1. What is a patent?
A patent is an exclusive protection document granted for an invention.
2. What is an invention?
An invention is an idea developed by the inventor that results in a solution of a certain problem in the field of technology.
3. Which is the body responsible for granting patents?
Patents are granted by King Abdulaziz City for science and Technology (Saudi Patent Office).
4. What are the provisions governing the grant of patents?
A patent may be granted on an invention if it is new, involves an inventive step, and capable of industrial application.
5. When is an invention new?
An invention is new if it is not anticipated by prior art. In this respect, prior art means all that is disclosed to the public anywhere by means of written or oral disclosure, by use or by any other way through which knowledge of the invention is realized.
6. When does an invention involve an inventive step?
An invention involves inventive step if, with regard to prior art related to the patent application, it is not obvious to a person with ordinary skills in the art.
7. When is an invention industrially applicable?
An invention is industrially applicable if it can be manufactured or used in any type of industry or agriculture, including handicrafts, fishing and services.
8. May an invention be owned by more than one person?
Yes, if the subject matter of protection is a joint work of several persons, they shall be equally entitled to the right, unless they have agreed otherwise.
9. What are the rights of patent owner?
The patent owner has the right to exploit his invention which includes:
(a) If it is a product: Its manufacture, sale, offering for sale, use, storage or its importation for any of these purposes.
(b) If it is a process: The use of the process, or performing any of the acts referred to in the previous paragraph, in relation to the product which is directly obtained by the use of this process. However, others shall not be precluded from exploiting his invention in non-commercial activities relating to scientific research.
That is in addition to his right to initiate an action before the Committee of Patent Appeals against any person who infringes his invention by exploiting it in the Kingdom without his consent.
10. May the applicant benefit from the priority of an earlier application?
The applicant may benefit from the priority given to a previous application filed during the priority period (which is 12 months from the filing date of the previous application)
11. When shall a patent not be granted?
(a) The protection document shall not be granted if its commercial exploitation violates Shari'ah (Islamic law)
(b) The protection document shall not be granted if its commercial exploitation is harmful to life, to human, animal or plant health, or is substantially harmful to the environment.
12. What is the term of protection for patents?
The patent protection period is twenty years from the date of filing the application.
13. What are the subject matters that shall not be regarded as inventions?
The following shall not be regarded as inventions:
(a) Discoveries, scientific theories and mathematical methods.
(b) Schemes, rules and methods of conducting commercial activities, exercising pure mental activities or playing a game.
(c) Plants, animals and processes – which are mostly biological – used for the production of plants or animals, with the exception of micro-organisms, nonbiological and microbiology processes.
(d) Methods of surgical or therapeutic treatment of human or animal body and
methods of diagnosis applied to human or animal bodies, with the exception
of products used in any of these methods.
That includes computer programs and any other copy right work.
14. When shall the patent annual fees be due?
Annual fees shall be due at the beginning of each year starting from the year following the application filing date.
If the applicant or the owner of the protection document fails to pay it within a maximum period of three months from its due date, he shall be liable to pay double the amount. If he fails to pay after being warned during the three months following the expiration of the first three months, the application or the protection document shall cease to be valid, and this shall be recorded in the Register and published in the Gazette.
Where the applicant has paid the required fees for three years without being granted the protection document, he may postpone payment of the fees for the following years until the decision to grant the protection document is issued.