We have just learnt that the Bahraini Patent Office has finally started to accept the payment of patent annuities, for the first time in this jurisdiction. As we have previously reported, the Implementing Regulations for the new patent law in Bahrain came into force on 10 May 2006, and whilst the requirement for the payment of annuities was introduced as of that date, the Bahraini Patent Office has not been accepting any annuity payments until now.

In view of this new development, annuities are therefore now payable annually, for the remainder of the patent term of 20 years from the filing date of all granted patents (including those granted before the promulgation of the new law and which are still valid), starting from the fee which fell due in 2006. The back annuities must be paid in respect of each patent within six months of the date of receipt of the official notification in this regard, i.e. before the non-extendible deadline of 22 June 2009. Failure to pay these back fees, or indeed any future annuities, will result in the lapse of the patent.

As mentioned above, annuities are payable with effect from 2006, and annually thereafter, based on each anniversary of the grant date of the patent from 2006 onwards. For instance, for a patent granted on 28 October 1996, annuities are payable in respect of 2006 (the 11th annuity), 2007 (the 12th annuity), and 2008 (the 13th annuity). All of these back annuities are payable before 22 June 2009. In this example, the fee for 2009 (the 14th annuity) must then be paid before 28 October 2009, or within a six month grace period thereafter along with a late fine, and annually thereafter.

Please let us know if you have any queries in this matter.