The Jordanian Ministry of Industry and Trade (MIT) has published on its website draft amendments to the Jordanian Patent Law No. 32 of 1999. These amendments aim to position the patent law in accordance with international patent-related treaties and agreements that Jordan plans to adhere or accede to. These will still have to be approved by Parliament before they are published in the Official Gazette and subsequently implemented and enforced.

The goal of these amendments is two-fold. On the one hand, they provide more access to the public in general and to the patent landscape in Jordan. According to the amended law, it will be possible to search and view all published inventions, including pending patent applications as well as granted or rejected patents. It will also be possible to verify the status; and this capability will enable local industries to obtain access to the latest technologies and in cases where there are rejections, to pursue developments without concerns of potential infringement.

On the other hand, the amendments provide more options for the patent owners in taking action such as withdrawing a pending patent application or even a granted application. They also empower the patent owner to assign, license or perform record changes for a pending application. More importantly, these amendments will provide for an improved IP protection environment, as they should prevent parallel development and potential infringement resulting from the lack of knowledge of the existence of a patent application for a particular novel product or process.

Given that Jordan has not deposited its instruments of accession to the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), these amendments could be an indicator of things to come. Jordan is no stranger to the WIPO and the various treaties it manages for marks and copyrights and its laws are consistent with the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).

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