Intellectual property legislation includes Law on Patents ( Royal Decree No. 82/2000 ) Law on the Protection of Industrial Designs (Royal Decree No.39 /2000 ) Law on the Protection of Topographies Rights of Integrated Circuits (Royal Decree No. 41/2000 ) Law on the Protection of New Plant Varieties (Royal Decree No. 92/2000) Law on Trademarks (Royal Decree No. 38/2000) Law on the Protection of Geographical Indications (Royal Decree No. 40/2000 ) Law on the Protection of Copyright and Related Rights (Royal Decree No. 37/2000 ). Oman is a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and is a signatory of Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Right (TRIPS). Intellectual Property matters are administered by the Industrial Property Office which is under the supervision of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. Oman is member of WIPO Convention since February 19, 1997 and is signatory to the Paris Convention as of July 14, 1999 and the Berne Convention (Literary and Artistic Works) as of July 14, 1999 and the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) as of October 26, 2001.
Oman Patent law is in force; however the implementing Regulations are not yet issued. Oman is a member of the GCC Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) as of October 26, 2001. A grant of a patent by the GCC Patent Office secures legal protection with all the GCC member states without the need to pursue any further processing action in any member state, except infringement matters which shall be governed by the domestic laws of each member state.
Please click on GCC Patent Office to see filing requirements.
Though the Law on the Protection of Industrial Designs (Royal Decree No.39 /2000 ) of May 21, 2000 is published in the Official Gazette under No. 672, June 3, 2000, however, the Implementing Regulations are not yet issued. The only feasible way to protect a design, at the present, is to secure a Cautionary Notice by publishing it in Arabic and English in any local newspapers.
Oman Industrial Property Office will examine application to ensure formal compliance. Once formal compliance is secured, the application will be published in the Official Gazette and one local newspaper, and hence the Certificate of Registration will be issued. An opposition may be raised by any interested party within a period of 60 days from the date of filing. The time required to consummate processing till the stage of receiving the Certificate of Registration is in the range of 5 to 6 months. The term of validity for a duly registered trademark is 10 years, renewable for similar periods subject to payment of the prescribed fee, nonetheless a period of 6 months grace is allowed. A trademark may be assigned with or without goodwill; however an assignment must be recorded as provided for under the law. A trademark may be cancelled by order of the competent court, if an interested third party established cogent grounds showing non-use for a period of five consecutive years as from the date of filing. Infringements may be litigated before the competent court whether having criminal or civil jurisdiction in light of the nature of the infringement act. The court’s order may involve suspension of the infringement act, in addition to payment of losses and damages or it may involve confiscation and destruction of the infringed products.
Formal filing requirements are as follows:
NOTE: As regards Collective Marks applications, prints of all mark must be included in one sheet. In connection with Quality Control Marks applications, the body seeking registration of the Marks shall submit two duly certified copies of the Institution or the Association’s bylaws including all amendments. Again, such a body shall submit two duly certified copies of the system adopted by the said institution or association which indicates the method or manner utilized to control or inspect products. Again, the said body must show the terms and conditions which must be observed for using the Marks.
Range and extent of protection.
The copyright law provides protection for original intellectual works of art in literature, science, arts and culture in general. The law provides protection irrespective of the value, type, manner of expression or purpose of the work. The protection encompasses by way of example, written works, phonographs and cinematographic films, theatre and musical pieces, television and radio works for publication, paintings, sculpture and architecture, maps and speeches. Law on the Protection of Copyright and Related Rights (Royal Decree No. 37/2000) considers software as a literary work and as such a fifty years protection is provided. Protection under the copyright law ends fifty years after the death of the author. However, if the copyrighted substance is owned by a legal entity rather than a natural person, the fifty years protection shall begin on the date the material was first published. The author may assign the rights granted to him subject to prescribed terms and conditions. The author has exclusive wide latitude to commercially utilize his work within the bounds prescribed by law. Again, he has the right to maintain his copyrighted works by means of infringement actions to deter others from encroachment as to his rights. He may trigger a criminal action or a civil action as the facts of the infringement act warrant.
Formal filing requirements are as follows: