Kuwait became the 176th country to accede to the Paris Convention on September 2, 2014. The Convention will enter into force on December 2, 2014.

With Kuwait’s accession, all the Gulf Cooperation Council member countries have now acceded to the Convention. This paves the way for the GCC Patent Office to also deposit its instruments for accession. Although both the Kuwaiti and the GCC patent laws were aligned in some aspects with the Convention practices, such as claiming a 12-month priority on novelty, this move is an indication of Kuwait’s desire to further align itself with the international IP community in general, beyond its WTO membership and accompanying TRIPS agreement.

Until now, the Kuwaiti Patent Office has acted as a deposit system for patents. Patent applications filed with the Kuwaiti Patent Office were examined as to form until such time as the regulations are published and further prosecution through decision is implemented.

As for trademarks, the Kuwaiti Trademark Office has still not clearly defined the requirements for submission of the priority document. A certified copy will be the standard procedure but the time frame for filing the document has not been defined yet.

With this accession, all Arab countries are now members of the Convention, with the exception of Gaza and the West Bank.

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