Intellectual property rights

Attorney Fajer Ahmed

I am really grateful that I get to work with smart entrepreneurs in Kuwait who have a vision and work really hard to see their dreams manifest. More and more people in Kuwait, both Kuwaiti and non-Kuwaiti, young and old, female and male, college-educated and street-smart, are establishing their own businesses and ventures, whether it is a tech startup or small home business that sells a skill set. Keep it up and do not give up on your calling.

One of the legal issues that business owners deal with is intellectual property rights, and although I have written on multiple occasions on intellectual property rights, the processes keep on changing. Therefore, this article discusses the most important intellectual property rights for business owners as of today. Intellectual property can be defined in a very simple way as the creations of the mind.

Three major parts
That could be anything from a photo to a drawing of a necklace design, a book and so on. Intellectual property be split into three major parts:

  1. Copyright: The right a “producer” has to prevent their work from being reproduced. The primary works that can be copyrighted are literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works.
  2. Patents: A patent is a protected invention – it has to be new, innovative and capable of industrial application, like a machine or a manufactured article. Fortunately, there is a central office in the Gulf for patents.
  3. Trademarks: Trademarks are used as a mark of quality or origin to inspire customer loyalty, like a logo. So essentially, trademarks are only for commercial use.

Process and fees
I have highlighted below the process and fees for trademarks and copyrights in general:

  1. Copyrights as mentioned above are very general. A copyright can be anything from written work to a photo or a tune. This can be registered in Kuwait at the National Library. The fees are very minimal and the process is very easy. You will not need a lawyer and I highly suggest this for all artists and business owners.
  2. Always register your trademark. You would need a business license first to do so and the process takes some time.
    Trademarks are registered are at the ministry of commerce in KIPCO Tower. Below are the requirements:
    A translated copy is needed.
    The process takes 6 months.
    Manually check for similarities for 18,000 trademarks.
    A printed in the newspaper 2-3 times, giving people two months to appeal.
    KD 45 once you submit the application online.
    KD 25 for publication purposes.
    The logo will be published in Kuwait’s official gazette for 60 days.
    KD 240 to have the logo officially registered.

For questions or queries, please email us at info@ftl-legal.com.

By Attorney Fajer Ahmed