28 September 2017

The peculiarities of patenting in the Middle East's countries.

Recently many applicants have started to be interested in protection of their exclusive rights for the technical solutions in the Middle East's countries developed by them. It is rather difficult to explain the reasons for it. Probably, it is affected by the current unsteady political atmosphere in the world as well as the intensive growth and development of this region's countries in all the areas of science and technology.

The modern notion of the region of the Middle East includes such countries as: the Azerbaijan Republic, the Republic of Armenia, the Kingdom of Bahrain, Georgia, the Arab Republic of Egypt, Israel, Jordan, the Republic of Iraq, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Republic of Yemen, Qatar, Cyprus, Kuweit, the Republic of Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Saudi Arabia, the Syrian Arab Republic, the Republic of Turkey.

All the above mentioned countries can be divided into two large groups, namely: the countries forming a part of, and not forming a part of PCT (The Patent Cooperation Treaty). Just  the Republic of Iraq and the Republic of Yemen have not joined PCT from among the entire list of the Middle East's countries.

First and foremost, let us consider the countries forming a part of PCT. It is necessary to understand that an application filing according to the PCT procedure provides no special privileges when transferring to the national phases. Like in the rest countries of other regions forming a part of PCT, this procedure is a unified tool making it possible to achieve uniformity in a general form of an application. One of the main advantages in this case is the necessity absence of provision, within short timeframes, of a certified copy of an application filed primarily to establish priority. But however it is worth taking into account that there are national general requirements in each country to applications concerning execution and concerning what is claimed in them.

So, for example, in the Kingdom of Bahrain it is necessary to provide two copies of an international application translation, thereby the applications filing is permitted statutorily both in the English and Arabic languages. Accordingly, the paperwork will be managed in the chosen language subsequently. As to the Arab Republic of Egypt, an international application translation is necessary to be provided in three copies and all the paperwork is managed only in the Arabic language. According to the patent legislation of Jordan it is necessary, alongside with the materials of an application, to provide a certified translation of an international application, and in the Islamic Republic of Iran the applications are considered only in the Farsi language.

And if it is necessary to obtain a patent in the countries which don't form a part of PCT, then one should think about it in advance because the provided term for an application transfer with the right reservation of convention priority, according to the Paris convention on industrial property protection, amounts to 12 months, beginning from a date of an application filing in respect of which priority is claimed. That is, if somebody wants to protect his/her exclusive right one shall obligatorily think in advance over the strategy and list of the countries in which a worked out solution will be possible to register and realize.

 However there exists a series of special requirements for obtaining patents in the Middle East's countries. Such requirements comprise a power of attorney for paperwork management under the applications in which the applicants are the persons - non-residents of this government.

Let us dwell upon, as an example, two most dynamically developing countries of this region - the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

A notarized, legalized, apostilled power of attorney is necessary for Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. It is necessary to take into account that the entire process of a power of attorney preparation takes a rather big period of time, and according to the national legislation a power of attorney is necessary to be provided within rather compressed time frame (2-3 months, beginning from a date of an application filing to a patent office of a chosen country). Besides that due to an amount of the state fees it is rather expensive. For example, an amount of a state fee alone for legalization of a power of attorney for the United Arab Emirates amounts to about RUB 32,000. Also, after a power of attorney is prepared on its country, it should be executed properly in the very Emirates already, what will also require additional expenses.

I would also like to mention the fact that beside two obvious groups for division of all the countries of the Middle East, one can single out the countries relating to certain regional offices.

For example, the Azerbaijan Republic and Republic of Armenia form a part of the Eurasian Patent Organization, and one can obtain a patent in these countries not only by filing an application to the national office of a concrete country, but by filing an application to the Eurasian Patent Organization. But it is obligatorily necessary to mention that the Eurasian Patent Organization accepts applications only for inventions.

As far as a patent obtaining in the territory of Cyprus is concerned, it is necessary to file an application to the European Patent Office, in which its own legal considerations are established.

When summing up the results on the Middle East's countries, a conclusion can be made that currently this region is becoming more and more attractive for the economic activity because it is developing quickly and becoming sought-after. Thus, in view of the fact that the development jump of this region has taken place a short time ago, and it is still continuing, the methods of patenting and protection of the exclusive rights for the items of intellectual property in the Middle East's countries remain unresolved to the full extent at the level of the national legislations.