The Kuwaiti Patent Office has recently started examination of design applications to ensure that all the applications filed at the Office comply with the rules and regulations of the relevant design law of the country (Law no. 4 of 1962). The design applications will be examined as to form, local novelty, and industrial applicability. Examination is generally a systematic process whereby the Patent Office is expected to notify the applicant of any objections. The applicant is then required to respond with arguments and/or amendments to overcome the objections. Amendments and arguments may then be accepted or rejected, triggering further response, until a design is issued or the application is rejected and/or abandoned. Even though design applications accepted by the Patent Office are published in the Official Gazette, oppositions can only be filed before the Court.

The Patent Office will reportedly only examine design applications that were filed since the year 1993 and whose protection period is still valid. Applications filed before 1993 will be considered to have lapsed because of the expiration of the protection period. In such cases, new applications must be re-filed at the Patent Office.

In light of the above new development, Saba & Co. IP will be reviewing the files for all pending design applications that are liable for examination and will be notifying clients accordingly. As for pending patent applications, examination is still put on hold. We will be regularly following-up on this and keeping you updated in due course.

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