This month we bring you a special focus on a continent that boasts the world’s largest free trade area, a diverse economic make-up and increasing political stability. The latest edition of Law Update focuses on Africa, a territory that continues to be an attractive business and investment destination.
Like the rest of the world, Africa is still re-building from the impact of COVID-19, however, there continues to be an optimistic view of the opportunities the continent presents. An example of the appetite for investment into Africa was captured in a report we commissioned, titled Legal Leaders in MENA. Our survey of legal leaders revealed a resounding desire to expand into new territories, with 81% naming Africa as their investment destination of choice.Read the full edition
Unfortunately these procedures have not been available to prospective applications during the past years for many reasons, including the lack of the necessary competencies to carry out the examinations.
In the past, the Patent Office would accept applications and provide filing receipts, but no further action was taken in respect of such applications. The result was that prospective applicants started excluding Kuwait from their protection strategies and more importantly business models related to key inventions. The risks associate with the infringement of key patents in Kuwait resulting from the absence of adequate protection for patents and the ability to prevent such infringement became a critical risk factor for assessment in deciding whether to enter the Kuwaiti market for certain business.
This situation has changed to some extent and the good news is that the Kuwaiti Patent Office has started examining industrial design applications and publishing them for opposition purposes. Once the period of opposition expires, the Patent Office will issue a registration certificate in compliance with the above mentioned law.
It is hoped that this is a possible first step for the Kuwaiti Patent Office to begin the examination of patents and complete the registration process for the grant of patent protection in the state of Kuwait. Many countries have cooperated well with the European Patent Office (EPO), United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) and The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in respect of the functioning of their patent systems and collaboration with these offices may also be valuable to the Kuwaiti Government to ensure that Kuwait’s patent system becomes fully functional.
The next important question for design right owners is going to be how effective the enforcement of design rights will be in Kuwait.