The examination of applications has now commenced, but contrary to earlier assurances by the Patent Office that the rights in all applications filed under the old law would be safeguarded, the Patent Office has started to issue notices of rejection of applications based on foreign granted patents on the grounds that the novelty requirements under the new law have not been met.

The problem would appear to be that the new law repeals the old law and there are no saving provisions for applications filed under the old law that do not meet the new registration criteria. Our associates have held numerous meetings with the Saudi Patent Office to try to find a solution, but without success. We have been advised that the only way to change the Patent Office approach would be to obtain a contrary ruling from the Appeal Committee.

Unfortunately, this can only be done on a case-by-case basis by filing a request for full examination and response to Patent Office rejection notice and subsequent appeal if the rejection is sustained. Our associates have advised that there are many other applicants in the same position, but the Committee has not yet issued a decision in this regard and our associates are therefore unable to predict the outcome of the appeal.