I recently learned that the Derwent World Patent Index now covers granted patents from the Gulf Cooperation Council. According to the GCC Patent Office website, the GCC defines itself as:
A regional office for the Gulf Cooperation Council, which comprises the States of United Arab Emirates, Kingdom of Bahrain, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Sultanate of Oman, State of Qatar, and State of Kuwait. Certificates of Patents granted by the GCC Patent Office secure legal protection of the inventor’s rights in all Member States.
Bibliographic data on GCC patent documents seems to be relatively difficult to locate; I’ve only found a handful of resources that cover the granted patents or patent applications from the GCC. I’ll give a brief overview of the GCC, and then we can compile a list of where to find their patent documents!
Overview of the GCC
Stephen Adams describes in Information Sources in Patents (2nd ed.) how “the Patent Office of the Co-operation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf, to give its full title, was established in 1995 and is based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia” (110). The patent office started receiving applications in October 1998, the the office began to publish their gazette in 2000 (Adams 110). A visit to the GCC Patent Office’s website, available in English here, reveals the the GCC has published 14 issues of their official patent gazette. The 14th issue was published September 30, 2010. A search on Espacenet for published patents with country code GC in the Worldwide database displays 412 records. Although this number of results certainly isn’t an exact calculation of how many patents have been issued by the GCC, this number does give an indication of the size of the GCC collection of granted patents available through Espacenet.
Where to Find GCC Patent Data
The GCC’s official patent gazette lists the recently granted patent applications under the section “Applications approved for grant by decision, subject to completion of processing” (Adams 110). This official gazette and the front pages of the patent applications are accessible through the GCC Patent Office website under the link “Patents Bulletin.” Beginning with the second issue (which covers March 1998 to June 2002), users can access a PDF version of the gazette. Beginning with the third issue (March 1998 to December 2003), users can also access a web page version of the gazette index. Users can view the titles, application numbers, patent numbers, granting dates, and a PDF version of the front page of the patent application through the gazette indexes. The PDF front pages include an English-language abstract and image. The indexes are not searchable, except using (ctrl+f) to search the entire webpage by keyword.
According to Adams, “in December 2004, the EPO announced that they would begin to load the complete collection of all GCC granted patents (KD GC-A), starting from GC-0000001-A granted 2002, into its INPADOC database” (110). The coverage information (PDF) for the Worldwide database on Espacenet indicates that the database currently hosts at least 200 documents from the GCC for 2000-2010, including the documents’ bibliographic data, English title, images, and IPC classification. A search for country code GC in the “publication number” field of the advanced search form for the Worldwide database will display all patent document records from the GCC in the Worldwide database of Espacenet. Many GC document records link to equivalent document records that include full text of descriptions and claims.
A recent discussion appeared on the “DWPI users” LinkedIn group, titled “DWPI Now Covers 45 Patent Authorities: New Coverage – Gulf Cooperation Council” from Customer Relations Manager at Thomas Reuters, Bob Stembridge. It should be noted that since “DWPI users” is a closed group, only group members will have access to this discussion. Bob states that granted GCC patents published since 2002 will be added to the database, and special indexing, like chemical fragmentation and polymer codes, will be added to some documents. DWPI seems to have been slowly adding the GCC patent documents to their database since at least March, since three DWPI coverage updates from March indicate that 3, 31, and 97 GCC documents were added (or updated).
Conclusion- How is each resource useful, and where else can I search?
Espacenet is the best free resource for accessing bibliographic data on granted GCC patents, since the data is indexed and searchable. Users can also view the equivalent documents for these granted patents and thereby access the full text of the document’s claims and descriptions in English. Although the GCC Patent Office website offers PDF versions of the of the front pages of the patent applications from their official gazette, these records aren’t searchable. Users must simply browse through the document titles in each issue’s index in order to locate relevant patent applications. The subscription-based DWPI will add valuable indexing and classification to the bibliographic data of these documents, such as the chemical fragmentation codes and polymer indexing. However, none of these resources offer full-text coverage of all patent applications and granted patents since 1998. Check out the Interactive Patent Coverage Map on Intellogist to locate other resources that cover patent data for countries in the Gulf Coast region.
Are you aware of any other databases or resources that host bibliographic data or full text of GCC patent documents? Let us know in the comments!
- Lambert, Jane. “Saudi Arabia: Overview of Intellectual Property Law.” NIPC Gulf website, http://nipc-gulf.blogspot.com/2011/05/saudi-arabia-overview-of-intellectual.html. Accessed May 23, 2011.
- Mohammed F. Al-Hajeri. “The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) patent office.” World Patent Information, Volume 28, Issue 1. March 2006, Pages 14-19. Accessed via online service http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0172219005001080. Accessed May 23, 2011.
- Mohammed F. Al-Hajeri. “Addendum to ‘The gulf cooperation council (GCC) patent office’ [World Patent Information 28 (1) (2006) 14–19].” World Patent Information, Volume 29, Issue 1. March 2007, Page 101. Accessed via online service http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0172219006001001. Accessed May 23, 2011.
This post was contributed by Joelle Mornini. The Intellogist blog is provided for free by Intellogist’s parent company Landon IP, a major provider of patent searches, trademark searches, technical translations, and information retrieval services.