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The Patent Cooperation Treaty, better known as PCT, offers assistance to applicants who seek international protection for their inventions or patents.

This treaty makes it possible for the applicant to present an international application in 148 countries.

Patents for Invention and Industrial Design

Also called industrial models, these are any combination of lines, forms or colors which serve as a blueprint for the manufacture of industrial products which are differentiated from similar ones by their own configuration.

Registration of Utility Models

The Utility Model is understood as the protection given to inventions, which has less inventive range than a patent. The main characteristic of a utility model is that it offers a utility or practical advantage over an invention that possibly already exists.

National legislation establishes that a utility model can be granted for any new form, configuration, or layout of elements of any artifact or instrument that allows improved or different functioning, use or manufacture of the object which incorporates it, or which provides some utility, advantage or technical effect which it previously did not have.

When any invention or creation is suitable for industrial application, but does not provide an inventive step sufficient for it to be protected by a patent, it may access protection as a utility model.

In general, rules applicable to patents are also applicable to utility models.

The term of protection for utility models is ten years from the date of presentation of the registration application.

Payment of Annual Maintenance Fees

In order for a patent, whether it is for PCT or a national patent, to be active and not declared null, the applicant must pay maintenance fees from the date of presenting the registration application and throughout the entire term of the patent’s validity (20 years). This is why paying maintenance fees is of paramount importance. As well as monitoring patents, we also provide a service to pay fees so that the client does not have to worry about forgetting to make such payments.


Romero Arteta Ponce Abogados is authorized to practice law in Ecuador and give legal advice through related firms in Latin America.


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