On 21 October 2019, the Innovation & Technology Transfer Center, in cooperation with College of Law at SQU organized on lecture on “Contemporary Issues in IP Rights and Enforcement in the GCC”, presented by Prof. David Price, Professor of Law at Charles Darwin University, Australia. In his talk, Prof. David Price underscored the importance for IP rights in protecting intellectual property and thereby providing an enormous contribution to both the individuals, institutions and the State.
Prof. Price elaborated on Oman‘s Intellectual Property Legislative Framework on copyrights, trademarks, patents, geographical indications, industrial designs, integrated circuits and trade secrets. He explained Oman Royal Decree No. 67/2008, the Law on Industrial Property Rights in relation to TRIPS Agreement, which is an Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property between all the member nations of the World Trade Organization (WTO). It sets down minimum standards for the regulation by national governments of many forms of intellectual property (IP) as applied to nationals of other WTO member nations.
Commenting on GCC Patent Regulation, Prof. Price said that consideration for patent regulation commenced in 1987, but not approved until 1992, amended in 1999 and re-issued in April 2000. “GCC Supreme Council also established the GCC Patent Office in Riyadh. The GCC Patent Regulation allows a GCC member to obtain protection across all States by lodgment of a single patent application with the GCC Patent Office. However, Regulation is essentially a registration statute, and includes little by way of enforcement provisions, notably infringements, precautionary measures and sanctions, leaving these matters to each State and their own domestic laws. Currently all GCC member States have adopted the Patent Regulation, but each also has retained its own domestic patent law”, he observed.
In terms of sanctions for IP infringements and offences across the GCC member States, Prof. Price said that most States provide a range of precautionary measures and provisional relief against threatened or actual infringements. “Bahrain and Oman are the most comprehensive”, he added. Regarding enforcement challenges for intellectual property infringements and offences, he said that local, societal, cultural and commercial influences play a key role. “People tend to maintain conservatism that questions the desirability and necessity to comply with international and national IP obligations, so they are removed and deemed irrelevant at the local community level”, he observed.
Prof. David Price holds degrees in international relations, industrial history, Chinese, and law, and has been awarded professional fellowships in management and business. During 1998-2001, he was principal of Sohar College for Applied Sciences (now Sohar University). Prof.Price’s seminal work on intellectual property protection in the Arabian Gulf states of the Middle East, based on his doctoral research, was published by Routledge Cavendish (Taylor and Francis Group) in 2009 and is currently being updated.