What is a patent?

A patent is an exclusive right granted by the government for an invention, which is either a product or process that provides, in general, a new way of doing something, or offers a new technical solution to a problem. The exclusive rights help inventors to prevent others from taking advantage of their ideas/inventions.

A patent provides protection for 20 years to an inventor for a new product or process in return for the disclosure of their invention.

Requirements for an invention to be patented

  1. Novel/new – The invention should not be described in any publication published anywhere in the world.
  2. Inventive – The new product or process should not be obvious to a skilled person.
  3. Industrial applicable – Should be
  4. Patentable subject matter– Should be acceptable to be patented under the law; discoveries, theories, business methods are examples of things that are not patentable.


1.3 Steps to file a patent application

Before filing for a patent application, it’s advisable for an applicant to conduct a basic search using any search engine like Google to determine if his/her invention is new.

Step 1 Applicant submits application for a patent containing the following:
• Request letter seeking patent protection
• Completed patent application form
• Patent specification– document describing the invention should include: title, abstract, description, claims and drawings if any. Claims define what shall be protected.
• Receipt of payment of application fees
• Power of attorney for someone not residing or whose business is not in Uganda.
Step 2 URSB office receives documents and if the filing requirements have been satisfied, the application is assigned a filing dateand a patent application number.
Step 3 Publication of patent application 18months from the filing date

Note: Assessment for fees can be done at URSB officesor self-assessment at URA web portal

1.4 Examination of a patent application

An application found to be in order is subjected to search and examination as to substance. Here basically a Patent Examiner or other competent authority examines the patent application to determine if the claimed invention fulfils all requirements for patentability.

Step 1 Applicant submits request for examination of application, this should be
within three years from the filing date.
Step 2 Application is examined by an Examiner or other competent authority.
Step 3 Examiner or other competent authority compiles an examination report, a copy
is submitted to the applicant.

1.5 Grant and publication of a patent

Step 1 Applicant notified on grant/refusal of a patent.
Step 2 Upon notification of grant of patent, applicant shall pay grant fees.
Step 3 Issuance of certificate of grant of a patent.
Step 4 A granted patent shall as soon as practicable be published in the gazette.

Note: An application which has not satisfied the requirements of patentability, the application is rejected or the applicant is advised to amend the claims accordingly.

For the patent to remain in force the patent holder is required to pay annual maintenance fees.


Category Fees  
Local Applicant (UGX) Foreign Applicant (USD)
Application Fees 100,000/=

Grant Fees 90,000/= 100
Amendment/Division of application 50,000/= 50
National Phase Entry of PCT application 60,000/= 150
Examination Fee

150,000/= 250
Restoration of a patent 100,000/= 300
Request for change of ownership 100,000/= 200
Certificate of change of ownership 50,000/= 30
Request to amend name, address or other contact information 30,000/= 50
Request for extension of time 50,000/= 50
Publication of patent application 50,000/= 50
Annual fees
1st Anniversary 50,000/= 50
2nd Anniversary 70,000/= 70
3rd Anniversary 90,000/= 90
4th Anniversary 110,000/= 110
5th Anniversary 130,000/= 130
6th Anniversary 150,000/= 150
7th Anniversary 170,000/= 170
8th Anniversary 190,000/= 190
9th Anniversary 210,000/= 210
10th Anniversary 230,000/= 230
11th Anniversary 250,000/= 250
12th Anniversary 270,000/= 270
13th Anniversary 290,000/= 290
14th Anniversary 310,000/= 310
15th Anniversary 330,000/= 330
16th Anniversary 350,000/= 350
17th Anniversary 370,000/= 370
18th Anniversary 390,000/= 390
19th Anniversary 410,000/= 410