Recent Legal Reforms Enhancing The Intellectual Property Landscape In The GCC Countries

Osha Bergman Watanabe & Burton LLP


OBWB is a full-service intellectual property law firm with a global reach. Our expertise in intellectual property law and IP-intensive industries coupled with our client-focused culture enables us to deliver a premium level of quality, value, and service. At our strategically located offices in the United States, France, Japan, China, and the UAE, we offer clients assistance with patents, copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets, and unfair competition. At OBWB we strategize, prepare and file, negotiate, license, enforce and defend, and facilitate monetizing intellectual property assets.
Recently, important changes have occurred in the domain of intellectual property laws across several Gulf countries, focusing on patents, industrial designs, and trademarks.
Saudi Arabia Intellectual Property
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Recently, important changes have occurred in the domain of intellectual property laws across several Gulf countries, focusing on patents, industrial designs, and trademarks. These amendments are introduced to streamline procedures and enhance the protection of intellectual property rights in their respective countries. The recent developments in intellectual property (IP) regulations across Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Qatar are briefly outlined below.

Saudi Arabia: Extends Design Protection Period and Updates Procedure for Rejected Trademark Applications

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) has implemented crucial amendments to its Patent and Industrial Design Law, through Royal Decree No. (M/45) dated September 25, 2023, and effective from October 3, 2023. A significant change is the extension of design protection duration from 10 years to 15 years. This extension benefits applicants, especially those with designs registered in 2013. Originally scheduled to expire in 2023, these registrations now qualify for an additional 5-year extension of protection upon settling the necessary fees.

Additionally, the Saudi Authority for Intellectual Property (SAIP) has revised its policy on rejected applications. Previously, applicants could either amend the rejected trademarks within a 10-day grace period or appeal the rejection decision. However, under the new policy, the only option for applicants is to appeal the rejection decision.

United Arab Emirates (UAE): Implementation of New Regulations and Patent Platform

In November 2023, the UAE Cabinet issued Ministerial Decision No. 112 of 2023, introducing revised official fees for UAE patent applications, utility models, and industrial design applications. These changes amend the official fees associated with Federal Law No. 11 of 2021. The implementation of new regulations and introduction of a new Patent Platform have brought notable developments in the patent registration system in the UAE.

Regarding annuities, applicants for national applications, partial applications, and transferred applications (based on PCT Applications) will now need to pay any outstanding annuities within 90 days of completing the legal examination, not from the filing date.

Importantly, applicants should first ensure all formalities are met for their application to be accepted before any annuity payments become due. This change aims to ensure applicants pay the correct amount based on the specific benefits (based on entity type) granted during the legal examination.

Qatar: Adoption of GCC Trademarks Law

Qatar's Minister of Commerce and Industry issued Decree No. 56 of 2023 on June 18, 2023, adopting the GCC Trademarks Law. This decree mandates an increase in fees for trademark services effective from August 10, 2023. The adjustment aims to align with regional standards and enhance trademark-related services.


These updates signify a concerted effort by Gulf countries to strengthen intellectual property frameworks, offering enhanced protection and efficiency for businesses and innovators. It is crucial for stakeholders to stay informed of these evolving regulations to navigate the IP landscape effectively.

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.

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