Sunday, 22 May 2011

Saudi Arabia: Overview of Intellectual Property Law

Saudi Arabia has been party to the Berne Copyright and Paris Industrial Property Conventions since the 11 March 2004 and a member of the World Trade Organization since 11 December 2005.

Its basic intellectual property statutes are:
Unofficial translations of these statutes and other legislation are to be found on the Saudi Arabia resources page of the WIPO website.

There is no intellectual property office as such. Patents, industrial designs, chip topographies and plant varieties are registered by the The King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology ("KACST") which is also the Saudi Arabian national science agency, national laboratory and internet authority for the .sa country code top level domain. Trade Marks are registered by a department of the Ministry of Commerce known as the Trademarks Register while copyright and related rights are the responsibility of the Ministry of Culture.

According to the statistics page of the KACST website, there were 931 patent and 493 industrial design applications in 2010 and 262 patents and 412 design registrations were granted in that year.

Further information on Saudi Arabian intellectual property law can be obtained from Jane Lambert

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Dubai: Consultation on Proposals to amend the Rules of the DIFC Court

As I said in my introduction to the DIFC Court, the Dubai International Financial Centre ("DIFC") has its own court. This is a special common law jurisdiction with its own legislation. I have already discussed the Centre's laws of confidence and passing off in this blog.

The Rules of the DIFC Court ("RDC") appear to be based on our Civil Procedure Rules ("CPR"). They share, for example, the same overriding objective and terminology. For instance, claims are brought by claimants and not by plaintiffs.

On 20 April 2011 proposed a number of amendments to the RDC following extensive discussions with the Rules Sub-Committee of the Court Users Committee. Details of the proposed rule changes can be viewed here. Many of these proposed changes will facilitate electronic filing of court documents.

The consultation ends on 23 May 2011. Responses should be emailed to