Macau is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China, the other being Hong Kong. Until 1999 it was a territory under the administration of Portugal when it was handed over back to China.
Macau possesses comprehensive laws which ensure the protection of intellectual property mainly, in two legal acts: The Industrial Property Code and the Copyright and related rights Code.
Protection derives also from international treaties in force in Macau such as:
- Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works;
- Geneva Universal Copyright Convention;
- Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property (Paris Union);
- Nice Agreement (International Classification of Goods and Services);
- The Agreement on Industrial Property Rights in Relation to Trade (TRIPS).
Protection in Macau is obtained after successful registration of a filing, made by a Macau Resident or Company or by an attorney, with our local Registrar (i.e., the Economic Services).
Intellectual property rights such as Trademarks, Topography maps of semi-conductor products, Patents, Industrial Models & Designs, Names and Logos of Business Establishment, Origin and Geographical Indications and Awards are regulated in detail since 1999.
Macau allows the registration of signs or of a group of signs able to differentiate a company's goods or services provided that they can be represented graphically, namely Product trademarks, Service trademarks, Association trademarks, Certification trademarks, Three-dimensional trademark, Sound trademark, Motion Trademark, Combination Color Trademark, Trade Dress. Smell, taste and touch cannot be registered as they cannot be graphically represented.
Registration is taking 9 months from receipt of application and protection is granted for renewable periods of 7 years, from the date in which they were granted.
Any inventions, in any area of technology, pertaining to products or processes for obtaining products, substances or compositions, even if they involve a product composed of biological matter or that contains biological matter or a process that permits the production, processing or use of biological matter, are patentable provided that such inventions are novel, involve an inventive step (if, for a person skilled in the art, the result is not obvious from the prior art), are industrially applicable (if its subject matter can be manufactured or used in any type of industrial or commercial activity) and do not belong to any of the categories of excluded subject matter.
Macau acknowledges both invention and utility patents.
The applicant or holder of a patent in the People’s Republic of China may request the extension of the application or of the patent to Macau, within 3 months after an application was made or a patent was granted in the People’s Republic of China.
Registration of an invention patent is taking 3 years from receipt of application and 2 years for an utility patent provided that there are no deficiencies in the application and no objections are raised.
Invention patents (or extended invention patents) are protected for 20 years, from date of application (or the date of application in China) and utility patents for 6 years (plus 4 year extensions).
Industrial Models and Designs
This IPR provides protection to industrial models or design that aim to improve the form of an object (i.e., geometrically, aesthetically or ornamentally) in order to make an object more attractive to customers. Industrial models aim to increase the effectiveness of using the products, whilst industrial designs improve their appearance.
Registration is taking 12 months from receipt of application, provided that there are no deficiencies in the application and no objections are raised by, and protection is granted for renewable periods of 5 years, from the date in which they were granted, up to a limit of 25 years.