On 27 December 2015, Kuwait published Ministerial decision no. 500 of 2015 in relation to the approval of the implementing regulations for law no. 12 of 2015 approving the Gulf Cooperation Council trademark law.

The publication of this decision is a major step forward for Kuwait in relation to the GCC trademark law (which we will comment on separately) but it also brings into force a new official fee regime for trademark matters from 1 January 2016 (although the decision became effective on 28 December 2015).

Kuwait was known for being one of the least expensive countries in the Arabian Gulf in which to obtain trademark registration. That is now about to change with dramatic fee increases. The trademark application fee is increasing from about US$25 to US$150. The publication and registration fees are going from about US$60 to US$875. Renewal fees will be over US$1000.

After the increases, trademark registration in Kuwait will still be less expensive than in the UAE and Saudi Arabia (with the UAE now by far the most expensive):

Country – Official fees (filing to registration)

United Arab Emirates – US$3300

Saudi Arabia – US$1870

Kuwait – US$1025

The UAE increased its fees by 100%, and more in some cases, earlier this year. Saudi Arabia may be planning 2016 for some specifc trademark fees.

These developments have come as oil prices have sunk lower and revenues for the GCC countries have suffered as a result.