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Overview of Patent Registration in the UAE and across GCC

Published on : 15 Sep 2018

A Guide on Patent Registration in the GCC

“The Patent Office is the Mother-In-Law of Invention.”


Senior MIT lecturer Joe Hadzima defines a patent as follows, “A patent is an exclusive right issued by a country to an inventor, allowing him to exclude others from manufacturing, using or selling his/her invention in that country during the life of the patent.

The exclusive right provided for by the patent allows the holder to recoup development costs and to obtain a return of investment in the development of the patented technology. Patent protection is capable of reducing company costs and increasing company value and as such can play an essential aspect in the increase of any company or business. Not only are patents valuable in that they provide freedom of movement for companies who are competing within a crowded field, but that can also generate revenue with the licensing of such patents to companies insides and outside of the patent holders field. Patents increase overall corporate value and add mainly to the company's intellectual assets. The World Intellectual Property Organisation provides the following reasons for patenting your inventions:

  1. Exclusive rights – patents give the owner exclusive rights which allow you to use and exploit the licensed product for 20 years from the date of filing of the application;
  2. Strong market position – due to the exclusive rights, the holder will be entitled to prevent others from commercially utilizing the patented invention – thus reducing the competition and establishing the holder in the market as the pre-eminent player;
  3. Higher returns on investments – under the exclusive rights provided for by the patent, the holder could commercialize the invention which would enable him/her to obtain higher returns on investments;
  4. The opportunity to license or sell the device – a patent holder, may choose not to exploit the patent but rather to sell the patent or license the rights to commercialize it to another enterprise which will constitute a source of income for the holder;
  5. Increase in negotiating power – having an extensive patent portfolio will enhance the bargaining power of a patent holder who wishes to acquire the right to use the patents of another enterprise;
  6. Positive look for your enterprise – interested parties may consider patent portfolios as proof of the high level of expertise, specialization and technological capacity within your company.

1.      What is an invention?


A design shall be considered new and applicable for patent registration in the following circumstances as per Law Number 14 of 2006 in respect of Patents and Utility Models:

  1. When such an invention is not in any previous industrial technology state;
  2. When such invention of inventive step would not have been known/ evident to a person holding ordinary skills in the relevant practice;
  3. A design shall be considered to be industrially applicable if it is possible to apply it in agriculture, fishing, services, handicrafts or any industry in the broadest sense of the word;
  4. The patent application would not be successful if the Invention subject were discussed to the public in Bahrain or abroad orally or in writing or by use or by any additional method of utilizing contents of the invention before the date of applying to grant a patent or time or priority on request.
  5. For the above, the following shall not be a Disclosure:
  1. Disclosure of the invention to the public shall be inconsiderable if it took place at official international exhibitions or officially recognized displays, according to Article 34 of the law, subject to disclosure in the patent request of all details related to said disclosure.
  2. Disclosure of an invention shall also be inconsiderable if it was disclosed by the applicant or by his permission or through him of which the declaration was conducted within the 12 months preceding submitting a patent application or date of priority upon request.


Article 2 of the Royal Decree Number 82 of 2000 Promulgated the Patent Law. It provides that an invention will be eligible for a patent if it is new, includes an innovating concept, and is industrially applicable. The application can be for new industrial products, used industrial methods, and means or by a new application for known industrial ways. The invention should not, however, be in contravention of the public order and morals, conflicting the principles of the Islamic Sharia or affecting national security.

United Arab Emirates

As per Federal Law Number 7 of 2002 as amended by Law Number 32 of 2006 regarding Copyright and Related Rights, the following works are capable of being protected by a patent:

  1. Books, booklets, articles and other  literature;
  2. Computer software and applications, databases and similar products defined in a decision to be issued by the Minister;
  3. Lectures, speeches, sermons and other works of a similar nature;
  4. Plays, musicals, and pantomimes;
  5. Musicals accompanied by dialogue and musicals which are not accompanied by discussion;
  6. Audio and video work or audio-visual work;
  7. Architectural work and architectural plans and drawings;
  8. Work involving drawing, painting, sculpturing, etching, lithography, screen printing, relief an intaglio prints and other similar works of fine art;
  9. Photographic work and the like;
  10. Work of applied art and plastic art;
  11. Charts, maps, plans, 3-D modeling for geographical and topographical applications and architectural designs;
  12. Derivative works, under the protection afforded to the work upon which they are based. The security shall extend to the title of the work is created as well as the creative concept devised for broadcast material.

The granting of patent protection for inventions that are novel, inventive and useful. The terms of protection for patents is 20 years from the date of filing.

To know more about patent registration in the UAE and rest of GCC, read our bespoke Guide on Patent Laws in the GCC click here

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