Patent Power in the UAE Protecting Intellectual Property and Fostering Innovation
Patent Power in the UAE Protecting Intellectual Property and Fostering Innovation

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Patent Power in the UAE

The process of patent registration in the UAE is governed by Federal Law No. 31 of 2016, established under Law No. 17 of 2002 concerning the Regulation and Protection of Industrial Property, which encompasses Patents, Industrial Designs, and Drawings. According to this legislation, the UAE extends patent protection across all technological domains, requiring that innovations possess a scientific foundation and practical applicability. Additionally, inventions are expected to have industrial relevance, with potential applications in sectors such as agriculture, fisheries, handicrafts, and services.

Inventions that can obtain patent registration in UAE:

  • Novel innovations: Any novel idea as to a method of manufacture, or any product, or using a known method leading to the creation of practical solutions to the technological problems; 
  • Knowhow: Any kind of information, knowledge, data obtained during a course of profession which can be applied practically; 
  • Industrial drawings: Any product stemming out of imaginative or innovative creation of lines, grids or colors and can be used in the craft industry or any other such industries; 
  • Industrial Designs: any creative three-dimensional shape; 

Authority for Granting Patent Registration in the UAE

The Ministry of Economy (MOE) serves as the central government authority overseeing and regulating the patent registration process in the UAE. Through patent registration, inventors and innovators can safeguard their creations from any entity attempting to misuse or exploit them. A patent, issued by the UAE Ministry of Economy, serves as a protective document for original inventors. 

Required Documents for Patent Registration in the UAE

1. Legally authenticated power of attorney

2. For corporate applicants, a legalized extract from the Commercial Register or the Memorandum of Association is necessary

3. An English specification and claims, along with their Arabic translations

4. Drawings related to the invention

5. An abstract of the invention

6. A legalized deed of assignment, signed by the inventor if the applicant is not the inventor

7. A certified copy of the application indicating the filing date, number, and country

How to Apply for a Patent?

In accordance with Article 11, the application for obtaining a patent is to be filed with the Ministry of Economy, along with relevant details of the applicant, abstract and description of the patent, elements of protection and the fees. All applications and attachments have to be filed in Arabic and English.

The application will be examined by the Ministry under Article 13. Additional documents or information may also be requested from the inventor. If the conditions for grant of patent are satisfied, the applicant will be awarded the patent certificate, as published in the IP circular, provided no objections or grievances have been filed related to this patent under Article 17.

Period of Protection 

The patent is protected for a period of 20 years from the date of filing the application (Article 18). Annual fees would have to be paid during the duration of protection.

What Rights are Granted on Award of a Patent? 

A patent holder will be granted the right to exploit the invention under Article 19 of the Patents Law.

If the patent is a product, the patent holder has the right to manufacture, use, offer for sale, sell or import the patent, including the right to prevent third parties from doing any of the above activities without his permission.

If the patent is an industrial process or a method of manufacturing, the patent holder will have the right to use the process or method as well as the rights set out above in respect of the products directly obtained from the use of such process or method.

Patent Licensing

On a mission to become a global hub for transnational commercial transactions, the United Arab Emirates has incorporated very fair and just laws to safeguard all parties involved in licensing any type of Intellectual Property.

When it comes to patent licensing and as per UAE IP Federal laws, all parties involved in the licensing process are given full disclosure to determine the terms of the respective patent licensing agreement. These terms include the extent of exclusivity, geographical territory for use, and the overall scope of the licensing agreement.

As lenient as this may seem, reasonable guidelines have been set in place to safeguard both licensor and licensee:

  • The License Agreement must not exceed the patents’ remaining validity time frame 
  • All Patent License agreements must be duly signed and notarised before the official notary public, with the presence of all appointed signatories. 
  • All patent license agreements must be legally translated into Arabic. 
  • Once all formalities are in place, it is required that the agreement is duly recorded and lodged in the relevant ministry. 

“An unused or uncommercialised granted patent could result in being legally licensed to a worthier owner.”

An important point that we feel compelled to touch upon is the concept of ‘Commercial exploitation’.

This is a mandatory regulation under Article 24 of the Legislation, which stipulates that if a patentee ceases or discontinues commercial use of the granted patent, or fails to delegate the patent to an eligible assignee to carry out patent commodification, the patent in dispute will be legally liable to be arbitrarily assigned and granted to a party deemed to be suitable. This is referred to as ‘Compulsory Licensing.’

Conclusion 

The UAE’s patent laws provide comprehensive protection and licensing mechanisms to promote innovation and safeguard intellectual property rights.

Al Safar and Partners Advocates and Legal Consultants offer expert opinions and assistance in navigating these regulations and understanding their impact on business operations.

Connect with us at +97144221944 . Reach out via email reception@alsafarpartners.com to discover how our services can elevate your understanding. Visit www.alsafarpartners.com to position yourself at the forefront of legal opportunities in the corporate landscape of the UAE.

Written By: Dr. Samina Aquil – Case Manager at Al Safar and Partners Law Firm.

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