Who may apply for a patent in Saudi Arabia?
Competent authority
Official language
Translations
Fees
Timelines


This article is the second in a series outlining the practical aspects of patent legislation and procedure in Saudi Arabia.(1) In particular, this article sets out details relating to applications and applicants.

Who may apply for a patent in Saudi Arabia?

Any person or company that has a place of work or residence in Saudi Arabia may file an application directly themselves. In practice, however, this is rare given that it is not an easy process.

Foreigners must appoint a local firm or representative (that has a place of work or residence within Saudi Arabia) to act on their behalf before the Saudi Arabian Patent Office (SAIP). This means that foreigners must also give the local firm or representative a power of attorney, which must be legalised and notarised. Challenges with the process of legalising and/or notarising may arise, depending on the nationality of the foreigner, so this step may require support from local lawyers.

Competent authority

The competent authority is the SAIP, which is directly linked to the prime minister. Applications may be submitted via the SAIP's website. Patent applications and patents may also be searched on the SAIP's website (no official searches are available).

Official language

This official language is Arabic. However, when dealing with agents and office representatives, all communication may be in English. Any supporting, official or filing documents must be translated into Arabic at the time of filing.

Translations

Translations into Arabic are required. The translations must be filed at the time of making the application. In theory, late filing of translations is not permitted. While there may be opportunities to file late in practice, this is not recommended.

Fees

Filing fees
The filing fees are:

  • individual fee – $107; and
  • company fee – $214.

Prosecution fees
The examination fee is determined by the examiner and is based on the amount of anticipated work in reviewing the application. For this reason, the examination fee may vary between applications.

Publication and grant
The fees for publication and grant are:

  • individual fee – $107; and
  • company fee – $214.

Annuities
Annuities are paid annually. Payment must be made in the first three months of the year in which the renewal is due. Payment may be made after the initial three-month period, for a period of three months, upon the additional payment of a fine.

Excess claim fees
There are no excess claim fees in Saudi Arabia.

Timelines

An application usually takes between two and four years. No further information on the timelines set by the SAIP is given.

For further information on this topic please contact Richard Gaugeler at Bird & Bird by telephone (+44 20 7415 6000) or email ([email protected]). The Bird & Bird website can be accessed at www.twobirds.com.

Endnotes

(1) For the first article in the series, please see "Practical guide to patents in Saudi Arabia: relevant legislation". For the second article in a similar series on patent law in the United Arab Emirates, see "Practical guide to patents in the United Arab Emirates: applications and applicants".