A regional patent filing system for the countries of the middle east came into operation on 3rd October 1998. It is now possible to file a single application to cover the 6 present member states :-

Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and United Arab Emirates

As well as offering a centralised registration procedure, the GCC enables patent proprietors to obtain protection by means of registration in Oman and Qatar which previously had no registration systems of their own.