Market updates and insights from around the region. This month we report on news from Bahrain, Egypt, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
Official fee increase expected in Bahrain
The Bahraini Trade Mark Office have indicated that an increase in the official fees for prosecution work can be expected in the coming months. As yet, there are no details on what the increase will be and whether it will be as significant as we have seen in other countries, such as Kuwait and the UAE.
Anti-counterfeiting barcode system brought in by the Ministry of Supply
A new interactive barcode system has been launched by the Ministry of Supply and the Ministry of Military Production in Egypt. Consumers will be able to send an SMS from their mobile phones with a scan of the barcode on food or pharmaceutical products and will receive an instant verification as to whether the product is genuine or not. Consumers will then also have the option of reporting counterfeits to the authorities through an SMS.
At the moment, brand owners may opt into the service should they wish, although it is thought that it will eventually become mandatory.
The Ministry of Economy and Commerce (MEC) seizes 3,382 counterfeit CDs and DVDs.
The Peninsula Qatar Daily Newspaper has reported that inspectors from the MEC have seized 3,382 pirated CDs and DVDs along with a device used to make the infringing discs.
This comes following the MEC's recent announcement that it will continue to prevent the manufacture and sale of pirated software in the country.
Amendments to Patent Regulations in Saudi Arabia
The Saudi Arabian Patent Office has issued amended Implementing Regulations to the Law of Patents, Layout Designs of Integrated Circuits, Plant Varieties and Industrial Design. The Implementing Regulations came into effect on 19 December 2015, and they include a number of significant changes including:
Annuity fees are to be calculated from PCT filing date, rather than national phase entry date Article 65 of the amended Implementing Regulations states that:
"Upon the designation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for protection and after the application reaches the National Phase, an annual fee shall be payable for the applications as from the international filing date and the applicant must pay the said fee for the previous years on the maturity date of the first fee. In case the applicant failed to pay the same within the prescribed deadline, a doubled annual...