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 the United Arab Emirates. In particular, this article sets out the relevant legislation.(1)

Patent laws and regulations

On 30 November 2021, the new UAE patent law, Federal Law No. 11 of 2021 Concerning the Regulation and Protection of Industrial Property Rights, was published. The law replaces the previous patent and design law (Federal Law No. 36 of 2006) as the primary source of law in this field. Anything that contravenes with the new law will be repealed, and anything that does not conflict with the new law or has not been amended by the new law will remain in force.

The new law repeals the earlier UAE IP law – namely, Federal Law No. 17 of 2002 On the Regulation and Protection of Industrial Property of Patents, Designs and Industrial Patterns.

The new Patent Law is regulated by Cabinet Resolution No. 6 of 2022 On the Executive Regulations of the Federal Law No. 11 of 2021 Concerning the Regulation and Protection of Industrial Property Rights, which came into force six months after the publication of the law (ie, 30 May 2022).

Other controlling laws and regulations include:

Scope of protection

The new law covers in scope the protection of:

  • patents;
  • industrial designs;
  • layout designs of integrated circuits;
  • undisclosed information; and
  • utility certificates – these are similar to patents and require novelty but not inventiveness.

The protection granted by patents lasts for 20 years, while the protection granted by utility certificates lasts for 10 years.

Employers are entitled to inventions created by employees in the United Arab Emirates. Inventions created in the course of a contract or equivalent belong to the person in whose favour the contract or work is being done (ie, the employer).

Relevant international treaties

The United Arab Emirates is a signatory to the following international treaties:

  • the Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of the Deposit of Microorganisms for the Purposes of Patent Procedure – acceded on 17 May 2021;
  • the Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization – acceded on 24 September 1974;
  • the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property – acceded on 19 September 1996;
  • the Patent Cooperation Treaty – acceded on 10 March 1999;(2)
  • the Strasbourg Agreement Concerning the International Patent Classification – acceded on 17 February 2022; and
  • the World Trade Organization Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights – acceded on 10 April 1996.

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 Saudi Arabia, see "Practical guide to patents in Saudi Arabia: relevant legislation".

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