Given Saudi Arabia’s unremitting commitment to the protection of intellectual property, the Saudi Council of Ministers approved the formation of the Saudi Intellectual Property Commission and published its Implementing Regulations. The Commission will be led by the Ministry of Commerce and Investment and its duties will include handling all IP matters in the country.

Pursuant to the Implementing Regulations, the Saudi Intellectual Property Commission is a self-funded agency with consolidated enforcement power and streamlined procedures. Given this definition, the Commission’s responsibilities include, but are not limited to, (1) granting patents, (2) registering trademarks, (3) advising on IP policy, protection, and enforcement, (4) promoting the stronger and more effective IP protection, and (5) providing training, education, and capacity building programs designed to foster respect for IP.

This news follows other recent updates that took place in Saudi Arabia, the most noteworthy of these include: (1) the change of the opposition procedure from a purely legal process to an administrative proceeding, and (2) the shift to online filing of applications for trademark renewals, with the possibility for the e-filing of trademark recordals in the near future.

We expect further developments in Saudi Arabia that will attract more investment, and boost private sector participation in the economy.

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