Kuwait

Country Data

Official Name: State of Kuwait
Capital: Kuwait City
Area: 17,818 sq km
Population: 4,420,110 (2019 estimates)
Official Language: Arabic
GDP: US$303 billion (PPP, 2020 estimate)
Currency: Kuwaiti Dinar
Work Days: Sunday – Thursday

Conventions/ Treaties

  • World Trade Organization/ TRIPS (effective since January 1, 1995)
  • WIPO Convention (effective since June 14, 1998)
  • Berne Convention (effective since December 2, 2014)
  • Paris Convention (effective since December 2, 2014)
  • Patent Cooperation Treaty (effective since September 9, 2016)
  • Trademark
  • Patent
  • Industrial Design
  • Copyright
National Legislation
  • Trademarks Law of the Gulf Cooperation Council States (Gulf Cooperation Council)
Basic Information
Creation of rights: First-to-file jurisdiction (subject to occasional exceptions)
Basis for filing: Intent to use acceptable – prior use is not a prerequisite.
Well-known marks: Special protection may be available. Nevertheless, local registration of the mark is highly recommended.
Types of marks: Trademarks, Service marks, Certification marks, Collective marks
Priority: 6-month priority claim under the Paris Convention
Madrid System: Kuwait is not a member of the Madrid Union
Filing system: Single class (multiple class filing is not available).
Classification: Nice Classification 10th edition
Limitation: Registration of marks in respect of “pork meat” in class 29, “alcoholic items” in class 32 and the entire class 33 is not allowed being considered contrary to public policy.
Who can be Applicant: (1) Corporate/ business entities and (2) individuals/ natural persons.
Examination: On formal, absolute and relative grounds
Publication: Al-Kuwait Al-Youm (Official Gazette)
Opposition period: 60 days from the date of publication
Duration of registration: 10 years from the filing date – renewable for further periods of 10 years each upon request of the trademark owner within one year preceding the expiry date
Renewal grace period: 6 months, subjected to late renewal penalty fee
Use requirement: A trademark registration becomes vulnerable to cancellation upon the request of an interested party in case of non-use of the mark for a period of 5 consecutive years
Registration timeframe (straightforward case): 10 to 12 months (approximately)
Search
Official Search: Available for i) word marks; and ii) device marks
Scope of search: Includes all applied-for and registered marks, whether national marks or international marks
Turnaround time: 5 working days
Ways to obtain protection
  1. Filing of national application with or without priority claim under the Paris Convention

Documentary Requirements

New Applications
  1. Power of Attorney from the applicant, duly legalized up to the Kuwaiti Consulate.
  2. A certified copy of Certificate of Incorporation, if the applicant is a corporate entity.
  3. Certified copy of priority document, if priority is claimed.
Renewal of Registration
  1. Power of attorney from the trademark owner, duly notarized and legalized up to the Kuwaiti Consulate.
  2. A simple copy of certificate of registration of the mark.
Change of Name / Address Recordation
  1. Power of attorney stating the new name/ address of the trademark owner, duly notarized and legalized up to the Kuwaiti Consulate.
  2. Change of Name / Address document, duly legalized up to the Kuwaiti Consulate.
  3. Original certificate of registration of the mark.
Assignment Recordation
  1. Power of attorney from the Assignee, duly notarized and legalized up to the Kuwaiti Consulate.
  2. Deed of Assignment, duly signed by both the assignor and the assignee, notarized and legalized up to the Kuwaiti Consulate.
  3. original certificate of registration of the mark.
Merger Recordation
  1. Power of attorney from the surviving entity, duly notarized and legalized up to the Kuwaiti Consulate.
  2. Merger document, duly legalized up to the Kuwaiti consulate.
  3. Original certificate of registration of the mark.
License Recordation
  1. Powers of attorney from the Licensor and the Licensee, duly notarized and legalized up to the Kuwaiti Consulate.
  2. License agreement, duly signed by both the parties and notarized and legalized up to the Kuwaiti Consulate.
  3. Certified copy of Certificate of Incorporation of the licensee
National Legislation
  • Law No. 4 of 1962 on Patents, Designs and Industrial Models (as amended by Law No. 3 of 2001)
Ways to obtain patent protection:
  1. National Filing in Kuwait
  2. PCT national phase application
Basic Information
Claims admissible for: 1) Process; and 2) Product
Novelty requirement: Local novelty
Convention priority: 12 months
PCT national phase entry deadline: 30 months
Search: Not available.
Examination: No provisions (what about examination according to GCC Patent Regulations Kuwait adopted these as national regulations in 2016)
Publication: No provisions (what about examination according to GCC Patent Regulations)
Opposition period: No provisions (what about examination according to GCC Patent Regulations)
Protection term (patent): 20 years from the filing date and in case of the PCT national phase applications, from the international filing date.
Annuity payment: Subsequent to the year of filing of patent application, annuity payment becomes due annually and is required to be made within the first three months of each calendar year (from January 1st till March 31st).
Grace period for late annuity payment: 3 months with a surcharge.
Working/ Compulsory License: If the patent is not fully exploited by the patentee within three years from the date of grant or if the exploitation ceases for two consecutive years, the patent will be subject to compulsory licensing in accordance with the provisions of the Patent Law
Patent grant timeframe (straightforward case): 4 to 5 years (approximately).
Filing Requirements
    1. Power of Attorney from the applicant legalized up to the Kuwaiti Consulate;
    2. Certificate of incorporation or excerpt from the commercial register related to the applicant company, duly legalized up to the Kuwaiti consulate;
    3. Patent specification, claims, drawings (if any), and abstract – all in English and Arabic;
    4. Assignment of invention and priority rights, executed by the inventor(s) if the applicant is not the inventor, duly legalized up to the Kuwaiti consulate;
    5. A duly certified copy of priority document, if priority is claimed.

For PCT national phase application in Kuwait, the following items would also be required:

    1. A copy of the PCT Patent application
National Legislation
  • Law No. 4 of 1962 on Patents, Designs and Industrial Models (as amended by Law No. 3 of 2001)
Ways to obtain protection for design:
  1. National filing in Kuwait
Basic Information
Types of designs: (1) Drawings; and (2) models.
Novelty: Novelty is a prerequisite for the designs to be afforded registration.
Multiple figures: An application may comprise up to 50 drawings or designs provided they form in their totality a homogeneous unit.
Convention priority: 6-month priority may be claimed.
Locarno Classification: Not applied.
Examination: Industrial design applications are subjected to examination as to form, novelty, and industrial applicability.
Publication: There are no provisions for publishing, however applications filed in Kuwait are officially considered as evidence of ownership and priority will be valid once the examination commences.
Opposition: There are no provisions for opposition filing in the law.
Protection term: Protection is valid for 10 years from the filing date, however in the absence of examination and publication of design applications in Kuwait, no certificates are issued by the Patent Office and all filed design applications remain as documentary evidences to ownership.
Annuities: Not applicable as of now.
Registration timeframe (straightforward case): Duration of registration has not been established yet.
Requirements
  1. Representations (drawings/ photographs) of the design and it’s description;
  2. Power of Attorney from the applicant, duly legalized up to the Kuwaiti Consulate;
  3. Certificate of incorporation or excerpt from the commercial register related to the applicant company, legalized up to the Kuwaiti Consulate;
  4. A duly certified copy of priority document, if priority is claimed, legalized up to the Kuwaiti Consulate.
National Legislation
  • Law No. 75 of 2019 on Copyright and Related Rights
Basic Information
  • Works protected: The copyright protection under the Kuwaiti Copyright Law specifically covers: books, brochures, articles, leaflets and other written works; works that are delivered verbally such as lectures, speeches or sermons and the other works of a similar nature; dramatic works, musical dramas, dances, pantomimes and other works created for theatrical performances; works that are broadcast through broadcasting entities; painting works, plastic art of all kinds, decorative arts, artistic knitting, sculpture, drawing, engraving and printing on stone and any other similar works of this nature; audiovisual works; musical works that are accompanied or unaccompanied with words; works of applied and plastic arts whether craft or industrial; photographic works and similar works; illustrations, geographical maps, designs, works related to geography, topography, architecture or science (the protection does not include the functional nature of the design but its aesthetic features); computer software in any language, form or expression; economic feasibility studies; collective works; joint works; derivative works including translations, summary, amendment, alteration, explanation, musical arrangements and adaptations, works derived from folklore; databases whether in an automatic readable format or in any other form and which are innovative in terms of their content selection, arrangement, or tabulation; collections of works of any nature, such as encyclopedias, anthologies, and folkloric expressions when these are innovative in terms of their content selection, arrangement, or tabulation. Protection does not include the content of databases and is not subject to rights over such contents.
  • Exceptions to copyright protection: The following are specifically excluded from copyright protection: abstract ideas, procedures, methods of work, methods of operation and mathematical concepts, principles, discoveries and data; official texts of a legislative, administrative or judicial nature as well as their translation; news of current events that may merely be news reports; heavenly books and the lines used in their writing (drawing) and recitation and recording of recitation thereof; speeches and pleadings used during judicial proceedings; single words, short phrases, lists of components, symbols and familiar designs. (A collection of the foregoing if it is characterized by innovation in ranking, display, or classification is protectable to the extent of expression – and excluding the protection to the contents thereof.)
  • Duration of copyright: Copyright protection term is 50 years, starting from the first day of the year following the death of the author, in addition to the lifetime of the author.
  • Registration timeframe: 2 to 3 months (approximately).
Requirements
  1. Power of Attorney from the applicant legalized up to the Kuwaiti Consulate;
  2. Assignment deed executed by the author in favor of the applicant, legalized up to the Kuwaiti Consulate, if the applicant is not the author;
  3. Three copies of the work.

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