A new Law No. 2 of 2011 related to Patents, Utility Models, Integrated Circuits, and Trade Secrets has been issued in Yemen. The new law has included the following points:
- Absolute novelty is required.
- A patent application can be amended by the request of the applicant.
- Priority can be claimed in Yemen within 12 months from the filing date of any prior application filed in any member country of international intellectual property conventions.
- The term of protection has been increased to 20 years calculated from the filing date instead of 15 years applied in the previous law.
- An application that has been published in the Official Gazette can be opposed by any interested third party within 90 days from publication, noting that the opposition decision can also be appealed with the Commercial Court within 30 days from receiving the decision.
- Annuities should be paid annually, and a patent application will be considered as lapsed in case of non-payment of the annuities within the legal term.
Yemeni Minister of Industry and Trade has also issued on October 31, 2010 the Ministerial Resolution No. 271 of 2010 on Patents Procedures.
The six-article Resolution states the following:
Article (1): The patent application shall be presented to the Public Authority of Intellectual Property Rights at the Ministry in accordance with the conditions and procedures provided for in the intellectual property rights law.
Article (2): The patent application shall be subjected to formal examination provided for in the intellectual property rights law.
Article (3): Collection of the official fees determined in the Ministry’s regulations against the provided services, including publication fees and annuities.
Article (4): Approving the Official Gazette (AL-TIJARAH) issued by the General Bureau at the Ministry of Industry and Trade as a mean to publish the patents and inform respective parties accordingly.
Article (5): Issuing the letters patent in the form approved by the Ministry.
Article (6): The substantive examination options of patent applications shall be determined as follows:
1. Approving registration certifications or substantive examination result of the patent application filed at any of Paris Conventions member countries in accordance with the Conventions terms and conditions.
2. Approving the search results obtained from the international patents database or research engines.
3. Official affidavit from any scientific institution specialized in the same field of the patent application.
Article (7): This resolution shall come into force from the date of its issuance, and shall be circulated to all concerned parties to act accordingly.
The new law has also included the following points in relation of Utility Models, Integrated Circuits and Trade Secrets:
- The term of protection of utility models is 7 years calculated from the filing date.
- The term of protection can not be renewed.
- Conversion from and to a patent application is also possible.
- An integrated circuit can be protected in case it is novel, and a result of intellectual effort.
- The term of protection is ten years calculated from the filing date or the first commercial use.
- Information can be considered as a trade secret with the following conditions:
1- The information should not be commonly known, and not commonly exchanged among those dealing with such information.
2- Its commercial value is based on its confidentiality.
3- Its confidentiality is based on the reasonable protection procedures taken by its legal holder.
The time of protection is not limited, as it is as long as reasonable procedures are taken by its legal holder to assure its confidentiality.