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Recently, the UAE government has issued Federal Law No.11 of 2021 (UAE regulation and Protection of industrial Property Rights). This law shall be applied to the patents, industrial designs, integrated circuit, information and utility certificates issued in the UAE.
With the introduction of this new law, the former Industrial property law (Federal Law No. 17 of 2002) stands terminated.

The major highlights of this law are discussed below-

  1. Grace PeriodAs per Article 5(4) of the new law, if an invention is disclosed within 12 months before the filing of a patent, it can still be submitted and meet the condition of novelty. In the former law, absolute novelty was required. So, it is a welcome relaxation.
  2. Accelerated examinationThis law also provides for giving priority to some applicants in examining their patents or utility certificates in special circumstances. Article 14 of the law provides that, Irrespective of the date of filing, the applicant can make an application for urgent examination, citing his genuine reasons. However, the conditions and the criterias for examining the application shall remain the same as specified by the Executive Regulations.This Article holds special importance for the UAE if the country wishes to join
    Patent Prosecution Highway “PPH” agreements in the future. This mechanism provides that an application can be transferred from one office to another to accelerate patent prosecution.
  3. Divisional applicationsAs per Article 16 of the new law, an applicant is entitled to file one or more divisional applications in cases when the original application includes two or more inventions. However, it is important to note that the subject matter of both the applications should remain the same. The filing date of the divisional application shall be the same as of the original application.Rights that are not subject to the patent or utility certificateAs per Article 22(3) of the Law, the combination of 2 or more medicines to make a medical drug by a licensed pharmacist will not be entitled for a patent.Further, Article 19 also talks about some general activities which are not subject to the patent. These activities includes
    1. Activities pertaining to academic research
    2. Using of patent for transportation means

    Further as per Article 6, a utility certificate can be converted into a patent application and the rules for the same will be framed as the executive regulations. Article 10 of the new law protects the rights of workers who make an invention. The rights and obligations of the employer and the worker who makes an invention are very clearly covered by the new law.

  4. Industrial DesignArticle 43 of the law provides that an industrial design shall be new and not violate public order or morals, otherwise it will not be permitted to use it for commercial purposes. Such a design would be considered new only when it has not been revealed to the public before the date of filing the application.Article 45 deals with the period of protection of industrial design. The period shall be 20 years from the date of submitting the application.

Penalty for non-compliance

The new law provides for a very hefty penalty to ensure greater protection to the IP owners. The fine ranges between 1,00,000 AED to 1,000,000 AED. This penalty also applies to individuals who submitted forged or invalid application or utility certificates.


This new law seeks to protect the industrial property and regulate the registration process, usage exploitation of the same. It also aims to ensure innovation in the state and to enhance the state’s competitiveness in the field of industrial property rights by resorting to the best international practices.

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