Following the government’s directions to transfer the Kingdom into the stage of knowledge economy, several laws and regulations for protecting Intellectual Property Rights of parties and individuals have been enacted. Moreover, the Kingdom has provided an appropriate climate for investments and encouraged the establishment of innovation-based industries to work on facilitating the technology transfer to the Kingdom and ensure a discussion of Intellectual Property Rights in the presence of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Ministry of Culture and Information, and the Saudi Patent Office. These authorities enable the registration and preservation of the intellectual rights. In the event of infringement of Intellectual Property owned by others, they have the right to file a lawsuit.
On the external level, with the role of the Kingdom’s economy globally that builds trade relations with other countries at the level of governments, and the establishment of business partnerships between Saudi companies and their counterparts in other countries, it was essential for the Kingdom to protect their rights (with the commitment to maintain others’ rights) to be an active party in a number of international conventions that organize these activities. The most notable activities is the WTO agreement that is specialized generally in organizing trade relations, and the WIPO that focuses on protecting Intellectual Property in its various forms, such as patents, copyrights and trademarks.
KACST has realized the need for a specialized authority of Intellectual Property within KACST to review the agreements and contracts to be signed with universities, research centers and industrial entities. This need originated from the awareness of the importance of protecting Intellectual Property Rights of KACST’s scientific research outcomes. Therefore, The Intellectual Property Unit was established in 2009 to focus on and develop the Saudi competencies that will be capable of dealing with scientific research outcomes (e.g. patents, trade secrets, etc.) by saving and investing. Moreover, it is concerned with answering queries on Intellectual Property Rights asked by investigators or KACST’s research units. It also provides consultancy for universities and Saudi research centers to establish similar research units. Intellectual Property Unit provides services through:
- Providing financial and in-kind support to Saudi inventors in order to fill the gap between their inventions and the production and marketing stages, by registering patents locally, regionally and internationally, achieving the primary and industrial models, and preparing the innovation to commercialization.
- Reserving KACST acquisitions and projects of the National Plan for Science, Technology and Innovation in various intellectual fields such as patents, copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets, industrial designs, integrated circuits, and plant varieties; and developing them to serve the community. Also, investing in these acquisitions to develop scientific research.
- KACST, represented by the Inventors and Intellectual Property Support Unit, has helped the Saudi inventors by providing moral and financial support for their inventions and assisting them in transferring their inventions to an actual product. This is achieved in two courses:
The first is by protecting the idea, while the second course includes the transference of the technology into an actual product.
For the first course: support has been provided to more than (1577) Saudi inventors to cover the expenses stipulated in the regulation of intellectual property, layout-designs of integrated circuits, plant varieties, and industrial designs.
A fir the second: A financial support has been granted to (55) Saudi inventors to transfer the technology, manufacture prototypes, conduct laboratory experiments, and get commercial investment.
Intellectual Property Management for KACST Investigators:
KACST has many research labs that are capable of inventing new technologies. These labs have a qualified technical staff of experts each qualified in their field of technology. KACST currently owns more than (220) patents and has more than (590) pending applications at local and international offices. Since these patents are very important in the technical field, KACST must protect the trademarks rights of its patents that have reached a commercial stage. In this regard, KACST has (21) registered trademarks at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.