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Enforcement of IPRs in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia

Enforcement of IPRs
Easy availability and cheaper alternatives are the causes of counterfeiting and piracy in Saudi Arabia.
Bags and clothing are the goods that most often face counterfeiting and piracy in Saudi Arabia.
They are as follows:
  • The Copyright Law, issued pursuant to Royal Decree M/41 of 2.7.1424H (30 August 2003), and its implementing regulations, issued pursuant to Ministerial Decision 1688/1 of 10.4.1425H (29th May 2004);
  • The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Trademark Law, which is to be adopted by all GCC member states – the new trademark law became effective in Saudi Arabia on 27th September 2016;
  • The Anti-commercial Fraud Law (promulgated by Royal Decree M/19 of 23/4/1429H (29th April 2008));
  • The Law on Trade Names, issued pursuant to Royal Decree M/15 of 12.8.1420H (20th November 1999);
  • The Law on Commercial Data, issued pursuant to Royal Decree M/15 of 15.4.1423H (25th June 2002), and the Regulations for the Protection of Confidential Commercial Information, issued pursuant to Council of Ministers Decision 50 of 25.2.1426H (4th April 2005), as amended by Ministerial Decision 3218 of 25.3.1426H (4th May 2005), and as further amended by Ministerial Decision 431 of 1.5.1426H (8th June 2005);
  • The GCC Patent Law;
  • The Law on Patents, Layout Designs of Integrated Circuits, Plant Varieties, and Industrial Designs, issued pursuant to Royal Decree M/27 of 29.5.1425H (17th July 2004), and its implementing regulations, issued pursuant to Ministerial Decision 118828/M/10 of 14.11.1425H (26th December 2004);
  • The Competition Law 2004; and
  • The Border Measures Regulations, issued pursuant to Ministerial Decision 1277 (3rd July 2004).
Copyright, Trademarks, Designs, Patents, Integrated Circuits, and Plant varieties are the different types of IPRs protected by IPR enforcement in Saudi Arabia.
Theoretically, there are no restrictions or preconditions under the GCC Trademark Law for filing a civil action against trademark infringers, although recent court practice indicates that a civil action will not be admitted if the applicant does not prove that it has previously filed a complaint against the defendant before the Anti-commercial Fraud Department at the Ministry of Commerce and Investment, and that the prescribed administrative measures have been exhausted.
A) Government Authorities - Yes
B) Police Officials - Yes
C) Judiciary - Yes
D) Customs - Yes
A) Injunctions - Yes
B) Monetary Compensation - Yes
C) Raids - Yes
D) Seizures - Yes
E) Destruction - Yes
The court action may take up to 16 months. Depending on the complexity of the case, the Saudi Patent Committee may take 02 to 03 years to decide a case. The attorney fee may be in the range of USD 15000-25000.
Civil litigation in Saudi Arabia can be costly.
A) Responsible Authority - Board of Grievances, commercial court
B) Imprisonment Term – 01 month to 03 years
C) Monetary Fine - USD 270 and USD 266,700
Adopting Alternate Dispute Resolution is subject to agreement between parties.
Remedies available under border control measures (customs) in Saudi Arabia include seizure and destruction of goods. The curt may by order impose damages.
The applicant must bear the costs of customs intervention during enforcement, unless otherwise ordered by court.
Court proceedings