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UAE: Changes to Patent and Designs Law

Published on 11 Oct 2021 | 1 minute read
Federal Law number 11 of 2021 on Regulation and Protection of Industrial Property Rights come into force on 30 November

Federal Law number 11 of 2021 on Regulation and Protection of Industrial Property Rights will come into force on 30 November 2021 and introduces numerous changes in the patent, utility model and design regimes in the UAE, some of which are very significant, including:

  • Introduction of a novelty grace period of twelve months from the filing date, for patents, utility models and designs, for disclosures of information by the inventor or others obtaining information directly from the inventor/s;
  • Substantive examination (novelty examination) to be introduced for designs;
  • Introduction of a procedure for expediting examination for patents and utility models;
  • Introduction of provisions for filing of divisional applications for patents and utility models ;
  • Extension of term of design protection from 10 years to 20 years;
  • Confirms that the Executive Regulations shall define requirements for procedures for examination, publication, annuities, restoration, grievances, etc.;
  • Establishes a Grievance and Objections Committee to hear requests for re-examination (by a third party) and grievances relating to registration of a patent, utility model, and design. Infringement actions appear to be referred directly to court;
  • UAE Patent Office will act as a receiving office for international applications (PCT Applications) in accordance with the procedures to be set out in the Executive Regulations;
  • Makes important changes to the rights of employee inventors and employers.

Please note that the accompanying executive regulations, which will provide further detail and guidance on how many of these changes will be implemented, are unlikely to be issued by the time the law enters force.   Although there are no specific transitional provisions relating to applications pending at the time this law enters into force, the law revokes the previous law and any contradictory provisions entirely.  Accordingly, we believe that pending applications will be prosecuted in accordance with the new law. For further information on any of the changes, please contact

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Principal, Legal Consultant
+971 4 309 8000
Principal, Legal Consultant
+971 4 309 8000