MUSCAT – The Omani Ministry of Commerce and Industry announced that it began accepting filing of patent applications in Oman effective December 17, 2005.
This filing became possible due to the issuance of the schedule of official charges for patent services rendered by the Ministry. The charges were issued by Ministerial Decision No. 91/2005 dated December 10, 2005 and were published in the Official Gazette No. 805 on December 17, 2005.
The schedule includes charges for the following services for both individuals and companies: filing of a patent application, providing a letters-patent, payment of patent annuities from (2nd -20th), amendment of patent application, recording a change of ownership or an assignment, obtaining a copy of the patent from the register, granting of a compulsory license, filing a petition, and publication in the Official Gazette.
The Omani Patent Law was issued in 2000 by Sultanic Decree No. 82/2000. The Implementing Regulations were issued by Ministerial Decision No. 73/2005 dated September 10, 2005 and were published in the Official Gazette No. 799 dated September 17, 2005.
The practice, which was followed before the issuance of the Implementing Regulations, was to publish cautionary notices in local newspapers. These notices define the owner’s interest in the property, announce the ownership thereto and alert the public against any possible infringement.
As for the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) applications, (as Oman is a member of the PCT as of October 26, 2001), the practice was to submit all the documents related to the PCT before the Intellectual Property Department at the Omani Ministry of Commerce and Industry and get their acknowledgement to save clients’ interests. No official numbers were given to such PCT filings.
Another way of protecting patents was through the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Patent Office in Riyadh – Saudi Arabia, which provides protection for the member states of the GCC, namely Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
A power of attorney executed by the applicant, with an Apostille certification.
A certified copy of the certificate of incorporation or an Extract from the Commercial Register of the applicant company, with an Apostille certification.
A deed of Assignment executed by the inventor(s), assigning their patent rights to the applicant, with an Apostille certification.
A certified copy of priority document. If the documents are not in English, a simple English translation is required.
An abstract of the invention for the purpose of the publication of the invention in the Official
Gazette of no more than 200 words showing the inventor’s name, address and nationality, brief description of the invention and claims, the technical field, the drawings, if any and how to solve problems that may occurred in writing and in Compact CD.
Detailed description of the invention in English and Arabic in writing and in Compact CD showing the followings:
Title of the invention
Disclosure of the invention
Description of drawings
Detailed description of the invention
Method of industrial application of invention • Claims • Abstract of invention •Drawings, if any.
Copies of the International search report and preliminary examination and copy of the PCT application as published.
Patent application can be filed without the supporting documents mentioned above. However, all above documents should be filed within three (3) months from filing the application with exception to the legalized power of attorney which should be submitted within two months from filing date. Otherwise, the application will lapse. Please be advised that it is possible to extend the deadline for filing the POA for further one month, however, it will be up to the Registrar sole discretion whether to accept the late filing of the legalized POA or not.
Please be advised that it is possible to extend the deadline for filing these docuemnts for further one month, however, it will be up to the Registrar sole discretion whether to accept the late filing of the legalized POA or not.
As per the Law the invention is patentable if it is:
Of an “Inventive Step” (non-obvious)
Not in conflict with the general order or the rules of Islamic Shariaa or adversely influence the national security or the public morals.
The invention is patentable whether it is related to novel industrial products or produced by currently used industrial means or by new application of known industrial means.
Although the law does not stated any provisions related to the meaning of the novelty however, from the general concept of the law it is understandable that the invention should be “new” and was not disclosed to public anywhere at any time whether by written, oral disclosure or by use or any other method.
Upon filing the application with the above mentioned information and details the IP Department will check to confirm that the patent is not contradicted with the law and also will check in their records of registered patent or pending applications to find out whether the application is new or not. The applicant will be notified of Department’s decisions in writing. If the application is accepted the IP department will publish the abstract of the patent in the Official Gazette for the opposition purpose (Opposition period is 60 days) and the patent will be grant if no opposition has been filed during such period.
The Patent Implementing regulations are effective from the date of publication in the Official Gazette i.e. 17 September 2005. However, since the Official Fees have only been announced on December 17, 2005 it only became possible to file Patent application in Oman after this date.
Substantive examination as however, has been informed to us by the IP Department there will be substantive examination for patents.
Priority can be claimed under Paris convention provided that the application filed in Oman within twelve (12) months from the first filing.
The patent protection is valid for twenty years as of the date of grant. The invention shall also be protected as of the date of filing the patent application, to the date of the patent grant.
Patents’ Official forms are in Arabic language. Further, all papers in foreign language related to Patent submitted to the IP Department should be accompanied with Arabic translation.
In accordance to the Omani Patent Law 2nd annuity fees must be paid at the time of filing. For a national application annuity fees are paid on the anniversary date of the filing the patent application with a grace period of three months without a fine and six months with a fine. The payment of annuities can be made on or before the due date at any time and for any number of years. However, annuities can still be paid during the 3 months after the due date without a late payment fee and another 3 months with a late payment fee, (the total grace period is 6 months).
Any interested party may oppose grant of a patent within sixty days from the publication in the Official Gazette of the decision of acceptance of the patent application.