Intellectual Property

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Kuwait is a member of the World Trade Organization and a signatory to the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights. As such, it is under an obligation to pass intellectual property laws meeting the minimum standards for the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights set forth in this agreement. Kuwait is also a member of the World Intellectual Property Organization.

Law No.4 governs patents in Kuwait. In order to obtain patent protection in Kuwait, the inventor must first register the patent with the Patents Office at the Trademark Control Department of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (Article 4). The law permits foreigners who are nationals of or live in countries that give Kuwait reciprocity, as well as companies and other juristic personalities, to register patents in Kuwait (Article 5). Once registered, the owner of the patent is vested with the right to use that patent by any means for 15 years from the date of the application (Articles 10 and 12). The patent may be renewed for an additional five-year term (Article 12).

Similarly, industrial designs must be registered in the Industrial Designs and Models Register and an application for registration is to be submitted to the Trademark Control Department (Articles 36 and 37). The registration is valid for five years and renewable for two additional consecutive terms (Article 42). The Commercial Code (Law No. 68 for 1980) governs trademark registration and the penalties for infringement. Any person may apply to have their trademark registered at the Register of Trademarks (Article 64). Once the application is approved, the trademark will be protected for ten years, and may be renewed for a similar term (Article 77).

Law No. 64 governs copyrights and provides copyright protection and penalties for copyright infringement.