Patent filing strategies: perspectives from the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf
The protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights has become one of the most contentious issues in global commerce. Much of the traditional growth and development of countries in the Middle East over the past 30 years or so has come from oil and gas revenues. The main areas that have been covered in this article are: synopsis of patenting system in each country, the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf patent filing system, patentability subject matter, prosecution of patent application, opposition and/or invalidation action(s) and issues that need to be resolved for an effective patent regime.
It is a well-accepted concept that developed countries around the globe with vibrant innovation cultures have prospered and created economic value by linking natural (including human) resource, capital and research to foster innovation . Over a period of time, innovation becomes part of the culture in these countries by developing an effective integrated network of stakeholders that foster an environment that can transform ideas into successful commercial ventures. For such stakeholders, protection of the intellectual property rights comes as one of the prime decisive factors for their business interest. It goes without saying that countries with strong innovation capabilities have resilient economies that can withstand intervallic economic shocks
Much of the traditional growth and development of countries in the Middle East over the past 30 years or so has come from oil and gas revenues. However, the long visionary approach taken by the rulers of the region led to creation of Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC) on 25 May 1981. The six founding and current member countries are Kingdom of Bahrain, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, State of Kuwait, State of Qatar, Sultanate of Oman and United Arab Emirates (UAE). This council focused its interest from the beginning on economic development of its member states. One of the many projects that were implemented and materialized in the early stages of the Council was a unified patenting system for the GCC member countries. This article primarily intends to discuss the various patent filing strategies that can be sort to protect inventions within the region. This article provides an insight on the general patenting regime that exists in the GCC countries. Within the scope of the article, the author will also cover the following areas: various routes in protecting the patent rights, consideration that needs to be taken for filing and prosecution of patent application and the issues that needs to be ironed out from the existing system.