Barely a year and a half after issuing Law no. 36/2014 paving the way for Kuwait’s accession to the Paris Convention in November 2014, Kuwait’s Council of Ministers voted and published on March 27, 2016 a new law, Law no. 11/2016, which paves the way for the country’s accession to the Patent Cooperation Treaty.

Building on its determination to strengthen and enforce its economic growth, Kuwait realizes that a developed and advanced IP system is an important tool in achieving this goal. With the introduction of this Law, the Council empowers and entrusts the Foreign Ministry with depositing its instruments with the WIPO thus ushering a new era of patent procurement in Kuwait. The actual date of accession and the date on which the Treaty will go into force are yet to be determined.

Needless to say, there are a number of questions that remain unanswered at this stage, as it is important to determine if following the implementation of the Law, the Patent Office will introduce and publish new regulations which would provide for local substantive examination and search capabilities to name a couple. Furthermore, it remains uncertain if the Patent Office intends to start granting patents and receiving annuity payments.

We expect these issues to be addressed during the period between the country’s accession and the first deadlines for national stage entries of PCT applications in Kuwait.

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