The Kuwaiti Patent Office announced that, in collaboration with the Gulf Cooperation Council Patent Office, they have completed the formality examination for all pending Kuwaiti patent applications. It is expected that the Kuwaiti Patent Office will communicate this news directly with the agent of records and advise on the next steps—that are still not clear for the time being. According to the regulations, an applicant will have a non-extendable 3 months from the date of notification, for correcting any formality defects.

As a recap on Kuwait and patents, in April 2016, we reported that the Kuwaiti Patent Office has adopted the GCC patent law and regulations as its current law and regulations. Following this announcement, we reported that the Kuwaiti Patent Office stopped accepting new patent applications and advised patentees seeking protection in Kuwait to pursue protection via the regional GCC patent system. At the time, the fate of all pending patent applications was uncertain. Then, in July 2016, we reported that Kuwait has acceded to the PCT, which went into force on September 9, 2016. This created a new uncertainty since the GCC Patent Office itself has not acceded to the PCT.

The announcement which we report here indicates that the pending Kuwaiti patent applications may be examined soon and decisions issued. In addition, working through the existing backlog could also be an indication that the Kuwaiti Patent Office may very well be preparing to start with a clean slate and reopen its doors in time for accepting the first PCT national stage filings, which would have designated Kuwait.

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