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Affiliations

Bodies: World Intellectual Property Organization, World Trade Organization, Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

Conventions: GCC Patent Law.

Country Information

Capital: Kuwait City

Location: Middle East, bordering the Arabian Gulf, between Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

Languages: Arabic (official); English widely spoken.

Currency: 1 U.S. $= 0.28 Kuwaiti Dinar (January 2014)

Timezone: GMT + 3

Patent Requirements

Patent Filing

  • Power of Attorney legalized up to the Kuwaiti Consulate
  • An extract of the entry of the applicant in the commercial register, or an official copy of the memorandum or articles of association, if the applicant is a company or a body corporate legalized up to the Kuwaiti Consulate
  • The title of the invention
  • Summary description of the invention
  • The number and date of the corresponding foreign patent
  • The name, address, nationality and occupation of the applicant(s) and inventor(s)
  • Two copies of the specifications of the invention together with the Arabic translation
  • Two sets of the formal drawings bearing Arabic reference numerals
  • An assignment document from the inventor to the applicant legalized up to the Kuwaiti Consulate

Assignment

  • Power of Attorney executed by the assignee legalized up to the Kuwaiti Consulate
  • Deed of assignment duly signed by both assignor and the assignee and legalized up to the Kuwaiti Consulate

Patent Summary

The registration of patents in Kuwait is made possible through the provisions of Law No 4 of 1962, amendment in 1999. The validity of a patent of invention is 20 years as of the date of filing the application.

However, as of now, all requests for patent filed with the Kuwaiti Patent Office are practically in the application stage since the concerned office is yet to start the process for examining, publishing and granting the patents. However, relevant inventions receive protection for the period of 20 years, counting from the date of filing. In the absence of clear by- laws concerning above, all filed applications shall remain as documentary evidence of ownership and priority claim in case of any conflict.

Hence usual actions such as opposition, renewal, payment of annuities, working etc are not applicable in Kuwait. However assignment for the applications can be recorded without any problem.

As per 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.

Nevertheless Kuwait is a party to the Gulf Cooperation Council Countries (GCC). A patent granted by the GCC Patent Office will protect the patent in all the GCC member countries.

Trademark Requirements

Trademark Registration

  • A Power of Attorney legalized up to the Kuwaiti consulate (can be submitted at a later stage)

Renewal of Trade/service Marks

  • Power of Attorney legalized up to the Kuwaiti Consulate
  • The original Kuwaiti registration certificate of the trademark for endorsement purposes

Change of Name/Address

  • Power of Attorney executed in the new name and/or address and legalized up to the Kuwaiti Consulate
  • An official certificate proving the change of name and/or address legalized up to the Kuwaiti consulate
  • The original registration certificate of the trademark for endorsement purposes

Assignment

  • Power of Attorney executed by the assignee legalized up to the Kuwaiti Consulate
  • A deed of assignment signed by both assignor and assignee, legalized up to the Kuwaiti Consulate
  • The original Kuwaiti certificate of registration of the trademark for endorsement purposes.

Merger

  • Power of Attorney duly legalized up to the Kuwaiti Consulate
  • A merger document legalized up to the Kuwaiti Consulate

Trademark Summary

The International Classification of Goods and Services (8th Edition) is followed. However, class 33, alcoholic goods in class 32, and pork meat in class 29 cannot be registered in Kuwait. A separate application is required for each class.

Once the trademark is filed, it proceeds for examination wherein its registrability is examined based on various criterions such as existence of any identical or confusingly-similar marks etc. A rejection by the Registrar on any grounds could only be challenged in the court within 30 days from the official notification. If the trademark is accepted, it is published in 3 consecutive issues of Kuwait Official Gazette ((Al-Kuwait Al-Youm).  Following this, any interested party can raise an opposition within 30 days from the date of the publication of third issue of Official Gazette. An opposition mandates the applicant to submit a counter-statement within 30 days, if he is keen to maintain his application. In the absence of opposition, the application matures for registration and a registration certificate is issued subsequently.

Trademark registration is valid for a term of ten years from the date of filing the application; and is renewable for further similar periods. A six months grace period is allowed as regards renewals but with a penalty.

As assignment could be recorded once the mark is registered. As a matter of fact, no assignment will be considered valid till it is recorded in the register. The recordal details are endorsed on the original registration certificate without publishing them in the Official Gazette. Trademarks may be assigned with or without the goodwill of the business concerned. The TM Law also has provisions to effectuate change of name/address, non-substantial amendments to mark or limitation of goods. The Law also allows the Merger to be recorded.

A license agreement can be recorded if the licensor or licensee is a Kuwaiti national. However the license agreements may be recorded at the commercial registry and not the Trademark Office. A legalized extract from the commercial register would then be duly recognized by the Courts in case of any conflict.

As is the case with other GCC countries, use of trademark is not the pre-requisite for filing a trademark application in Kuwait. However, a trademark is always vulnerable for cancellation if any interested party can establish and then convince the court that the applicant failed to use the trademark in Kuwait for five (5) consecutive years. However, if a trademark is registered in bad faith, no such time limit is taken into consideration while initiating the cancellation action.

Unauthorized use of a trademark registered under the law, a replication of such a trademark applied on goods and/or used in respect of services of the same class, sale, storing for the purpose of sale, exhibiting for sale of goods bearing a counterfeit mark, or using a mark duly registered under the law by another person to serve the purpose of unauthorized promotion of goods and/or services of the same class is considered offensive and such a person/entity invites penalization as per the Kuwaiti Law.