The Patent Office of Oman has recently called for settlement of all cumulative annuity fees which fell due on the first and each subsequent anniversary of (1) the filing date of a local application, or (2) the PCT international filing date of a national phase application. Annuities must be settled by no later than April 1, 2010. A power of attorney will not be required to make the annuity payments even if there is a change in the agent of record. The Patent Office has also requested from all applicants to complete their files by submitting any outstanding documents in order to start examining the pending applications.

By way of background, the Omani Patent Office started accepting patent applications in 2005 after the introduction of the official fees schedule (published in Official Gazette no. 805 dated December 17, 2005), which completed Ministerial Decree no. 37 issued earlier on September 10, 2005 regarding the implementing regulations of Patent Law no. 82 of 2000. On May 12, 2008, Oman introduced a new Industrial Property Rights Law by virtue of royal decree no. 67 of 2008, which replaced Law no. 82 of 2000. The regulations implementing Law no. 67 of 2008 came into force in the country on December 17, 2008. Since then, however, the Patent Office was working on its setup in preparation for implementing the new regulations and refrained from accepting any annuity payments.

It is also worth noting that the Omani government is reportedly expected to increase its official rates in connection with all trademark and patent related matters in the country by the beginning of the year 2010. In light of this development, Saba & Co. IP advises all clients to attend to the payment of the annuity fees before the end of this year.

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