In a long awaited move, the Kuwaiti Patent Office (KPO) has begun substantive examination of patent applications and is issuing search and examination reports. The process is still a little shy but is expected to increase as is the case with any new procedure. Furthermore, earlier this year, KPO published two granted patents in its January 2021 Official Gazette, making these the first two patents to be granted there. The laws and regulations in Kuwait are in place for the complete prosecution of patent applications, from filing to grant.
The news comes at an opportune time, especially following the many concerns raised by innovators on the ability to seek protection in Kuwait after the regional GCC Patent Office issued a notification to stop accepting new patent applications as of January 6, 2021.
As a recap on Kuwait and patents, in April 2016, we reported that the KPO has adopted the GCC Patent Law and regulations as its current law and regulations. Then, in July 2016, we reported that Kuwait has acceded to the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), which entered into force in September of the same year.
This recent update indicates that the KPO is working through the existing backlog and the pending Kuwaiti patent applications will be examined soon and applicants should expect decisions to be issued and the possibility of enforcing their rights with national patents. According to local regulations, an applicant will have a non-extendable three months from the date of notification, for correcting any formality defects.
The KPO’s efforts to develop the national system and streamline the registration process will help promote local innovation and attract foreign patent applicants to register their inventions in Kuwait.