Over the year 2009, many noteworthy developments have affected the Intellectual Property protection and enforcement framework in the countries of our region, including the promulgation of new legislations on IP rights and the accession to WIPO-Administered Treaties. In what follows we list these major developments which have the potential to change the way both companies and counsels alike handle the various aspects of IP in the region.








The Patent Office starts accepting annuity payments for the first time in the country.


Bahrain starts accepting copyright applications following the issuance of the regulations implementing the law governing copyright protection in the country (Law no. 22 of 2006).









According to an official memorandum issued by the Patent Office on June 6, 2009, the term of protection of a national phase PCT application will be 20 years from the international filing date and the maintenance fees will be due annually on the anniversary of the international filing date, payable before the granting of the patent.


The Madrid Protocol Concerning the International Registration of Marks enters into force on September 03, 2009.






The regulations implementing the new trademark, patent, and industrial design law come into force. The most important feature of the new regulations is that they contain provisions on the registration and maintenance of designs for the first time in the country.





More than 100,000 pirated CDs, DVDs, computer games, and unlicensed computer software are destroyed.









A decision was taken to establish a Trademark Appeal Board with the main responsibility of hearing and deciding on appeals against any rejection decision issued by examiners in connection with trademark applications.


The list of goods and services is revised with major updates involving classes 10 and 28.




The Trademark Law Treaty enters into force on July 06, 2009.





The Trademark Office shifts its trademark classification system from Nice’s 8th edition to Nice’s 9th Edition, effective as of August 8, 2008.







The Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs enters into force on March 04, 2009.


The Protection of New Varieties of Plants enters into force on November 22, 2009.


Oman starts accepting annuity payments for the first time in the country.




Fifteen new species are introduced to the national list of approved plant varieties.







The requirement for the Boycott of Israel Declaration is waived for all filings of national trademark, patent, and industrial design applications.


Owners of well-known trademarks can object before the Trademark Office against the registration of confusingly similar marks regardless of whether their well-known marks are registered or not.