Andean Community Decision 689 approved

The Commission of the Andean Community has approved Andean Community Decision 689, which amends provisions of Andean Community Decision 486 on a Common Industrial Property Regime. Decision 486 forms the basis of the IP rights protection regime in the four member nations of the Andean Community (Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru).
The main features of Decision 689 are as follows:
  • It allows member countries to reinstate priority rights for patents, utility models, industrial designs and trademarks for a term not exceeding two months from the end of the initial period (exception to Article 9 of Decision 486).
  • It introduces additional rules on the divulgation of inventions (amendment to Article 28 of Decision 486). The new legislation requires greater clarity and detail in the divulgation of an invention, so that a person skilled in the art would not have to conduct undue experimentation to use the invention.
  • It establishes that the rectification of omissions in the description and claims of an invention (Spanish version) will not be considered as an extension of the invention if the new information was contained in the priority application (clarification of Article 34 of Decision 486).
  • Except in the case of patents for pharmaceutical products and processes, Decision 689 allows member countries to compensate for undue delays in the grant of patents (ie, a delay exceeding five years from the filing date of the patent or three years from the filing date of the petition for examination) where such delays are attributable only to the Patent Office.
  • It allows member countries to pass new legislation limiting the rights of patentees - that is, they may implement a provision equivalent to the 'Bolar exemption' in the European Union (clarification of Article 53 of Decision 486).
  • It allows member countries to accept multi-class trademark applications (amendment to Article 138 of Decision 486).
  • Member countries may now decide that the recordal of licensing agreements is optional (exception to Article 162 of Decision 486).
  • It allows member countries to implement border control measures in order to protect trademark rights.
The new legislation mainly aims to give Peru greater freedom in order to amend its IP laws. Peru has already passed legislation in line with the new decision; the move was necessary in order to allow Peru to implement the new free trade agreement with the United States (for further details please see "US Senate approves free trade agreement with Peru").
José Barreda, Barreda Moller, Lima

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