Saudi Arabia

Country Data

Official Name: The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Capital: Riyadh
Area: 2,149,690 sq km
Population: 34,783,757 (2021 estimate)
Official Language: Arabic
GDP: US$ 1.924 trillion (PPP, 2019 estimate)
Currency: Saudi Riyal
Work Days: Sunday – Thursday

Conventions/ Treaties

  • WIPO convention (effective since June 22, 1995)
  • Berne Convention (effective since March 11, 2004)
  • Paris Convention (effective since March 11, 2004)
  • TRIPS Agreement/ WTO (effective since December 11, 2005)
  • Patent Law Treaty (effective since August 3, 2013)
  • Patent Cooperation Treaty (effective since August 3, 2013)
  • Marrakesh VIP Treaty (effective since February 21, 2019)
  • Locarno Agreement (effective since December 3, 2020)
  • Vienna Agreement (effective since December 3, 2020)
  • Budapest Treaty (effective since January 16, 2021)
  • Strasbourg Agreement (effective since October 16, 2021)
  • 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: Not available – Saudi Arabia 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. In addition, services relating to gambling, bars or nightclubs may not be designated in the trademark applications. Moreover, ‘retail and wholesale store services’ may not be designated in class 35.
Who can be Applicant: (1) Corporate/ business entities and (2) individuals/ natural persons.
Examination: On formal, absolute and relative grounds
Publication: Saudi Gazette (the official gazette)
Opposition period: 60 days from the date of publication
Duration of registration: 10 Hijri years (approximately 9 years and 8 months of Gregorian calendar) from the filing date – renewable for further periods of 10 Hijri years each upon request of the trademark owner within one year preceding the expiry date.
Renewal grace period: 6 months
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): 4 to 5 months (approximately)
Search
Official Search: Available for i) word marks; and ii) device marks
Scope of search: Includes all applied-for and registered marks
Turnaround time: 3-5 working days
Ways to obtain protection
  1. Filing of national application with or without priority claim

Documentary Requirements

New Applications
  1. Power of Attorney from the applicant – duly legalized up to the Saudi consulate.
  2. A certified copy of the priority document, if priority is claimed.
Renewal of Registration
  1. Power of Attorney from the applicant – duly legalized up to the Saudi consulate.
  2. A simple copy of registration certificate.
Change of Name / Address Recordation
  1. Power of attorney stating the new name/ address of the trademark owner – duly legalized up to the Saudi consulate.
  2. Change of Name document – duly legalized up to the Saudi consulate.
  3. The original registration certificate.
Assignment Recordation
  1. Power of attorney from the Assignee – duly legalized up to the Saudi consulate.
  2. Deed of Assignment, duly signed by both the assignor and the assignee – duly legalized up to the Saudi consulate.
  3. The original registration certificate.
Merger Recordation
  1. Power of attorney from the surviving entity – duly legalized up to the Saudi consulate.
  2. Merger document – duly Apostilled or legalized up to the Saudi consulate.
  3. The original registration certificate.
License Recordation
  1. Powers of attorney from the Licensor and the Licensee – duly legalized up to the Saudi consulate.
  2. License agreement, duly signed by both the parties – duly legalized up to the Saudi consulate.
  3. The original registration certificate.
National Legislation
  • Law on Patents, Layout-Designs of Integrated Circuits, Plant Varieties, and Industrial Designs (promulgated by Royal Decree No. M/27 of 29/5/1425H (July 17, 2004), as amended by Decision of the Council of Ministers No. 536 of 10/19/1439 (July 3, 2018)
Ways to obtain patent protection:
  1. National Filing in Saudi Arabia
  2. PCT national phase application
Basic Information
Claims admissible for: 1) Process; and 2) Product
Novelty requirement: Absolute
Convention priority: Available (12 months)
PCT national phase entry deadline: 30 months
Search: Possible for granted patents by title, name of the patentee, name of the inventor, abstract, and priority or PCT numbers.
Examination: With respect to form, novelty, inventiveness, industrial applicability, unity, and compliance
Publication: Post-examination publication in the Patent Bulletin
Opposition period: 60 days from the date of publication in the Official Gazette (to be checked with the associate)
Protection term (patent): 20 years from the filing date and in case of the PCT national phase applications, from the international filing date.
Protection term (utility model): 10 years from filing date (to be checked with the associate)
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 four years from the filing date, whichever comes later, the patent will be subject to compulsory licensing in accordance with the provisions of the Patent Law.
Patent grant timeframe (straightforward case): 3 to 4 years (approximately).
Filing Requirements
  1. Power of Attorney from the applicant – duly legalized up to the Saudi consulate;
  2. Patent specification, claims, drawings (if any), and abstract in English and Arabic;
  3. Sworn Arabic translation of patent specification, claims, and drawings;
  4. Assignment of invention and priority rights, executed by the inventor(s) if the applicant is not the inventor, duly legalized up to the Saudi consulate – (not required for PCT national phase applications);
  5. A duly certified copy of priority document, if priority is claimed – (not required for PCT national phase applications).

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

  1. A copy of International Publication with patent specification, claims, drawings, and abstract;
  2. A copy of International Search Report and Preliminary Examination Report.

Note: Items 2 and 3 listed above are necessarily required at the time of filing. Items 1, 4, and 5 may be submitted within 3 months from the fling date. For PCT national phase application, items 6 and 7 are also required to be submitted at the time of filing.

National Legislation
  • Law on Patents, Layout-Designs of Integrated Circuits, Plant Varieties, and Industrial Designs (promulgated by Royal Decree No. M/27 of 29/5/1425H (July 17, 2004), as amended by Decision of the Council of Ministers No. 536 of 10/19/1439 (July 3, 2018)
Ways to obtain protection for design:
  1. National filing in Saudi Arabia
Basic Information
Types of designs: (1) Drawings; and (2) models.
Novelty: Novelty is a prerequisite for the designs to be afforded registration.
Multiple figures: Not admissible.
Convention priority: 6-month priority may be claimed.
Locarno Classification: Applicable.
Examination: Industrial design applications are subjected to examination as to form and novelty.
Publication: Upon receiving official decision for protection, design applications are published in the Official Gazette.
Opposition: There are no provisions for opposition filing in the law.
Protection term: Protection is granted for a 10-year term starting from the date of filing.
Annuities: 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).
Annuity grace period: 3 months with a surcharge.
Registration timeframe (straightforward case): 16 to 20 months (approximately).
Requirements
  1. Representations (drawings/ photographs) of the design;
  2. Power of Attorney from the applicant – duly legalized up to the Saudi consulate;
  3. A duly certified copy of priority document, if priority is claimed.
National Legislation
  • Copyright Law (promulgated by Royal Decree No. M/41 of 2 Rajab 1424H (August 30, 2003), as amended by the Resolution of the Council of Ministers No. 536 of 19/10/1439H (July 3, 2018)
Basic Information
  • Works protected: The copyright protection under the Saudi Copyright Law specifically covers: books, brochures, articles, leaflets and other written works; works which are delivered verbally such as lectures, speeches, poetry, songs, and other works of similar nature; dramatic works, plays, shows, and similar presentations which involve motion, sound, or both; works which are prepared for broadcasting purposes or are presented through broadcasting; drawings, works of visual art, architecture, decorative art, artistic embroidery, and other works of similar nature; audio and audio-visual works; applied art works, whether handcrafted or manufactured; photographic works and the like; Illustrations, geographical maps, designs, plans, sketches, and visual works related to geography, topography, architecture, and science; three-dimensional works of geography, topography, architecture, or science; computer programs; the title of work if it is of a creative nature; derivative works that are the result of translation, modification, arrangement and processing of other works; collections of works, folkloric expressions such as encyclopedias and anthologies; databases whether in a readable format from a computer or in any other form, whether such collections of databases are created in terms of the selection or arrangement of their contents.
  • Exceptions to copyright protection: The following are specifically excluded from copyright protection: laws and judicial rulings, decisions of administrative bodies, international agreements, and all official documents, as well as the official translations thereof; daily news or news-like events that are published in newspapers, magazines, periodicals, or broadcasted; ideas, procedures, work methods, concepts of mathematical sciences, axioms, and abstract facts.
  • 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: 1 to 2 months (approximately).
Requirements
  1. Power of Attorney from the applicant – duly Apostilled or legalized up to the Saudi consulate;
  2. Assignment deed executed by the author in favor of the applicant, duly Apostilled or legalized up to the Saudi consulate, if the applicant is not the author;
  3. An undertaking stating that the work is the author’s own creation;
  4. Three copies of the work.

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