News & insights
Qatar: Accession to the Patent Cooperation Treaty
May 24, 2011
The Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization welcomed the deposit of the instrument of accession of Qatar to the Patent Cooperation Treaty on May 3, 2011. The said treaty will enter into force on August 3, 2011.
Qatar is now bound by the Treaty and consequently any “international” patent application may include the designation of Qatar under its country code “QA”. Furthermore, nationals and residents of Qatar may file “international” patent applications under the Treaty. It is also worth noting that Qatar may be elected for the purpose of International preliminary examination, as it will be bound by Chapter II of the Treaty.
The instrument of accession, however, declares that pursuant to Article 64(5) of the Patent Cooperation Treaty, Qatar does not consider itself bound by the provisions of Article 59 of the Treaty. According to Article 59, any dispute between two or more countries of the Treaty concerning the interpretation or application of the Treaty or its regulations, not settled by negotiation, may, by any of the concerned countries, be brought before the International Court of Justice unless the countries concerned agree on some other method of settlement. Therefore, with regard to any dispute between Qatar and any other country of the Treaty, the provisions of Article 59 shall not apply.
However, the Qatari authorities must first amend the law to include provisions related to national phase PCT applications and should complete the set up of Patent Office in order to receive patent applications. It is not known when will these changes occur but we will keep you updated in due course.
By way of background, the Patent Cooperation Treaty has now a total of 143 contracting member states that include the following countries from our region: Algeria, Bahrain, Cyprus, Egypt, India, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates.
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