UAE: Divisional Patent Applications

The UAE Patent Office now provides a recommendation in examination reports as to how to file divisional applications.

The UAE Patent Law and implementing regulations does not expressly recognise the concept of divisional patent applications. However, the UAE Patent Office has recognized this deficiency in the law and now provides a recommendation in examination reports as to how to file divisional applications.

i) One General Innovative Concept

Under the Patent Law, a patent may be granted for an invention or a group of interrelated inventions based on one general innovative concept. It has long been unclear as to what would occur in the situation where examination found that there was not unity of invention.

As a member of the Paris Convention, the UAE should provide for divisional applications. Therefore, it has always been arguable that the Patent Office should accept filing of such applications to fulfil its obligations under the Paris Convention. The Paris Convention has direct effect in the UAE.

ii) Right to File Divisional Applications by direct application of Paris Convention

Recent examination reports from the UAE Patent Office have specifically referenced the lack of the divisional application route to cure a finding of lack of unity of invention/single innovative concept. A recommendation is made in such reports to file a divisional application to the UAE Patent Office claiming direct application of the Paris Convention. In keeping with the general principles of divisional applications, the application should not extend beyond the disclosure of the original application and the original application from which division is sought should be referenced.

iii) Patent Law Revisions

It is expected that the next revision to the UAE Patent Law will deal with this issue and specifically provide for divisional applications.