The Gulf Cooperation Council Patent Office (GCC Patent Office) is a unified patent office that serves as a convention patent office for the states of the Gulf namely, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and United Arab Emirates. The GCC Patent Office became operational in 1998. Saudi Arabia is a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council. A patent issued by the GCC Patent Office is valid and enforceable in all GCC States.
Under GCC Patent Law, it is possible to claim priority from an earlier foreign application. As compared with the Saudi Patent Office the examination process is much faster in the GCC Patent Office. Moreover, the GCC Patent Office has the following advantages:
- Filing a GCC Patent application will be more cost-effective than filing six separate national applications.. Therefore, by filing one application at the GCC Patent Office, protection is granted in all GCC States at a reduced cost.
- A Patent granted by the GCC Patent Office is valid and enforceable in all GCC States (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and U.A.E)
- The term of protection under GCC Patent Law is 20 years counted from the date of filing the patent application with the GCC Patent Office as opposed to 15 years as far as the other national patent laws are concerned.
- Duplication of registration is possible. It is possible to file a patent application in one or more of the GCC States and at the same time seek convention protection by filing at the GCC Patent Office.
- Compulsory Licensing under GCC Patent Law is now subjected to detailed conditions in conformity with the provision of the Trips Agreement.
- Importation of a patented product into GCC States will be considered as full exploitation of the invention.
- The GCC is taking the necessary steps to join Paris and PCT treaties in the near future.
- The Examination of applications is carried out by an Austrian and Australian Patent Offices.
The requirements for filing a new GCC patent application are as follows:
- Documents that must be filed along with the application:
Specifications, Claims, Drawings (if any) and Abstract of the invention in English and Arabic.
- Documents that may be filed belatedly within 90 days from the filing date:
- A Power of Attorney from the applicant.
- An Extract from the Commercial Register or a certified copy of the Certificate of Incorporation of the applicant if the applicant is a corporate body.
- A Deed of Assignment, if the applicant is not the inventor.
- A Certified copy of the Priority document, if the applicant is claiming priority on the basis of a foreign application. Item Nos. 1,2 & 3 should be legalized up to any one of the GCC States Consulates.