Intellectual property rights in Kuwait are protected under the following national laws:
- Decree Law No. 68 of 1980 Promulgating the Commercial Law and all amendments thereto;
- Law No. 4 of 1962 Regarding Patents, Industrial Designs and Integrated Circuits as amended by Law No. 3 of 2001; and
- Law No. 64 of 1999 Regarding Intellectual Property Rights.
Kuwait is also a party to the following conventions on intellectual property rights:
- Convention of the World Trade Organization as ratified by Law No. 81 of 1995;
- Convention Establishing the World International Property Organization (WIPO) as ratified by Law No. 2 of 1998; and
- Convention on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).
Patents are protected in Kuwait under Law No. 4 of 1962 Regarding Patents, Industrial Designs and Integrated Circuits as amended by Law No. 3 of 2001. Protection is effected upon registration at the Department of Trademarks and Patents at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. The term of protection for patents is 20 years.
Industrial designs are protected for 10 years from the filing\ in the final year of such period. If an owner is able to demonstrate that a trademark has been used for the duration of five years, then other parties are precluded from challenging the legality of the trademark. If a trademark remains unused for a period of three years, the registration shall lapse.
Law No. 64 of 1999 Regarding Intellectual Property Rights (“IP Law”) was issued to govern the protection of copyright and related rights in Kuwait.
The IP Law protects an author’s of intellectual property and does not limit the genres of work, which are eligible for protection. A general framework is created along with various examples of common works, which currently qualify for protection. Such common works include those in the fields of arts, letters and sciences and both existing and future works.
Copyright protection periods can vary in length. Generally, protection is granted for the duration of the author’s life plus 70 years following his or her death.
Protection Against Infringement of Intellectual Property Rights
There are no specialized intellectual property courts in Kuwait. However, there are various administrative and judicial methods, which protect and enforce rights of intellectual property holders.
Intellectual property rights holders may file a petition with the court to stop or prevent infringement. Infringers found guilty by the court are punishable by a fine and/or imprisonment, and any counterfeit goods identified will be seized and destroyed.