Creating something unique, whether a new technique or a novel product, is always the first phase in the development of a business and the launch of a new opportunity for an individual or a team. Each country is responsible for the registration of patents within its territory. Patent registration in the United Arab Emirates is regulated by the UAE Ministry of Economy, also known as the MOE. In specific, patents are managed by the Department of Intellectual Property Protection, which is also the Ministry and the Department that approves patents.
Legal Requirements for Patent Registration in the UAE
You can obtain a patent for an invention which is:
- Novel globally;
- Inventive, not obvious to another person skilled in the field of technology to which the invention belongs; and
- Capable of industrial application (i.e. The invention shall be used and produced).
Further, your patent cannot be registered if it is one of the followings per article 6 (1) of the Patent Law:
- A variety of plant, animal species, or biological method of producing plants or animals (Exceptions shall be allowed for the microbiological methods and their products);
- A diagnostic method, treatment, or surgical operation required by humans and animals;
- A scientific or mathematical principle, discovery, or method;
- A guide, rule or method followed to conduct business, perform mental activities, or play games; or
- An invention that may lead to violations of public order or morals.
Procedure for Filing a Patent Application in the UAE
To file a patent in the UAE, there are multiple steps involved in the process. There is also the need for specific types of documentation which must accompany the original submission of the application. Each patent application requires the applicable forms to request a grant for a patent.
Patent applications in the UAE should be made through the MOE and be submitted in both the Arabic and English languages. Along with the submitted application, the following documents should be attached:
- If the applicant is a corporate body, an extract from the Commercial Register, or a certified copy of the Articles of association or Incorporation, duly legalized at the UAE Embassy;
- A Deed of Assignment from the inventor(s), or a certified copy of the original assignment, duly legalized at the UAE Embassy;
- Specifications of the invention, including title, abstract, description, drawings, if any, and claims, in both Arabic and English.
- If the application will be filed on a priority basis, a certified copy of the priority document by a Notary Public.
All these documents shall be submitted to the MOE within ninety (90) days from the date of filing the patent application.
Upon review and acceptance of the application, the patent is then sent for examination. This process requires additional fees and can take up to two years to complete. During this process, the patent is closely examined for the three criteria, and it is possible that more information and documentation may be requested during this examination period.
Acceptance of Patent Application
If the patent application is accepted, the Ministry of Economy publishes the patent application information in the Official Gazette of the UAE. There is a window of sixty days for comments. During this time, anyone opposing the granting of the patent can present, in writing, any objections. This must include information as to why the patent should not be granted. This argument will be heard and considered, with the patent either being granted or rejected based on the argument and objection.
Rejection of Patent Application
Should the patent be rejected, the applicant has sixty days to submit a request to have the application re-examined. Working closely with a patent lawyer to develop a comprehensive argument to address the reason for the rejection is the most effective way to overturn the rejection.
Duration of Patent Registration
It is evident that the process of obtaining a patent in the UAE can be challenging and tedious. With legal representation throughout the process, many of the common delays can be avoided, particularly when it comes to incomplete documentation and incomplete applications. For most new applications, from initial filing to obtaining the patent, the time frame is about eight years. Companies or individuals with patents for the same item in other countries can use that patent as a basis for filing an application in the UAE, which can speed up the process.
Validity and Renewal of Patent
Once a patent has been granted for the UAE, it is in place for twenty years and cannot be renewed. Each year of the term, there is a required patent fee which must be paid to keep the patent valid and prevent it from lapsing. Additionally, and this is a very important consideration, if the company or individual granted the patent does not use it in three years from the date it is granted, a third party must be granted favour or license to produce the item.
Rights of Patent
The rightful owner of the patent shall have the legal power to forbid third parties from carrying out any activities related to manufacturing, importing, offering for sale, selling or using the product or keeping it with a view to offering it for sale or use, whether the rights given to him are related to a product or a process. Also, he or his legal heirs shall have the right to obtain an additional Patent or for improvement, changes or an addition to the invention after it has been patented. The application for additional protection requires the same process of the original application.
Riz and Mona Consultancy
With a valid patent in place in the UAE, no other company may produce or copy the invention. This provides the opportunity for the inventory or the company assigned the rights to the invention to fully develop the invention and create a market for their product or service. Our business setup experts can advise you with the processes and help in registering the patents. Contact us today to get professional help.