Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Gulf Country Council Patent Office

A client of mine is interested in the Gulf Country Council (GCC). GCC is a trade bloc involving six Arab states of the Persian Gulf with many economic and social objectives. The six Arab states are Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The GCC formed a GCC Patent Office in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The GCC patent office provides patent protection in the six states concerned without national phase application.

The GCC Patent Regulations provide that an invention is patentable if it is (i) new, (ii) involves an innovative development that is industrially applicable, and (iii) does not violate the rules of Islamic law, public morality or public order as applied in the GCC member states.

There is a provision that a patent owner is required to use the patented invention in the GCC within three years after the patent is granted. Otherwise, a compulsory license may be granted to a third party who is interested to exploit the patent in the GCC.

The official language of GCC is Arabic. Hence, the patent needs to be translated into Arabic.

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