The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) was established in 1981. Its member states are: Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and Oman. Creation of the GCC Patent Office, as a regional office, was approved by the Supreme Council of the GCC states at its summit meeting held in Abu Dhabi, on September 21, 1992. Its headquarters are at Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The underlying policy behind the GCC Patent Office is to coordinate efforts in the area of intellectual property, and in particular patent protection. Such efforts would ultimately enhance technological advancement in support of the joint economic weight of the Gulf Cooperation Council member states, which produce about half of OPEC oil production, and about one-six of the present overall world production.
Applications shall be filed directly with the GCC Patent Office. Applicants domiciled outside the territory of the member states must be represented by an intellectual property attorney or agent. If an applicant elected to file a GCC patent application with the GCC Patent Office, he or his agent must as expressly provided for by the Implementing Regulations, sign an undertaking in the prescribed form, to the effect that he undertakes to relinquish a patent already granted by any GCC member state within a period not exceeding 90 days from the date of grant, if and when a patent certificate is granted by the GCC Patent Office. In the event, a patent is not yet granted by a member state, however an application has been filed with any patent office of any member state, the applicant or his agent is required to sign an undertaking in the prescribed form to withdraw any earlier filed application with any patent office of any member state. In the event, no application has been filed with any patent office of any member state, the applicant or his agent is required to sign an undertaking in the prescribed form not to file a patent application with any patent office of any member state.
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.
Formal filing requirements are as follows:
Note: The description shall specify the technical field to which the invention relates. The description must indicate the background art which, as far as known to the applicant, can be regarded as useful for the understanding, searching and examination of the invention. It is preferable to cite the documents reflecting such an art. Again, the description must disclose the invention in such terms that it can be understood together with its advantageous effects, if any, with reference to the background art. A brief description of the figures in the drawings, if any; is required along with at least one mode contemplated by the applicant for carrying out the invention and this shall be done in terms of examples, where appropriate, and with reference to the drawings, if any. An explicit indication is required when it is not obvious from the description or nature of the invention, the way in which the invention is industriously applicable and the way in which it can be made and used, or if it can only be used, the way in which it can be used.
Note: The number of the claims shall be adequate and reasonable taking into account the nature of the invention and if there are several claims, they shall be numbered consecutively. The claims shall define the invention in terms of the technical features of the invention. Where appropriate, the claims shall contain a statement including those technical features or characteristics of the invention which are part of the prior art, however, necessary for the definition of the invention. Claims should also include an indication of the new technical characteristics protection of which is required, preceded by words such as “characterized in that”, ” characterized by”, or any other words to the same effect.
Note: The abstract shall be well drafted that it can professionally serve as a scrutinizing means for purposes of searching in the particular art. The abstract shall consist of a summary of disclosure as embodied in the description, the claims, and any drawings, indicating the technical field to which the inventor relates and drafted in a manner which permits the clear understanding of the technical problems and the core of the solution to that problem through the invention and the principal use or uses of the invention, and where appropriate the chemical formula which, among all formulae embraced in the application, best characterizes the invention. The abstract shall be concise as the disclosure permits. It should not be less than 50 words and not more than 200 words. The abstract shall contain a statement on the alleged merits or value of the invention or on its speculative application. Each major technical feature mentioned in the abstract and illustrated by a drawing in the application shall be followed by a reference sign, placed between parentheses. The abstract shall be accompanied by the most illustrative of any drawings provided by the applicant.
Non-compliance with formal filing requirements must be completed within three months from the date of notification by the Patent Office.
An evaluation will be made to estimate whether substantive examination is required. In the event it is required, the applicant will be notified as such, provided the applicant shall pay the prescribed fee within three months from the date of notification. Substantive examination shall be carried out by the office, or referred to one of the approved examination authorities.
Registration and publication.
In the event the substantial examination shows that the applicant has satisfied the terms and conditions as contained in the patent regulation and its bylaws, the patent office shall make a decision to grant the patent. The letters patent after being recorded into the Patent Register shall be forwarded to the owner of the invention after three months from the date of publication.
Duration and annual maintenance.
The term of a patent shall be twenty years counted from the date of filing the patent application. Maintenance fees shall be paid on the eve of the anniversary of filing application to GCC Patent Office.
Assignment and other rights.
Documents required are as follows:
A compulsory license may be granted subject to satisfaction of the terms and conditions called for under article 19 of the Patent Regulation.