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Patent Requirement in UAE:A detailed study

Intellectual property (IP) is a production of the intellect, such as any innovation, literary or creative production, or design. In UAE, an IP creation can be patented, copyrighted, or trademarked, providing recognition or financial reward to its creator. The purpose of IP is to promote creativity, innovation and maintain a balance between inventors’ and the general public’s interests. Patenting enables the protection of inventions without the need for secrecy. The core of innovation is inventions. Patents protect inventions that address a technological problem in a novel manner.

Patents safeguard the rights of inventors whose innovations are really inventive and economically successful by ensuring that the inventor retains ownership over the invention’s commercial usage. A person or business that owns a patent has the right to prohibit others from manufacturing, selling, retailing, or importing the technology. The Patent enables innovators to sell, barter, or license their patented innovations to others interested in using them. This article will aim to cover in-depth the critical prerequisites for filing a patent application in UAE.

What is a Patent?

A patent is a form of Intellectual property that gives an exclusive right to the patentee for his invention (a person who has been granted a Patent). This right prevents others from producing, using, importing, or selling the invention without the owner’s prior consent. A patent is granted when the applicant disclosed all the details relating to the invention. 

Once a patent expires, the innovation enters the public domain, which means that anybody may commercially use it without violating the Patent.

One of the examples of Patent is of “fork with a timer.” Invented by Nicole M. Dubus and Susan Springfield in 1995.

You may want to know: New DIFC Law on Intellectual Property

What legal protection does a patent provide?

  1. The Patent gives the patent holder an exclusion right, allowing him to prevent others from utilizing the innovation. The patent holder may, for example, restrict others from manufacturing, selling, using, importing, or holding the patented invention. If a patent is granted for a method, it covers all products directly manufactured by that method. 
  2. The patent owner also has the power under UAE patent law to prohibit all third – party from providing or intending to supply a party who is not permitted to utilize the patented innovation.

You need to know: How to protect your Recipe under Intellectual Property Rights?

Requirements for obtaining Patent in UAE

As per Article 4 of the Federal Law No. (31) For the Year 2006 of The Industrial Regulation and Protection of Patents, Industrial Drawings, And Designs (after this called as “Patent Law”), A Patent shall be granted to any new invention which is a result of an innovative idea or inventive step in the fields of technology, subject to the condition that such invention has a scientific basis and can be applied for industrial use.

In RA-LIPASE CASE (1991), the Supreme Court of Japan has observed that “When determining whether the patent criteria of novelty and inventive step have been satisfied as prerequisites, the summary of the invention included in the patent application must be reviewed.”

 To obtain a patent in the United Arab Emirates, an inventor must meet specific criteria. A patent application must satisfy the following three requirements for the grant of Patent:

    1. Novelty
      This implies that your innovation must not have been disclosed to the public – not even by you – before the filing date of a patent application. An invention must be considered innovative or novel to be patented. In other words, in most cases, an invention will not be patentable if:

      • The invention is known to the public An application for the Patent should be rejected on the ground of lack of novelty if the information relating to the invention was already available to the general public before filing a patent application.
      • The invention disclosed in Publications. Before applying for patent protection, if the invention has been revealed in a printed publication such as journals, newspapers, books, or any other magazine, the applicant’s application will be rejected.
      • The invention has already published in the previous patent application. The invention is said to lack novelty if such innovation was mentioned in a previously published patent application or issued Patent, filed before the applicant filing for patent protection. In simple words, if someone has applied for the same invention before the applicant, such application cannot be accepted for the grant of Patent.

In Blackey v. Latham (1888) 43 Ch. D. 23, the Supreme Court of Canada observed that “for an invention to qualify as a novel in the patent sense, it must show innovation.” In other words, the subject matter of Patent should include new “invention” over the previous invention to be patentable.”

  1. Inventive step
    One of the requirements for granting or registering a patent is that the invention shows an Inventive Step/Non-Obviousness. Almost every Patent Office assesses a patent application for inventive step or non-obviousness. Non-Obviousness is a word used by some Patent Offices, whereas others use inventive step. The inventive step is used to determine if the Patent is for a new product or merely a noticeable improvement on an existing product. Inventive step ensures that patents are not granted for existing innovations that the “inventor” has modified. If the inventor has done something that no one has the same knowledge in the particular field can think of, he can be eligible for a Patent. The inventive step in an invention should include technological improvement relative to existing knowledge; it should not be based on an abstract concept.
  2. Industrial Application
    This criterion means that the innovation must be capable of being manufactured. In other words, inventions must be capable enough to be produced or used in any industry. “Industry” should be interpreted as broadest because the innovation may be applied or utilized in sectors such as agriculture, fisheries, handicrafts, and services.

The purpose of this article is to provide a general overview of the subject. HHS lawyers and legal consultants are specialized in dealing with the registration, infringement and other related issues of Patent. Our IP professionals can advise you on the procedures and assist you with patent registration. Contact us immediately for expert assistance. 

M. Al Khatem

Trademark & Intellectual Property

M. Al Khatem is a senior Trademark and Intellectual Property (IP) expert in HHS Lawyers. He has handled some of the firm’s complex, high-profile cases – many involving the protection of trademark and IP rights.