Oman – Legalization of POA and Certificate of Incorporation Abolished

Sultanate of Oman has joined the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirements of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents as of January 30, 2012. The convention has come into force in Oman as of January 30, 2012. Consequent to this accession to the said convention, international clients of member states are no longer required to have the supporting documents, i.e. Power of Attorney and Certificate of Incorporation, legalized up to the Omani Consulate in the point of origin. Instead such documents may only be sealed with an Apostil seal. The Omani Trademark Office will accept such document after verifying the authenticity of the seal and signature of the member state concerned.

Sudan – SOUTH SUDAN

We are aware that intellectual property laws are yet to be enacted in the new born state of South Sudan. However, a temporary trademark protection system under which trademarks may only be “reserved” has been established. All trademarks reserved will be registered as soon as a trademark law is promulgated and an official trademark register is established. It is not yet known if the protection period will be calculated from the reservation date or from the date of entering the trademark details in the new registration.

Qatar – National Phase of PCT Applications

Although Qatar had joined the PCT since May 3, 2011, and that it could have been designated in International Applications filed on or after August 3, 2011, still it seems not possible to enter PCT applications into the national phase in this country.

Qatar has enacted a patent law since 2006. However, the patent office is yet to be operational. We are following the progress of this matter closely in Qatar and will advise our clients of any new developments in a timely manner.

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Saudi Arabia – Limitation of Validity of POA

The Saudi Arabian Trademark Office will no longer recognize Powers of Attorney the age of which has exceeded 10 years. According to a new regulation by the Office, the validity of a Power of Attorney held by a trademark attorney for a trademark owner will be limited to 10 Hijri Years only. The Hijiri Year is 11 days shorter than the Gregorian Year. This will mean that trademark owners whose Powers of Attorney to their Saudi Arabian trademark agents have passed 10 years of validity should issue new Powers of Attorney in favor of their agents. The new regulation has come into force as of November 27, 2011.