Patents of Invention
The Supreme Council of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in its 13th session held in Abu-Dhabi on December 21-23, 1992, has approved the patent regulation for GCC member States. For full particulars, see article covering the “Gulf Cooperation Council“.
Prior to the adoption of the GCC Patent Law, the only available form of protection was by means of publication of cautionary notices in English and Arabic languages through the local media (daily newspapers: “Al-Sharq”, “Arrayah”, “Al-Watan” (Arabic), “Gulf Times”, “The Peninsula” (English)).
– Decree Law No. 30 of 2006 for Patents.
– Decision No. 153 of the year 2018 of the Minister of Economy and Trade on the Implementation of the Patent Law issued by Decree-Law No. 30 of the year 2006, in force since July 5, 2018.
Membership in International Conventions
– Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), since September 3, 1976.
– WTO’s TRIPS Agreement, since January 13, 1996.
– Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, Stockholm Act, since July 5, 2000.
– Qatar is a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council.
– Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), since August 3, 2011.
– Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of the Deposit of Microorganisms for the Purposes of Patent Procedure, since March 6, 2014.
Qatar is also a member of the Berne Convention, WIPO Copyright Treaty and WPPT, and has bilateral agreements with France and Kenya.
Applicant: any individual or corporate body who owns an invention may apply.
Foreigners and nationals not living in the country: must appoint a patent attorney registered in Qatar as address for service.
Types of patents: PCT National Phase (to be filed within 30 months), national filing.
Novelty: worldwide absolute novelty standard is applicable.
Exception to protection: inventions contrary to morality or public policy.
Priority: may be claimed within twelve months from the filing date.
Territory covered: the State of Qatar.
Filing requirements for an application (to be sent to resident agent):
1. Power of attorney, duly legalized up to a Qatari Consulate (can be filed at a later stage after filing the application);
2. The complete specifications of the invention including abstract, claims in English with Arabic translation (the Arabic translation may be submitted at a later stage);
3. One set of the drawings relating to the invention, if any.
Note: if the documents are not in English, an English translation must be attached. All documents must be filed in both languages, English and Arabic.
Electronic filing: not available.
Examination: the Qatari Patent Office examines the applications as to form, novelty, inventiveness and industrial applicability. If accepted, the application is published in the Official Gazette and is laid open to public inspection.
Accelerated examination: available.
Amendments: it is possible to make a voluntary amendment before or during examination.
Objections of the Office: any objection raised by the Patent Office shall be reported in official Office action and a response should be filed within three months from the Office action’s issuance date.
Divisions: possible before or during examination.
Publication: applications are published twice - once upon acceptance and once upon grant in the Official Gazette.
Opposition: any interested party may appeal against a decision within sixty days as from the date of publication.
Delivery of document: the patent certificate is issued in paper format.
Duration of protection: for patents, twenty years as from the national filing date for non-priority and priority applications and for PCT applications, from the international filing date.
Annuities: annuity fees should be paid together with the official filing fees and substantive examination fees. For PCT applications, the annual fees should be paid as of the date of filing the international application, not the national phase date.
Effects of registration: the holder of the patent certificate is entitled to prevent others from manufacturing, importing, selling, and offering for sale of a product made under that patent.
Nullification: any person shall be allowed to apply to the competent court to revoke the patent if such patent has been issued in the following cases: (a) non-compliance with the conditions of the Law or its executive by-laws; (b) non-observance of the priority of the previous applications.
Assignment: possible; documents required: deed of assignment signed by both parties, an extract from the Commercial Register attesting the existence of the assignee, a power of attorney, all documents being duly legalized up to a Qatar Consulate.
Change of name and address: possible; documents required: certificate of change of name, power of attorney, both documents must be duly legalized up to a Qatar Consulate.
Infringement: the owner of the patent has the right to file an action before the competent court against any person who industrially exploits his invention without an explicit written permission by its owner.