There has been a significant turning point for Intellectual Property (IP) in The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) with an accelerated shift from establishment towards growth in this field on both a national and international scale.

The Kingdom made great efforts in 2023 to update and strengthen its intellectual property laws covering patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets. These laws aim to provide protection for inventors, creators, and businesses. 

Take a read of the top 10 key IP developments that took place in 2023:

1. The Saudi Cabinet approved Saudi Arabia's accession to the Madrid Protocol on International Registration of Trademarks. This will absolutely change the key issues that need to be considered when setting trademark protection strategies, while easing the process for obtaining broader protection and lowering the costs.

2. World Intellectual Property Organization – WIPO announced that Saudi Arabia won the bid to host the 2024 Diplomatic Conference to conclude the Design Law Treaty, an honour that many countries have been competing for since 2015.

3. SAIP - Saudi Authority for Intellectual Property officially announced the adoption of the Nice Classification of goods and services for the registration of trademarks.

4. The draft Intellectual Property Law was published for public consultation. It is a ground-breaking legislative project that aims to harmonise key IP principles, and tackles hot topics in IP like ownership of rights generated by AI.

5. Four other draft specialist IP laws were also published for public consultation: The Law of Patents and Utility Models, the Law of Industrial Designs, the Law of Plant Varieties, and the Law of Layout Designs of Integrated Circuits.

6. Economic Cities Authority - هيئة المدن الاقتصادية published the draft Intellectual Property Regulation in Special Economic Zones for public consultation. This consultation will remain open until 23 January 2024.

7. SAIP launched its new IP platform, which uses AI technologies for a more streamlined user experience.

8. SAIP was appointed by WIPO as an International Searching and Preliminary Examining Authority under the Patent Cooperation Treaty. This means that SAIP is accredited and can be selected by applicants to review and issue search reports for their international patent applications.

9. SAIP activated the Patent Prosecution Highway with several jurisdictions, including Singapore and China, which acts as a fast track to accelerate patent applications.

10. The Society for IP Agents was established as the first specialist non-profit IP organization in Saudi Arabia.

We anticipate further progress in 2024 as Saudi Arabia continues to consolidate its position as a global IP leader and drives innovation on a global scale. If you have any questions on any of the points above, please contact Lamisse Bajunaid

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