Business brief: Belize


Erienne Romero and Christopher Coye

How do you register or secure patent rights, and is national or international coverage most appropriate?

Patent rights are enforceable by the Patents Act of Belize. Patent protection in Belize is secured by filing successful national patent applications and/or national phase Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) applications with the Belize Intellectual Property Office (BELIPO). Applicants may also claim priority based on an earlier registration filed in, or for, a country which is party to the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, or any member of the World Trade Organization. 

Once any patent application is lodged with BELIPO, there are various timelines that should be noted by the applicant. Within the first week of the date of application, BELIPO issues the filing date stamp for national patent applications meeting filing requirements; for PCT applications that meet the necessary entry requirements, a confirmation of national entry is issued. Within 30 months of receipt of the application for national patents, BELIPO may issue either an examination action which applies in cases where objections are raised in respect of patentability, or a notice of grant of patent. If the latter occurs, the patent registration certificate will be issued forthwith to the applicant.

What are the costs for obtaining a patent?

patents; trademark; counterfeiting