Once an application for the grant of a patent is filed, it is examined with respect to compliance with the formalities and patentability provided for under the patent law. The Patent Office may require whatever amendments may be necessary to bring the application into conformity with the law. In the event the applicant does not comply with the requirements of the Patent Office within a given grace period as authorized by the Registrar, a patent application will be treated as renounced.
Once an application is accepted, the grant decision will be published after which the relevant letters patent will be issued. It takes at least 2 to 3 years for the letters patent to be issued after the usual acceptance process, and this involves additional costs to the applicant. Annuities are to be paid every year on the anniversary date of completing the relevant file at the Patent Office with the required documents. However, payment of annuities may not be made to the Patent Office except after the grant of the patent.
A patent is valid for 20 years starting from the date of completing the application submitted to the Patent Office. Such validity is subject to the payment of the prescribed annual fees that are calculated from the date of completing the filing requirements. All the unpaid annuities are collected from the applicant with a retroactive effect upon the grant of the patent.
The rights to a patent may be assigned or transferred through succession. The assignment of patent applications and granted patents must be made in writing. An assignment shall have no effect against third parties, unless it has been published in the Official Gazette, and duly entered in the relevant records of the Patent Office.
Working of patents in Iraq is an official requirement. In the event that the owner of a patented invention in Iraq does not satisfy the stipulated working requirements within 3 years, as of the date of grant, or if the working of the invention ceases for 2 consecutive years, the patent will be subject to compulsory licensing under the provisions of the law. Patentees are not permitted to effect nominal workings of their patents.
It is noteworthy that Order No. 81 issued by the Coalition Provisional Authority on April 26, 2004 amended the Patent Law No. 65 of 1970 to Patents, Industrial Design, Undisclosed Information, Integrated Circuits and Plant Variety Law.