UAE | General

Patent application process made easier for innovators in UAE

Programme to offer advisory and financial support for institutions and Emirati individuals from across the UAE

  • By Samihah Zaman, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 19:33 March 10, 2013
  • Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: Inventors from across the UAE need no longer worry about the tedious process of single-handedly filing for patents for their ideas, as an innovation support programme has now been extended to accept applications from across the country.

Following this expansion, the programme, called Takamul, will offer advisory and financial support for international patent application processes.

At an event held to announce the expansion, Shaikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, UAE Minister for Higher Education and Scientific Research, said Takamul, operated by the Technology Development Committee (TDC), helps demonstrate the UAE’s creativity and real potential.

“Innovative ideas are the engine for economic and social development. Nations with a strong focus on science, technology and innovation are able to transform their economies, accelerate growth and secure higher standards of living for their citizens,” said Mohammad Ahmad Al Bowardi, chairman of the TDC and member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council.

“Takamul is therefore a prime example of the type of initiative which will help the UAE develop into a knowledge-based economy, especially as it encourages innovation and protects locally-created intellectual property,” he added.

Industries

The programme has been available to companies and academic institutions based in Abu Dhabi, as well as to Emirati individuals, since 2010. It has assisted the filing of 33 patent applications at the United States Patent Office over the last two years, pertaining to innovations in the medical, information technology, semi-conductor, and energy industries, among others.

During this period, two of the registered applications have been granted patents, said Enrico Villa, associate director for enterprise development at the TDC.

Explaining the role of the programme, Villa said applying for a patent is a lengthy and complicated process that could take up to 30 months.

“Innovators also need to first decide on how worthwhile it is to apply for a patent. In addition, they need legal support, and must pay fees when applying. Takamul provides such advisory and financial support,” Villa said.

While eligible individuals can have nearly 90 per cent of their patent application fees covered when applying through Takamul, academic institutions receive 75 per cent of the fees and companies receive 50 per cent of the amount.

Villa added that the programme had been a catalyst towards further research and innovation.

“In 2010, seven patents were granted by the United States Patent Office to innovators in the UAE. This year, we have received 20 applications from Abu Dhabi emirate alone, and now expect to receive many more with the programme’s increase in scope,” he said.

International agreement

In addition to filing applications with the United States Patent Office, Takamul will also now support the registration of patents with the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), an international agreement which includes 146 countries.

“The PCT checks the quality of each patent application, and also helps determine the countries in which commercialisation for the idea or product can be possible. Thus, by applying to only these countries for patents, costs are minimised,” Villa said.

“We are also working to offer commercialisation support for patent-holders by the end of the year [2013]. By identifying opportunities for them, we will also make this stage of the process easier,” he added.

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