Kuwait Patent Overview
The provisions of Law No. 4 of 1962 and its amendment of 1999 allows for the registration of patents in Kuwait. The validity of a patent of invention is 20 years as of the date of filing the application.
Kuwait is a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council Countries (GCC). A patent granted by the GCC Patent Office which is located in Saudi Arabia will protect the patent in all member countries including Kuwait. The GCC Countries comprise the United Arab Emirates, Kingdom of Bahrain, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Sultanate of Oman, State of Qatar and State of Kuwait.
Currently, once an application is filed for the grant of a patent registration, the Kuwaiti Patent Registrar takes no further action. The Kuwaiti Patent Office has not yet started the process of examining, publishing and granting of patents. All patents filed with the Kuwaiti Patent Office are practically in the application stage, but are officially protected for 20 years as of the date of filing.
Until the Kuwaiti Patent Office changes the present practice, all filed patent applications shall remain as documentary evidence of ownership and priority claim even in the absence of examination and issuance of certificates by the Patent Office. The usual actions of opposition, renewal, payment of annuities, working, and so forth (with the exception of the assignment of applications), are not currently applicable in Kuwait.
According to the patent law, patents for utility models will be granted to those applications which include a new technical solution in the shape or formulation for equipment, means, tools, parts thereof or others which are used in commercial applications. An applicant may transform his patent application for utility model into a patent application for an invention, if the conditions are fulfilled, and vice-versa. In both cases, the filing date of the original application shall be taken into consideration.
The term of protection of a utility model is 7 years starting from the date of submitting the application. It is not possible to renew the term of protection. The Patent Office shall publish utility model applications within 6 months from the date of submitting the application.
Kuwait Trademark Overview
The International Classification of Goods and Services for the Purposes of the Registration of Marks under the Nice Agreement is followed in Kuwait. The trademark law does not provide for the protection of trademarks covering alcoholic drinks in classes 32 and 33 and pork meat in class 29. Class No. 33 has been completely dropped and the international class 34 has been reinstated for tobacco products. A separate application should be filed with respect to each class of goods and services.
Once a trademark application is filed, the trademark is examined as to its registrability. In case the Registrar rejects a trademark, the applicant may file an appeal in court within 60 days as of the date of the official notification. Trademark applications accepted by the Registrar will be published in the Official Gazette of Kuwait (Al-Kuwait Al-Youm). There is a 60-day period open for filing opposition by any interested party. The statement of opposition to the registration of a trademark should be submitted to the Registrar within the prescribed term of 60 days, as of the date of the last (third) publication of the relevant notice in the Official Gazette.
An opposition statement requires a counter statement to be filed within 60 days by the applicant in order to maintain the trademark application in force. All opposed trademark applications remain pending with the Registrar until he takes a decision or a court decision is issued in favor of either party or an amicable settlement is reached by the parties concerned. In the absence of opposition, the relative certificate of registration will be issued.
A trademark registration is valid for 10 years as of the date of filing the application, renewable for similar periods of 10 years each upon submitting an application for renewal during the last year of the protection period of the trademark.
The trademark law provides for a 6-month grace period for late renewal of a trademark registration subject to the payment of a lateness fine. A trademark, which lapses, may be re-registered in the name of a third party at any time.