Industrial Intellectual Property
Pursuant to Law No. 17 of 2002, as amended by Law No. 31 of 2006, the department of industrial intellectual property shall be responsible for protecting the following:
- First: Patents
- Second: Certificate of interest
- Third: Certificate of registering an industrial drawing or pattern
- Fourth: Practical expertise
In order to identify patents, we should discuss certain principles including:
What is a Patent?
A patent is an exclusive right given for an invention which is:
- a novel product or update and upgrade of a product
- a process allowing a new method to perform a certain task, or
- a new technical solution for a problem
What is the purpose of a patent?
A patent ensures the owner protection of his/her invention. A patent is generally granted for a limited period of 20 years in accordance with TRIPS Agreement which unified the protection period for all inventions all around the world. The protection period ranged between 10 to 20 years according to the business field and country. For example, the protection period in the USA prior to the said agreement was 17 years from the date of granting the patent. In Egypt, the protection period was 15 years from the date of filing the application, whereas the protection period for the methods of preparing pharmaceutical products was, for example, 10 years.
What kind of protection is provided by the patent?
Protection under the patent means that the invention may not be:
Produced, used, distributed or sold.
What are the rights of the holder of a patent?
- The holder of a patent shall have the right to determine the parties that may or may not use the patent during the protection period.
- The holder of a patent may authorize or grant licenses to third parties to use the invention under specific conditions.
- The holder of a patent may sell his right in the invention.
- Upon expiry of the protection period, the holder of a patent may not prevent third parties from using the patent.
- The holder of a patent may not prevent the use of his patent for the purposes of research and development.
Why the patent is deemed necessary?
Patents encourage people to publicize their innovations and creations during the protection period in order to financially benefit from the patent and to boost innovation and invention so as to ensure the development and improvement of human life.
How the patent is granted?
The patent shall be granted pursuant to a patent application to be submitted at the national or international patents office. The said application should include the following:
- The name of the invention and a description of its technical field.
- Background of the invention, well-defined description and details that would be sufficient for any person who has average knowledge in the field for using or implementing the invention.
- Drawings and designs, if any.
- Protection elements, i.e. the information that determine the scope of the protection granted under the patent.
What are the conditions for granting a patent?
The subject matter of the invention must be totally novel, not previously published or announced in any way, or traded in markets.
- Industrial Applicability
The invention must be industrially applicable so that it may produce a product and does not harm the environment.
- Innovativeness or Creativeness
The invention should not be intuitive for a specialist in the field of the invention.
Second: Certificate of Interest:
The certificate of interest is a protection deed granted by the department on behalf of the UAE for any invention that may not produce a sufficient creative activity for which no patent may be granted. The protection period for this certificate is 10 years as of filing the application.
- The rights accrued under this certificate are similar to the rights of the holder of a patent.
- The procedures taken to obtain the certificate of interest are similar to the procedures for obtaining the patent.
- The conditions to obtain the certificate of interest are novelty and industrial applicability.
Neither a patent nor a certificate of interest may be granted to:
- Researches, botanical or zoological kinds or biological methods to produce plants or animals excluding the methods and productions of microbiology.
- Methods of required diagnosis, therapy and surgery for treatment of humans or animals.
- Scientific principles, discoveries and theories and mathematical methods.
- Applicable plans, rules or methods used for conducting commercial activities or pure mental activities or for playing a game.
- Inventions whose publication and use may result in breach of the public order or ethics.
Third: Certificate of registering an industrial drawing or pattern
This certificate is a protection deed granted by the department on behalf of the UAE for an industrial drawing or pattern. The protection period of any industrial drawing or pattern is ten years as of the date of filing the application.
The conditions for obtaining a certificate of registering an industrial drawing or pattern:
- The industrial drawing or pattern must be innovative and novel
- The industrial drawing or pattern may be used as an industrial or handicraft product
- The industrial drawing or pattern must not breach the public order or ethics in the UAE
Rights under the certificate of registering an industrial drawing or pattern
The said rights prevent third parties from:
- using the industrial drawing or pattern for manufacturing any product
- importing any product related to the industrial drawing or pattern or its acquisition for the purpose of using or offering it for sale or selling it.
Fourth: Practical expertise
- Information, data or knowledge acquired from the experience in the profession of a technical nature and which is practically applicable.
- The expertise shall be protected from any unlawful use, disclosure or publication by third parties so long as such the expertise is not published or becomes available to the public.
- The protection shall be subject to the fact that the owner of the expertise has taken all required precautions to keep the elements of such expertise confidential.
The importance of protecting the elements of the industrial intellectual property and its role in technological development
On the basis of the elements set out above, the importance of protecting the elements of the industrial intellectual property in the technological development can be summed up as follows:
- To acquire expertise and an invention leading to the acquisition of a technology and therefore leading to competitive capability in the markets. By holding a patent for a novel invention and protecting the same, the holder of a patent may exclusively own, manufacture and market such invention in countries where it is protected for 20 years. It is sufficient to state that currently there are large companies that were established on one invention at their inception.
- To create a healthy atmosphere for attracting investments and exchanging technology where companies may not venture to produce or market their products in the countries which do not provide full protection to the inventions or trademarks whose imitation shall prejudice the original products and reduce their sale value in the markets.
- To provide knowledge to solve a technological problem we may face in any of the industrial, medical, agricultural and other sectors through patents which include the most updated technological information that is not available in specialized scientific books and references.
- To devise new inventions and technologies through developing old and known technologies where the amendments and improvements made to old technologies is deemed a new patent. The industrial revolution in the twentieth century emanated from publishing patents which were used among the single family and lost upon the death of the owner of the invention.
- To exchange technology: Most of technology exchange contracts and licenses include undisclosed patents, trademarks, information and intellectual properties. But without the presence of protection to such elements, no contracts or licenses may be made. The availability of all information about the technology to be exchanged through the published patents hugely contributes in negotiation and the determination of the price of the technology to be exchanged.
- To determine and direct the development plans through studying the available technology in the markets, to determine the deficiency, to make investment and research for filling this gap and to obtain a share in the market in this field.
- To use the information contained in the patents for the purpose of researches and developing products and to increase their competitive capability in the markets.
- To direct researches and studies and to link them with industry, agriculture and all other fields by conducting technological researches in all fields in order to consider all updates in the field of technology.
The role of the department of the industrial intellectual property in the technological development
- To raise awareness of the essence of the industrial intellectual property and its importance on technological development
- To enhance and encourage innovation and creation
To raise awareness of the importance of industrial intellectual property in general as follows:
- To build connections with universities, research centers and productive entities
- To hold conferences and forums
- To participate in exhibitions
- Media and publishing in newspapers
- Broadcasting and television programs
- To explain intellectual property and to publish it via the internet
To enhance and encourage innovation and creation
The enhancement and encouragement of innovation and creation depends on the following factors:
- The law and international conventions regulating the industrial intellectual property
- The method of regulation for applying the law and international conventions
- The information of the intellectual property regarding the patents must be available
- To encourage and assist inventors and innovators.
The UAE must promulgate laws, join international conventions and lay down the required criteria for granting the protection to the inventors and innovators. The UAE has issued the following laws:
- Old Industrial Intellectual Property Law No. 44 of 1992
- New Industrial Intellectual Property Law No. 17 of 2002, as amended by Law No. 31 of 2006 which added new kinds of protection such as:
- chemical and pharmaceutical compounds
- extend the protection period from 15 years to 20 years
The method of applying the law and the international conventions
In order to create the suitable atmosphere for applying the law and international conventions and to enforce the same for protecting the inventors and innovators, the UAE, represented by the Ministry of Economy, shall do the following:
Develop and update the department of industrial intellectual property
The department of industrial intellectual property shall be updated in the following aspects:
- Infrastructure and substructure
- Development of human resources
- Development and updating of work procedures
* Source: Ministry of Economy, Abu Dhabi Office, P.O.Box: 904, Telephone: 026271100