It is not so often that we come up with great ideas. Novel ideas. Ideas that have industrial application and can widen your wallets. Now you know what I am talking about. Yes, patents. Companies spend a huge amount of (human, financial and capital) resources into research and development to bring enhanced technologies to the industry (or into our homes). Therefore, it is necessary to protect the interests of these companies by providing them with the right to earn from their developments. For instance, if governments had not provided with this protection, the companies would not have the incentive to invest colossal amounts into research and developmental projects and this would, in turn, reduce the amount of investor inflow into the country. Why would you invest in something that is not likely profit you?
In the United Arab Emirates, Federal Law Number 17 of 2002 (as amended) confers protection on novel products in the country. Companies should register their patents at the Intellectual Property Protection Department at the Ministry of Economy by submitting an application in both, English and Arabic. However, companies should ensure about the following factors in consideration while putting forward an application for patent:
- Novel (from a global perspective); and
- should have industrial application.
Further, companies should submit the following documents while submitting the application:
- Articles of Association – copy – in case the applicant is a corporate body – this document should also be attested by the UAE Embassy;
- Deed of Assignment;
- Details of the invention;
- Certified copy of the priority document (in case the application is filed on a priority basis).
Once the application has been submitted, the Patent Office will conduct a comprehensive examination of the invention mentioned in the application. A patent is a time taking the process as this examination may take up to two (2) years. However, plants, biological species, diagnostic methods or operation, mathematical principles, discoveries and any invention that may violate morals or public order may not be permitted to be patented. Unlike trademark searches, it is not possible to do a formal search for existing patents. Patent rights are conferred for a period of twenty (20) years, starting from the date of filing the application.
Companies and individuals who wish to file an application are advised to contact a law firm that a dedicated team of intellectual property lawyers. The application process could be extensive; to obtain an insight about filing an application for patent, continue reading.