Granting a patent for citizens in countries like Brazil and Argentina may take between five and eight years. However, in Colombia, it takes only two to three years to hear back. One of the factors that has made this possible has been the implementation of a rapid process for studying patents, the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH). Along these lines, the Superintendence of Commerce and Industry (SIC) and the Korean Intellectual property Office (KIPO) recently signed an accord that establishes a pilot program for the PPH. This program began several years ago in countries such as the United States and Spain. South Korea is now part of the agreement.
The South Korean market is looking better to Colombian entrepreneurs. It is the 12th largest economy in the world. Colombia is already a significant trading partner, with more than $600,000,000 (six hundred million dollars) in annual exports and more than $1,400,000,000 (1.4 billion dollars) in annual imports. These figures reflect the importance of being a part of this market, and the PPH is a factor that will help this to occur.
This agreement is extremely important for Colombia. Some of the benefits that this agreement hopes to gain are: facilitating the exchange of information, promoting sharing of work between patent offices, and allowing applicants from both countries to obtain a rapid response for patent requests.
Therefore, if a patent was applied for and granted in Colombia, and the same patent is being evaluated in South Korea, the applicant now has the right to request that the KIPO takes the search for and results of the patent application that the SIC previously processed into account.
This is the fourth such agreement that the SIC has signed with other patent offices internationally. In addition, there is hope that, as a result of the Pacific Alliance agreement, the four countries included (Colombia, Chile, Peru, and Mexico) can direct their efforts towards gaining approval for rapid patent studies in the medium term.
As a result of the swift patent granting process in Colombia, other countries in this region, Europe and Asia are regarding Colombia as an “office” where they can present their patent application without as many roadblocks as are typically found in other parts of the world.
It is necessary that both national and international companies who are engaging in transactions of this nature gain counsel from professionals with experience in this realm. This will ensure that they take into account all of the necessary details and can carry out this process in a clean and clear manner. It is important to recognize that Colombia is becoming an attractive market, especially in the area of patents. The feeling is that here in Colombia, a company has more security, agility, and other concessions in these kinds of transactions compared to other countries.
Although there is not an exact figure, according to sources in the SIC, this year has seen the greatest number of patent applications ever in Colombia, most of them from foreigners.
Author: Lucía Hernández