New Executive Regulation of Industrial Property Law complements UAE’s legislative patent system

ABU DHABI, 29th April, 2022 (WAM) -- Terming issuance of the new Executive Regulation as a vital development, Dr. Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and SMEs, said that the UAE has achieved remarkable results in proliferating the role of innovation and promoting intellectual property while encouraging innovators and inventors.

This came following the issuance of Federal Law No (11) of 2021 on the Regulation and Protection of Industrial Property Rights in line with the Cabinet Resolution No (6) of 2022.

Dr. Al Falasi said that the new Executive Regulation complements the legislative system of Industrial Property Rights and patents in the country by means of developing transparent measures of patent applications, speeding up the granting of these patents, and increasing their numbers in the upcoming stage.

He added, "The regulation assists in providing a comprehensive legislative environment that encourages innovation and patent applications in the UAE. It will further project the UAE as a top destination for innovators in various fields - including technology, new economy, research, and development. Moreover, it will promote its position as a competitive and attractive environment for fundamental investments, hence boosting the pillars of the new economic module based on knowledge and innovation. It will also promote the UAE’s leadership in global competitive indexes, such as the Global Innovation Index (GII), the Global Entrepreneurship Index, and Global Competitiveness Index."

The Regulation further lays the legal foundation for companies and individuals to bring forward their latest ideas and innovations. Through this regulation, various procedures, conditions, requirements, and disciplines regarding industrial property applications have been clarified. It further illustrates various roles and stages through which the application goes, starting from the stage of application to the registering of the industrial property right, along with its consequent rights, privileges, and objections. This comes in line with the best international practices in the field, especially those relating to patents, industrial projects, Utility Certificates, integrated circuits, and the protection of undisclosed information.

The Executive Regulation additionally considers key provisions stipulated in international agreements relating to industrial property rights, guaranteeing the speed, flexibility, and effectiveness of the inspection and registration of industrial property applications, and providing protection for owners of inventions. It further offers extra flexibility and concessions for patents and industrial property for entrepreneurship, SMEs, startups, academic institutions, as well as facilities and companies - including departments for research, development, and innovation, and international companies. All of which are set to effectively benefit from the industrial property services offered by the Ministry of Economy by registering patents for its activities.

The regulations also include knowledge sharing procedures for new inventions to make use of research and development in the private sector, academic institutions, and SMEs and startups in the country. The regulations also specify the time during which patents’ examination results would be announced, achieving the ministry’s goal to use these regulations to reduce the time periods from 42 months to six months.

The regulations also define mechanisms for substantive and formal examinations and the documents related to industrial property rights applications, as well as the controls for formulating protection claims in accordance with international requirements. They also define the technical and legal bases in calculating the principle of priority submission for the same invention, requirements, and data of the industrial property rights registry, as well as specify the requirements and procedures related to correcting and amending industrial property rights applications. In addition, the regulations clarify various aspects related to the international application under the Patent Cooperation Treaty, overseen by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), the mechanisms of calculating annual fees for industrial property rights, the scope of protection and assignment of these rights, and other related aspects.

The executive regulations detail the new procedures and rights introduced by the new Industrial Property Law in various categories of industrial property rights that were not embedded in previous legislation. These include the protection of integrated circuit layout designs, which plays an important role in stimulating and protecting electronic innovations and inventions, that in turn supports the path of advanced technology in the country. This is in addition to protecting undisclosed information, which encourages research and development in the industrial and commercial fields.

The executive regulations also include various provisions related to urgent requests, turning patent applications into benefit certificate applications and vice versa. They provide the possibility to divide the applications for patents, benefit certifications, and industrial designs into multiple applications, which facilitates securing various stages of their progress, and helps to organise the mechanisms of reclaiming applications and the complaints mechanisms related to application results.

The patents and benefit certificate applications submitted to the ministry between the years 2020 and 2021 achieved a growth rate of 26.7 percent. On the other hand, the applications’ growth rate in the first quarter of 2022 was 17.8 percent compared to the same period in 2021. The main fields and activities included in those applications were transportation, construction and mining, electricity, textiles, and paper, among other vital fields.