The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the largest Arabic gulf state in terms of population and GDP. It is therefore a key market for businesses entering the Middle East region. However, it can be a country which poses difficulties both in general terms of doing business, as well as for the protection of intellectual property rights.
With a population of almost 31 million people, which increases significantly during the Hajj (the Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca), businesses are keen to be able to commercialise their products and services in the Kingdom.
The Kingdom has an absolute monarchy. It is now ruled by His Highness Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, following the passing of King Abdullah in January 2015. Historically, the Kingdom has been the world’s largest oil producer before recently being overtaken by the USA.
This article provides an introduction to some of the intellectual property issues to be aware of in this key jurisdiction.