IP reform in the Middle East: GCC Countries are now role models for the EU

The intellectual Property situation in Muslim-Majority countries has shifted towards a decentralized and more transparent environment to file for Intellectual property rights. In the past years, there has been a remarkable increase in the number of filed patent rights in countries like Kuwait, Oman, and Qatar. 

The reform includes a more centralized approach to filing patents using an international patent application in GCC countries. Before, patents and cases of enforcing IP rights had to be tackled individually for each country. The receiving office application, implemented in January 2023, now allows the individual enforcement of patents. For the application process, it is now possible to file an international patent application and select the GCC countries in which the patent should be filed. 

With this trend, the GCC community is showing the progress the EU has been working on for many years and still couldn’t implement a similar approach. The simplification of patent filing and, therefore, enabling an open environment for investors is of high importance for the future of free and fair trade and multilateral relationships.