Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Patent Office ceases accepting new patent filings
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Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Patent Office ceases accepting new patent filings

Following the recent GCC Supreme Council held in Saudi Arabia on 5 January 2021, new amended patent law regulations for the Gulf Cooperation Council have been approved. An important and surprising element of this announcement is that from 6 January 2021, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Patent Office has stopped accepting new patent filings.

This means that patent applicants seeking protection in the GCC member states of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and UAE will need to file individual Paris Convention or Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) applications in each separate jurisdiction. The option of applying for a unified GCC patent is no longer available. They have confirmed that existing pending and granted GCC patent cases will continue to be processed.

So let’s look a little deeper into the options for patent owners wishing to file in GCC states.

If filing a new patent application to GCC member states after 5 January 2021 the options are either to file your patent application in each of the individual GCC Member States through a direct, Paris Convention, application within the 12 month priority period, including a priority claim back to the priority application; or alternatively to file a national phase application in each of the individual GCC Member States (within 30 month priority period) using the PCT system, including a priority claim back to the priority application.

If your GCC patent application filed on or before 5 January 2021 is still pending then our information is that the GCC Patent Office will continue processing, examining and granting GCC patent applications filed before this date.

As a precautionary measure some patent owners, with patent filing still pending at the GCCPO, may consider whether to also file a direct, Paris Convention application in one or more of the GCC Member States in addition, even though this will add additional filing cost. This would provide an additional safeguard.

Should we receive any updates to this new ruling, we will provide further information.

If the above changes sound like extra administration for you in what was already a time-consuming task, then now might be a good time to take a look at our online filing platform, inovia.

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