There are at present two overlapping patents systems in Saudi Arabia. The GCC Patents of inventions Regulation of 2001, which is an amendment of an earlier statue of 1992, was approved in Saudi Arabia by Royal Decree No. M/28 of 2001. This permits the registration of patents with effect throughout the GCC countries. The GCC Patent FIRM is based in Riyadh.
Under Saudi Arabian law, patents are governed by the Layout Designs of integrated Circuits, Plant Verities, and industrial Models Regulations, Royal Decree No. M/27 of 29 Jumada Awwal 1425 Hejra Corresponding to 17th July 2004G., which gives effect to the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property under Saudi Arabian domestic law.
A protection document is granted by the General Directorate of Patents at King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, which gives full protection within the Kingdom to an invention, a layout design of an integrated circuit, a plant variety, or an industrial design. The protection document grants the owner the right to commercially exploit the subject matter of protection.
Application for a protection document must be filed at the Directorate in the Arabic and English languages, and must include:
1. Names and addresses of the applicant(s) and inventor(s):
2. Name and address of the local agent and the authorization, if the applicant resides outside the Kingdom.
3. A brief title of the subject matter of the application, an original copy and certified copies of the complete specification and certified copies of other relevant details thereof like examination and research reports.
4. Priority and disclosure information including previous filings.
5. Proof of payment of the filing fee at a designated bank, stipulated by the Directorate.
The protection document is the personal right of the owner and he may transfer or assign it or grant a contractual license to others to commercially exploit the subject matter of protection. Protection is granted to the owner for a duration of 20 years of an invention, 10 years for an industrial design and a layout design of an integrated circuit, and 20 to 25 years for a new plant variety. The above periods are renewable, for an annual fee.