Once an application for the grant of a patent is filed, it is examined with respect to compliance with the formalities and patentability provided for under Patent and Utility Models Law No. 1 of 2004 and subsequent amendment under Law No. 14 of 2006..
A patent application should be filed in Bahrain within 6 months as of the filing date of the priority document, in order to claim priority. It is possible to enter a national phase patent application based on International PCT application. Such national phase applications must be filed within 30 months from the earliest priority filing date.
Amendment of specifications is possible before the official grant of the subject patent, provided that the said amendments do not exceed what has been disclosed in the original application.
A novelty examination takes into consideration any specification previously lodged with the Patent Office or any patent previously registered. The Patent Office may require whatever amendments it deems necessary to bring the application into conformity with the law. In case the applicant does not comply with the requirements of the Patent Office as authorized by the Registrar of Patents, the Registrar will reject the application.
The Directorate of Industrial Property (DIP) is now accepting annuities of patents that have been previously registered in the official records therein and that still valid.
In case of rejection, an applicant is entitled to appeal against the requirements and conditions of the Patent Office by means of submitting a petition to the Patent Office, within 30 days as of the date of the Registrar’s decision. Approved applications are published in the Official Gazette and are rendered open to public inspection.
Under the law, a patent is valid for 20 years from the date of filing the application, or from the priority date in case of claiming priority. The application is subject to the payment of the prescribed annuity fees due, after the issuance of letters patent certificate, from the date of filing in Bahrain or the convention filing date in the case of priority applications. A grace period of 6 months, from the due date, is granted to the owners of the registered patents to pay the due fees. If this is the case, late annuity fees will be applicable.
The right to a patent may be assigned, transferred through succession or license. The assignment of granted patents/utility models must be made in writing. An assignment will have no effect against third parties, unless it has been published in the Official Gazette and duly entered in the relevant records of the Patent Office.
Working of patents is an official requirement. In case the owner of a patented invention in Bahrain fails to satisfy the stipulated working requirements of the country within 3 years, as of the date of grant, or within 4 years, as of the date of application, whichever is longer, the patent will be subject to compulsory licensing under the provisions of the law.
The rights conferred by a patent on the registered patentee expire on the lapse of the protection period as prescribed by the law, lawful assignment of the patent rights, final court decision to this effect, or nonpayment of annuity fees within 6 months after the respective due date.
Bahrain is a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Patent Office. It is a regional office for the GCC, which comprises the United Arab Emirates, Kingdom of Bahrain, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Sultanate of Oman, State of Qatar and State of Kuwait. Certificates of patents granted by the Office secure legal protection of the inventor's rights in all member states.