annual fees in Iran?

You must pay annual fees on the anniversary of the filing date, starting one year after filing. It is possible to make a lump-sum advance payment for five years.

Is there a grace period for paying annual fees in Iran?

Yes, a grace period of six months is allowed for late payment of the annual fee on payment of a 50% surcharge.

Can a lapsed patent be restored in Iran?

No, restoring lapsed patents is not allowed.

Can I request an extension of the patent term in Iran?

No, the 20-year term for patents filed in Iran cannot be extended. Iranian Patent Law does not include any provisions on patent term extensions or supplementary protection certificates.

How can I challenge a granted patent in Iran?

After a patent has been granted, interested parties may file a request for invalidation at any time with the Public Court of Tehran. Partial invalidation is possible. A request for invalidation may be filed in cases where (1) the invention is not new, (2) the patent has been obtained illegally, and (3) the invention is purely scientific and theoretical in nature and is of no practical use. The Public Court of Tehran has no branches in other cities or towns, so all cases should be referred to the court in Tehran.

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