The UAE has issued Federal Law No. (11) of 2021 regarding the regulation and protection of industrial property rights.  Gazetted on 31 May, it will come into effect in November 2021. This is a law dedicated to patents, industrial designs, integrated circuits, undisclosed information, and utility certificates.  It applies across the UAE (including free zones) and is designed to supercede the previous law in its entirety. 

Selecting a few highlights, the first chapter of the Law is concerned with applications and details surrounding eligibility for patents and utility certificates. In particular, Article 5 provides details about the conditions for granting the patent, noting that a patent will be granted for every new invention resulting from an innovative idea or an innovative improvement that represents a creative step and is industrially applicable. The patent can be granted either from a new application or from an amendment, improvement or addition to an invention for which a patent was previously granted if it meets the conditions stipulated in this Law.  The Law notes that an invention will be considered to be ‘new’ if it is not preceded by a previous industrial technology disclosing it to the public in writing or orally or by any other means. The Law addresses the granting of a utility certificate and details the process for transferring a utility certificate to a patent application.

The Law addresses the issue of determining the so-called right to invention.  It stipulates that the name of the inventor must be mentioned in the application for a patent or utility certificate, and that right remains with the inventor or his legal successor.  There is, as expected, a process for amending the right of an invention in the case of error.

The Law includes sections on compulsory licenses, addressing the rights of the license holder, the multiplicity of compulsory licenses, and the exception to the conditions of compulsory licensing by the court.

Abandonment of the patent or utility certificate is addressed as well as the circumstances that give rise to revocation of each.

Naturally, there are sections addressing international patent applications, which will be of interest to many of our clients as will the sections covering claims for damages, preventive measures and penalties

We look forward to assessing the impact of the new Law on the process of application and, more interestingly, in the area of disputes and protection in the UAE.