Patent applications are examined as to compliance with formal requirements only; i.e. the novel and inventive merit of the invention is not assessed.
Duration & Maintenance
Patents are valid for twenty years from the date of filing the patent application. Importantly, patents pertaining to a medicament endures for fifteen years only.
Annual renewal fees are due from the third year from the date of filing of the patent application and are payable in advance. There is a six-month grace period for affecting late payment of the annual renewal fees.
A patented invention must be worked in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. “Work” means “effective technical exploitation”. A patent of invention or patent of addition should be worked within five years from the filing date or three years from the date of grant, whichever is later.