P1: Can a patent search be conducted?
The GCC Patent Office does not offer search services; it is not possible to search among pending applications. Nevertheless, the granted patents are published in the Official Gazette, which can be searched.
P2: Can a patent application be filed without its complete documents?
Yes, i.e., with the English and Arabic texts of the specifications and claims. The other documents must be submitted within 90 days from the date of filing the application. NO TIME EXTENSION ALLOWED.
P3: Can convention priority be claimed? (Paris Convention)
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?
20 years from the date of filing, with no extensions.
P6: Is a secret form of filing a model/design permitted?
P7: Is there a novelty requirement? Is it local or worldwide?
Absolute worldwide novelty is stipulated in the Law.
P8: Are utility models protected in the GCC countries under the current law?
Utility Modes may be filed as a patent of invention, provided that 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. It must be paid within January 1st to March 31st of each year starting from the year following filing the application.
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?
The invention must be sufficiently exploited in the GCC member states within three years from the date of grant. Working requirements are not satisfied by importation or by effecting nominal working.
P14: What are the conditions that might lead to a compulsory license?
If the patent is not being fully exploited by the patentee within three years from the date of grant, the Patent Office may grant a compulsory license to any person, provided that this latter proves his capability to exploit the invention fully.
P15: Must assignments be recorded within a certain period?
No specific period is stipulated for recording the assignment.
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 GCC Patent Office.
P17: Does the Patents Office publish the patent applications in the Official Gazette?
No, only the decision to grant a patent is published in the Patent Gazette.