Please find below answers to a list of frequently asked questions regarding the new regulations implementing the patent-related provisions of the Intellectual Property Law of Yemen (Law no. 19 of October 1994). The regulations came into force in the country on July 02, 2007.

Do the new regulations apply only to cases filed after July 02, 2007, or do they also apply to cases that were filed before that date?

The new regulations are applicable to all patent applications whether filed before or after the issuance of the regulations.

How are patent applications examined?

According to Articles 17 and 19 of the implementing regulations, applications will be examined as to form, novelty, and industrial applicability.

Are there any provisions for filing oppositions?

Patent applications are published in the Official Gazette upon acceptance. Oppositions may be filed within 6 months from publication date.

How long is the term of protection?

The term of protection is 15 years from filing date.

When is a maintenance fee due?

A maintenance fee is due annually on the anniversary of the filing date.

Are annuities payable before or after the granting of the patent?

Annuities are payable before the granting of the patent.

How are annuity fees paid for patent applications which were filed at the Office prior to the issuance of the implementing regulations?

The first annuity payment will be a lump sum amount covering all previous years.

Is there a grace period for late payment of annuities?

There is a 6-month grace period for late payment with a surcharge.

Is compulsory licensing available?

A patent has to be worked. If the patent is not fully exploited by the patentee within 3 years from the date of grant then the patent will be subject to compulsory licensing under the provisions of the law.

What is the novelty bar?

Absolute novelty is required. However,  disclosure of an invention  in an official or officially recognized national/international exhibitions shall not be taken into consideration if it occurred within the 6-month grace period preceding the filing of the patent application.

Are divisional applications admissible?

According to Article 12 of the implementing regulations, divisional applications are provided for. Divisional applications retain the parent’s filing date, and will generally claim the same priority.

Are patents of addition admissible? 

According to Article 61 of Law no. 19 of 1994, patents of addition are provided for. The patent of addition is restricted to the improvement or modification of the invention in the parent patent.