Patents - General Information

  • You can claim priority according to Paris Convention within: 12 months from the first filing date.
  • Member of: PCT, Paris Convention, ARIPO.
  • Allowed time to submit the assignment deed from the date of signing the agreement: no time restrictions.

The term of a patent obtained in terms of Malawi’s national legislation is 16 years. Annual renewal fees are payable but are due from the third anniversary of the filing date and are only payable after sealing. A six month grace period is available for late payments.

However, the Harare Protocol states that term of an ARIPO patent designating Malawi is 20 years. This issue has not been tested in the courts. Accordingly, the duration of an ARIPO patent designating Malawi is uncertain.

The Act further provides for the term of the patent to be extended for a maximum period of 10 years on the basis of inadequate remuneration. The application for the extension of the term of the patent must be made before expiry of the main patent and must be advertised for opposition purposes.