Overview of Brunei

Capital: Bandar Seri Begawan

Population: 408,786 (est. 2012)

Languages: Bahasa Melayu

Area: 5,765 km²

Currency: Brunei Dollar (BND)

Legal System: Mixed legal system based on English common law and Islamic law.

Patent Practice Summary

Filing Statistics


Key Issues

  • All litigation and prosecution in English
  • Ranked 39th in the world for IP protection in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2013/2014


  • Moved to a regular direct filing country on 1 January 2012. Prior to 1 January 2012, Brunei patents were obtained via re-registration of a Singapore, Malaysia or United Kingdom patent
  • Limited patent cases to date
  • Infringement remedies – damages based on costs or an account of profits, injunctions, and delivery up
  • Innocent infringer defence
  • Potential relief against groundless threats


  • National phase entry deadline for PCT applications in Brunei: 30 months
  • Patentable subject matter – all subject matter patentable except Methods of treatment of the human or animal body by surgery or therapy or of diagnosis or inventions that may encourage offensive, immoral or anti-social behaviour
  • Patent obtained by one of three ways:
    • Requesting local search and examination
    • Requesting examination based on a search report (which includes an international search report) from an approved jurisdiction
    • On the basis of final examination results received in an approved jurisdiction
  • Applies a strict approach to “added matter” that is in alignment with the approach of the European Patent Office
  • Double patenting is a ground of revocation
  • Voluntary Divisional applications possible

Other issues

  • No pre or post-grant opposition
  • Patent Term Extensions – possible
  • Parallel importation – available except for pharmaceuticals under certain conditions
  • Foreign filing license – required and breach is a criminal offence
  • Patent-drug linkage
  • Participant in the ASEAN Patent Examination Co-operation (ASPEC)

Filing Requirements in Brunei






  • Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works
  • Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property
  • Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization

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