We have just learnt, with no forewarning, that the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Patent Office has suddenly stopped accepting new patent applications as of today 6th January 2021. This decision is one of several issued following a GCC Council of Ministers’ meeting yesterday, 5th January 2021.


No information is yet available to the public on the amended GCC Patent Law. For now, however, the only option available to patent applicants wishing to obtain protection in the GCC member states of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and UAE is by filing a separate Convention or (where possible) a PCT application in each jurisdiction of interest, as it is no longer possible to apply for a unified GCC patent. It appears that existing pending and granted GCC patent cases will be allowed to proceed unaffected by this development.

For more information please contact the author, Louise Audhlam-Gardiner, at louise@lysaght.co.uk