Patent laws and regulations
Scope of protection
Relevant international treaties

This article is the first in a series outlining the practical aspects of patent legislation and procedure in Saudi Arabia. In particular, this article sets out the relevant legislation.(1)

Patent laws and regulations

The relevant laws and regulations covering patents in Saudi Arabia are as follows:

  • the Law on Patents, Layout-Designs of Integrated Circuits, Plant Varieties, and Industrial Designs;(2) and
  • the Implementing Regulations of the Law on Patents, Layout-Designs of Integrated Circuits, Plant Varieties, and Industrial Designs.(3)

Scope of protection

The following are covered by patent law in Saudi Arabia:

  • inventions;
  • layout designs of integrated circuits;
  • plant varieties; and
  • industrial models.

The law provides exclusive rights to the registered owner(4) against third parties making, selling, offering to sell and importing infringing materials or products. The protection granted by patents lasts for 20 years from the date of filing.

Relevant international treaties

Saudi Arabia is a signatory to the following international treaties:

  • the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property – acceded on 11 December 2003;
  • the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights – acceded on 11 December 2005;
  • the Patent Cooperation Treaty – acceded on 3 August 2013;(5)
  • the Patent Law Treaty – acceded on 3 May 2013; and
  • the Strasbourg Agreement Concerning the International Patent Classification – acceded on 16 October 2020.

Saudi Arabia also holds patent prosecution highway (PPH) agreements with the United States, South Korea and Japan. A PPH pilot programme was recently launched with the European Patent Office.(6)

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


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

(2) Promulgated by Royal Decree No. M/27 of 17 July 2004 and amended by Decision of the Council of Ministers No. 536 of 3 July 2018.

(3) Issued by Administrative Decision No. 118828/M/10 dated 26 December 2004.

(4) Employers are entitled to inventions created by employees.

(5) Saudi Arabia is a 30-month national phase entry member state.

(6) "Fast-track patent examination launched with Saudi Arabia".