The Bahraini Patent Office has started accepting annuity payments for the first time in the country following a recent memorandum issued by the General Directorate of Industrial Property on December 3, 2008. Based on this new decision, all patents granted before the promulgation of the new patent laws (Law no. 1/2004 and Law no. 14/2006), and which are still valid, will be treated as if granted under the new laws and will therefore be governed by their provisions. As such, the remaining protection term of the said patents will be calculated based on the 20 year protection period as defined by the new laws. Furthermore, the annuities of the said patents will apply on the remaining protection period and are payable starting from May 8, 2006, the date of issuance of the regulations implementing Law no. 1/2004.

By way of background, a new law (Law no. 1/2004) on the protection of Patents and Utility Models was promulgated in Bahrain back on January 29, 2004. Since that date, the Bahraini Patent Office refrained from accepting any patent applications until the issuance of the implementing regulations of this law. On May 8, 2006, Ministerial Resolution no. 54/2006 regarding the regulations was issued. Furthermore, on May 28, 2006, Law no. 14/2006 amending some of the Articles of Law no. 1/2004 was introduced and became effective on June 01, 2006. Since then, however, the Patent Office was working on its setup in preparation for implementing the new regulations and refrained from accepting annuity payments.

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