P1: Can a patent search be conducted?
The Saudi Arabian Patent Office does not offer search services and it is not possible to search among pending applications. The patent applications in accordance with the new Patent law shall be published within 18 months from the filing date. However, till the publication of the applications takes place, the search for the granted patents published in the Patent Official Gazette is possible.
P2: Can a patent application be filed without its complete documents?
P3: Can convention priority be claimed? Paris Convention?
Yes. Saudi Arabia has become a member of Paris Convention as of March 11, 2004.
P4: Can a registration be obtained for pharmaceutical products?
P5: What is the term of protection of a patent and from which date is it calculated? Can it be extended?
20 years from the application filing date.
P6: Is a secret form of filing a model/design permitted?
P7: Is there a novelty requirement? Is it local or worldwide?
Absolute universal novelty is stipulated in the Law. Any public disclosure before the application filing date or its priority application would destroy the novelty requirements.
P8: Are utility models granted protection in your country under the current law?
Utility Models may be filed as a patent of invention provided the patentability criteria are complied with.
P9: Is the patent protection available for software alone, or must the software be coupled with computer hardware in order to permit patent application?
Software may be protected under the Copyright Law. An invention relating to and/or coupled with hardware may be filed as a patent application, provided that the patentability criteria are complied with.
P10: Can the specifications or claims be amended?
Yes, provided that such amendments do not introduce any substantial change to the contents of the original application
P11: Could annuity payments be made before the granting of the patent?
Yes. The annuity according to the new Patent Law is due at the beginning of each calendar year (January 1st) subsequent to the year in which the application was filed. The payment of the annuity fees can be made within a period of (3) three months (ending on March 31st of each year).
A grace period of another (3) three months ending on June 30th of each year is allowed with a payment of double fees.
P12: In what language should specifications and claims of the patent be filed?
In both English and Arabic languages.
P13: Is working of the invention required to keep protection in force and, if so, can the working requirements be satisfied by importation or nominal working?
Not required. However, please see P14 below.
P14: What are the conditions that might lead to a compulsory license?
If the Patentee has not exploited his invention or have exploited in an inadequate fashion, unless justifies that with a legitimate excuse, for a period of four years from the application filing date or three years from the granting date whichever expires later, the Patent Office may grant a compulsory license to a third party upon an application submitted thereof, provided that the applicant for the compulsory license proves that he has exerted-over a reasonable period of time-efforts in order to obtain a contractual license of reasonable commercial conditions, or for a reasonable financial compensation.
P15: Must assignments be recorded within a certain period?
No specific period is stipulated for recording the assignment. However, it is highly recommended to record the same as early as possible.
P16: Does the Patent Law provide for licenses or registered users?
Yes, it is possible to license a patent and record the same at the Patent Office.
P17: Does the Patents Office publish the patent applications in the Official Gazette?
Yes, in the Patent Gazette in accordance with the new Patent Law.