National patent

Patents in Iceland

Patents protect the technical realisation of an idea, such as equipment and products, as well as methods or applications. A basic requirement for granting a patent for an invention is that it is new, inventive and capable of industrial application.

  • Novelty: The invention must be new, not only in Iceland but world-wide. The invention may not have been publicised in speech or in writing before an application for a patent is filed. 
  • Inventive: The invention must differ essentially from prior art, i.e. the solution to the problem it resolves may not be obvious to a person skilled in the art.
  • Capable of industrial application: The invention must be of practical economic use, i.e. it must be possible to manufacture and sell it.

Patents granted by the Icelandic Patent Office protect inventions for up to 20 years in Iceland. The exclusive rights established in patent legislation (see Patents Act No 17/1991, as amended) entitle the proprietor to prohibit others from manufacturing, importing and selling an invention protected by a patent.


An applicant who is not domiciled in Iceland must have an agent residing in the European Economic Area, in a member state of the European Free Trade Association treaty, or in the Faeroe Islands who can represent the applicant in all matters concerning the application.

Right of priority

Iceland is a party to the Paris Convention. If an application has been filed in a country party to the Convention, the applicant may, within 12 months from the date of application, file an application relating to the same matter in another country, including Iceland, and claim right of priority with reference to the initial application. The later application is then regarded as having been filed on the same date as the earlier application (the date of priority).


Applications for patents in Iceland shall be submitted to the Icelandic Patent Office. An application form must be filled in and filed together with a detailed description of the invention, as provided for in the Patents Act No 17/1991.

Application documentation may be in Icelandic, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish or English. In the event that the description, patent claims, abstract, and text on drawings is not in Icelandic, the patent claims, abstract, and the text on the drawing to be published therewith shall be made available in Icelandic translation before the application is made accessible to the public. The description shall be available translated into Icelandic or into English before the patent is granted.

The following link provides access to application forms and the list of fees for patent applications in Iceland.