After years of preparation, workshops, and meetings, Jordan has finally taken the leap and acceded to the Patent Cooperation Treaty on March 9, 2017. Given that the Treaty has effectively entered into force today, on June 9, 2017, all international applications, filed on this date or after, will designate Jordan (JO) for national stage entry.

This is a welcome relief for applicants interested in obtaining patent protection for their investments in the country. Having that additional grace period prior to triggering the decision to file or not to file in Jordan based on the international search, places the country in a better position for seeing more applications entering at the national stage. However, the question remains as to whether it is preferable to wait, or still file an application claiming the 12 month Convention priority.

Other recent developments on the patent front include the amendment and publication of Patent Law no. 16 and Patent Law no. 17 in the Official Gazette on May 16, 2017—both laws will enter into force on June 16, 2017. Furthermore, the new regulations set forth in the aforementioned laws stipulate (1) the possibility of electronic filing of patent applications, (2) applications will be published after 18 months from the filing date or the priority date, (3) the possibility of withdrawing a patent application prior to its grant, and (4) prohibiting the importation of patented items by the patent licensee, if the license agreement restricts the import of said products into Jordan.

Jordan remains a country with high aspirations that welcomes foreign investments. A healthy balance between the latter and local development is bound to be beneficial for the country’s own growth. The proper application and enforcement of intellectual property laws should help Jordan become more of an innovative hub and lead to this required healthy financial balance.

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