Worldwide: IP Regional Update – February 2016

Last Updated: 18 February 2016
Article by Clyde & Co LLP

Market updates and insights from around the region. This month we report on news from Bahrain, Egypt, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.


Official fee increase expected in Bahrain

The Bahraini Trade Mark Office have indicated that an increase in the official fees for prosecution work can be expected in the coming months. As yet, there are no details on what the increase will be and whether it will be as significant as we have seen in other countries, such as Kuwait and the UAE.


Anti-counterfeiting barcode system brought in by the Ministry of Supply

A new interactive barcode system has been launched by the Ministry of Supply and the Ministry of Military Production in Egypt. Consumers will be able to send an SMS from their mobile phones with a scan of the barcode on food or pharmaceutical products and will receive an instant verification as to whether the product is genuine or not. Consumers will then also have the option of reporting counterfeits to the authorities through an SMS.

At the moment, brand owners may opt into the service should they wish, although it is thought that it will eventually become mandatory.


The Ministry of Economy and Commerce (MEC) seizes 3,382 counterfeit CDs and DVDs.

The Peninsula Qatar Daily Newspaper has reported that inspectors from the MEC have seized 3,382 pirated CDs and DVDs along with a device used to make the infringing discs.

This comes following the MEC's recent announcement that it will continue to prevent the manufacture and sale of pirated software in the country.

Saudi Arabia

Amendments to Patent Regulations in Saudi Arabia

The Saudi Arabian Patent Office has issued amended Implementing Regulations to the Law of Patents, Layout Designs of Integrated Circuits, Plant Varieties and Industrial Design.  The Implementing Regulations came into effect on 19 December 2015, and they include a number of significant changes including:

  • Annuity fees are to be calculated from PCT filing date, rather than national phase entry date

Article 65 of the amended Implementing Regulations states that:

"Upon the designation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for protection and after the application reaches the National Phase, an annual fee shall be payable for the applications as from the international filing date and the applicant must pay the said fee for the previous years on the maturity date of the first fee. In case the applicant failed to pay the same within the prescribed deadline, a doubled annual fee shall be payable for all the payable years."

The calculation of the annuities is now from the PCT filing date, rather than the date of entry into the national phase.  In practice, this means that all back dated annuities must be paid on the maturity date, which is taken as 1 January of each calendar year.  Outstanding fees should be paid prior to 31 March 2016 in order to avoid late penalties.

If the fees are not paid by 31 March 2016, there is a grace period until 30 June 2016 to pay the fees with penalties.

Moving forward, for all new PCT national phase filings, the back-dated annuity fees will be due from the next calendar year of filing the National Phase application.

  • The deadline for submitting supporting documents to patent applications is reduced from 90 days to 60 days (but extensions are available)

All supporting documents (Power of Attorney and Deed of Assignment) must now be filed within 60 days of the date of filing.  However, all deadlines (excluding annuity fees) can now be extended by two months upon payment of an official fee. In effect, this extends the original 90 days to 120 days (upon payment of the applicable fee).

  • Lapsed patents may now be restored

The amended Implementing Regulations allow for lapsed patents to be restored if there are "compelling reasons" as to why the applicable deadline was missed and / or the lapse of the patent was outside of the applicant's control.  The restoration action must be filed within 2 months of the lapsed deadline, or within 12 months of the date of refusal (whichever is the earlier).

  • Period for claiming priority extended

Applicants may now add or amend a priority claim within 2 months of the expiry of the 12 month priority period (ie a total of 14 months from the priority founding date). The applicant must pay the required official fees and provide reasons as to why the priority claim was not added / supported / correct at the time of filing.  


Specialist IP department to be created within UAE Federal Courts

WAM, the official news agency of the UAE, has reported that the UAE Ministry of Justice is to set up a judicial department to settle intellectual property cases. 

This announcement refers to Ministerial Resolution No. 137 of 2016 under which specialised judicial departments are to be created within the UAE Federal Court system to handle intellectual property cases and commercial and civil cases for minor claims valued at a maximum amount of AED 20,000 (approximately USD 5,500).

The stated aim of this initiative is to speed up the handling of litigation before the courts.  The report also refers to a training programme developed by the Judicial Inspection Department for judges and relevant officials in the handling of minor claims and intellectual property cases.


Global Competitiveness Report 2015-2016 ranks the UAE 22nd globally in intellectual property rights protection

The World Economic Forum in its Global Competitiveness Report for 2015-2016 has ranked the UAE as the 22nd best country globally for the protection of intellectual property rights.

Dubai's Department of Economic Development recently reported that it had confiscated over 63 million infringing items in 2015 with an estimated market value of AED 1.01 billion. This is almost a 50% increase on the previous year.

In related news, Dubai's Customs Department has reported that between January and September 2015, it carried out 101 seizures of counterfeit products coming into Dubai.


5th Regional Conference on Combating Crime against Intellectual Property in the Middle East and North Africa Region

The 5th Regional Conference on Combating Crime against Intellectual Property in the Middle East and North Africa Region took place in Dubai in November 2015.

The conference, which was attended by professionals and government officials within the field of intellectual property protection, aimed to open discussion between local and foreign users to assist in understanding current threats and share ideas on how these threats can be tackled.


The Intellectual Property Protection Advisory Board to clean up counterfeits in Dubai

The Department of Economic Development in Dubai (DED) has launched an Intellectual Property Protection Advisory Board.  It is expected that the Board will comprise an official of the DED, along with interested members from various sectors (ie automobiles, fashion and beauty).   The DED anticipates that the Board will meet on a quarterly basis in order to obtain feedback on the current state of counterfeits and to develop ideas on how to combat counterfeit products in the UAE.

IP Regional Update – February 2016

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.