The term of a patent is 20 years from the Date of Filing of the patent application or, in the event that a patent term extension is granted, up to the end of the extended term, subject to the payment of annual renewal fees.
The proprietor is required to renew the patent annually, starting from the fourth anniversary. This renewal is intended to maintain the patent in force for the upcoming year. This allows the proprietor to review and determine whether it is of commercial interest to maintain the patent. Subsequent renewal will be due on the anniversary of the Date of Filing. The patent will lapse if the renewal fee is not paid within the prescribed period. This allows public access to the invention disclosed in the patent.
A patent can be renewed 3 months before the renewal due date. If a patent is not renewed by the renewal due date, it may be renewed within 6 months with additional late payment fees.
The patent may be renewed using Patents Form 15. If the patent has been endorsed with License as of Right (LOR), the patent can be renewed with renewal fees halved. Bearing in mind that once a request to cancel the LOR is approved, the balance of the previously halved renewal fees will have to be paid to the Registry.
If the patent has lapsed due to non-payment of renewal fees, the Formalities officer will refuse the application and invite the applicant to Request for Restoration by filing Patents Form 19 together with a Statutory Declaration. Upon refusal, a refund request will be initiated.