20 May 2016Jurisdiction reportsAnomi Wanigasekera and Sandamali Kottachchi

Business brief 2016: Sri Lanka


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

Patents are registered in Sri Lanka under the Intellectual Property Act No. 36 of 2003. As per chapter XIII of the act, an application must be lodged at the National Intellectual Property Office of Sri Lanka (NIPO) with the full details including description, claims, drawings, abstract, prior art, and a declaration that the applicant has not obtained a prior patent abroad for the identical invention.

An applicant can also claim priority over an earlier regional or international application. As Sri Lanka is a party to the Patent Cooperation Treaty it is possible to file using the procedures set forth there.

A patent, upon being granted, is valid for 20 years from the date of application and is renewable annually from the expiration of the second year.

Where can you find information on existing patents in your jurisdiction?

It is possible to conduct a search for information on existing patents at the NIPO directly. There is no online patent database in Sri Lanka yet.


How do you register or secure trademark rights and what protection do they grant?

Registration is not mandatory for use of a trademark in Sri Lanka. However, the option of registration is available through chapter XXI of the act. An application must be filed at the NIPO with the full details including the applicant’s name, address, representation of the mark, a specification of the goods/services in a single class, and translation and transliteration of non-English characters certified by a sworn translator. The application must be signed by the applicant or agent with a signed power of attorney.

Priority may be claimed over an earlier application filed within the previous six months in a state party to the Paris Convention, any member of the World Trade Organization or any state party to bilateral relations with Sri Lanka for reciprocal IP protection. Where goods bearing the mark are exhibited at an official international exhibition, and the trademark application is made within six months of such an exhibition, the date of the first exhibition can be claimed as the filing date.

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