Patent Registration and Advisory:
The laws of the UAE governing patents are Federal Law No. 17 of 2002 on Regulation and Protection of Industrial Property of Patents, Industrial Drawings, and the Ministerial Resolution No. 11 of 1993 on Executive Regulation of Law No. 44 of 1992 on Regulation and Protection of Industrial Property of Patents, Drawings and Designs. The definition of what a patent is quite comprehensive. According to Federal Law No. 31 of 2016, promulgated by Law No. 17 of 2002 on Regulation and Protection of Industrial Property of Patents, Industrial Drawings and Designs, a patent protection in the UAE is granted for any new invention resulting from an innovative idea or innovative improvement of an invention in all fields of technology, provided that such an idea or innovative improvement has a scientific basis and is applicable. The invention shall be deemed industrially applicable in its broadest term if used or utilized in such fields as agriculture, fisheries, handicrafts, and services.
Examples of patents that are not protected include:
· Diagnostic methods, treatments and surgical operations needed for humans and animals
· Scientific and mathematical principles, discoveries, and methods
· Guidelines, rules, or methods followed to conduct business, perform mental activities, or play games
· Invention that may lead to violation of public order or morals.
International Centre for Patent Registration (ICPR) under Ministry of Economy is the competent authority to register patents in the UAE. To register a patent, one can submit an online application via the ministry’s website. It is a multiple step process to file a patent in the UAE. 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. This must be accompanied by information on the applicants for the patent as well as for any details of the authors. This can become complex if the patent is applied for by a company or a business entity. In these situations, the application must include the Articles of Incorporation or the Articles of Association, which need to be certified and legalized through the UAE Embassy. If the applicant is not the inventor, a Deed of Assignment must also be presented with the application. This also needs to be legalized at the UAE Embassy.
In some cases, the application is a priority filing. This requires a priority document that is signed and notarized by a Notary Public in the UAE. When there is a priority document the term for filing the patent application is twelve months from the date on the priority documentation.
In addition to this documentation, all drawings of the invention or concept need to accompany the application. An abstract must also be provided, detailing the specifics of the invention, including its application in industry. All documents must be submitted in both English as well as Arabic within 90 days of the filing of the application.
For foreign companies or inventors, a Power of Attorney can be granted for a UAE law firm or other recognized entity to complete the application process. This power of attorney, which also has to be approved and legalized by the UAE Embassy, will accompany the application documentation.
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.
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.
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.