In terms of Article 15 of the GCC Patent Law it has been possible to file applications for patents of importation based upon corresponding foreign granted patents, notwithstanding that their subject matter has been disclosed to the public. This Article is analogous to Article 27 of the Saudi Arabian Patent Law, under which the Saudi Patent Office has granted many patents of importation.

However, an amendment of the GCC Patent Law to delete Article 15 is currently under consideration and is expected to be implemented during the course of this year. Absolute novelty (with limited exceptions) will thereafter be required of applications. Clients with granted patents wishing to secure corresponding protection in the GCC Member States (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates) should therefore make arrangements for lodging applications at the GCC Patent Office as soon as possible, as it is unlikely that much notice will be given before the amendment is effected.