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Kuwait: PCT Enters into Force

September 9, 2016

As a reminder, Kuwait became the 149th member of the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) on June 9, 2016, and the sixth and final Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member state to accede to the PCT.

Accordingly, Kuwait became bound by the PCT on September 9, 2016 and KW will be automatically designated on all PCT applications as of that date. The Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Trademarks and Patent Department announced that it has delegated its Receiving Office (RO) functions to the International Bureau (IB). Furthermore, the Ministry listed the Egyptian Patent Office and the European Patent Office as the competent International Searching and Preliminary Examining Authorities (ISA & IPEA), for international applications filed by nationals and residents of Kuwait.

The applicable time limit for national phase entry (NPE) under both Ch. I and Ch. II is 30 months from the earliest priority, with the possibility for restoration of the right of priority under PCT Rule 49ter.2 for both “unintentional” and “due care” requests.

In the absence of a new patent law and related implementing regulations to govern international filings and national phase entries, and pursuant to the recent announcement that the Kuwaiti Paten Office is no longer accepting new patent applications, it remains to be seen how these filings will be effected.

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