Uruguay on a path to join the PCT

(Corrected my mistake about the consequences of Uruguay having joined only Chapter I.)

I am delighted to see that Uruguay is on the way to membership in the Patent Cooperation Treaty.  It has passed both chambers of the Uruguayan legislature, and is on its way to the executive branch for signature. 

What would need to happen next is for Uruguay to deposit its instrument of accession with WIPO.  And then, I expect, passage of enabling legislation and rulemaking.

One aspect that is a bit of a disappointment is that it appears that Uruguay will, at the present time, join only Chapter I of the PCT.  This means that instead of the familiar “30-month period”, Uruguay would have only a “20-month period”.  An applicant located outside of Uruguay, wishing to enter the national phase in Uruguay, would need to accomplish it a mere 20 months after the priority date rather than the familiar 30 months.  An applicant entering the national phase in Uruguay will have the full 30 months available, and could enter the national phase in Uruguay having the benefit of a Chapter II report if they wish.  An applicant in Uruguay would not have the procedures of Chapter II available — for example the applicant in Uruguay would not be able to file a Demand.

A second aspect that piques the imagination arises out of a longstanding friendly rivalry between two countries who are on opposite sides of the Rio de la Plata, namely Uruguay and Argentina.  For decades, many around the world have wished that Argentina might join the PCT.  Here, we see Uruguay imminently joining the PCT, and many observers hope that the friendly rivalry might prompt Argentina to renew its efforts to reach a resolve to join the PCT.

2 Replies to “Uruguay on a path to join the PCT”

  1. I guess it makes the transition easier. Otherwise, you have quite a few months without incoming new applications in the national patent office (and national firms).

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