I’ve recently been organizing the lodgement of a patent application in Chile.

These days many countries either don’t require a Power of Attorney for a patent filing or if they do then a ed, or scanned and emailed, copy of the power signed by the applicant will do.

In case you’re wondering, a Power of Attorney is a legal requirement of the country in question. It’s to formally empower the local patent attorney to represent the applicant before the particular country’s Patent Office.

You’ll appreciate the reasoning behind this.  It’s simply that without a Power being on file the Patent Office can’t be sure that the attorney has actually been authorised by the applicant. A few months previously I’d been involved with legalization of a Power of Attorney for the United Arab  Emirates.  That involved a notary public, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and the UAE embassy in Canberra, to which a fee of about $1200 had to be paid.

Given my previous experience I  expected that legalisation for Chile might be very difficult but not so.  Yolanda at the Chilean Consulate in Sydney was extremely helpful.  The process involved me firstly sending the Power of Attorney, which naturally enough was in Spanish, that  I’d received from my Associate in Chile to the Chilean Consulate in Sydney.  The Chilean Consulate picked up some deficiencies so I had to go back to the Chilean Associate and get those fixed up.

I sent the corrected Power to the Chilean Consulate with a photocopy of our client’s passport, a  money order for $36 and a prepaid envelope to the Brisbane Honorary Consul.  The Chilean Consulate then recorded that document and forwarded it to the Brisbane Honorary Consul.  My client went to a meeting with the Brisbane Honorary Consul and presented his passport and signed the document which was legalized, i.e. countersigned and stamped by the Consul.

I want to emphasize again that though this procedure was complex, compared to having no Power of Attorney requirement at all in Australia, it wasn’t expensive and both the Chilean Consulate in Sydney and the Honorary Consul in Brisbane were most efficient and very helpful.

I was able to get the Power of Attorney lodged in Chile with the other application documents before the filing deadline.  For those of you that are up against the deadline be reassured that I’m told that it is possible to lodge up to two months late – check on that though because these things do change without warning.