Intellectual property (IP) refers to creations of the mind, such as inventions, literary and artistic works, designs, and symbols, names and images used in commerce. IP is protected in law by patents, copyright, trade secrets and trademarks which enable people to earn recognition or financial benefit from what they invent or create.
Intellectual property (IP) in Saudi Arabia was spread between different regulators. Copyright, was the responsibility of the Ministry of Culture and Information. Trade marks, was the responsibility of the Ministry of Commerce and Investment. Patents, was the responsibility of the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology.
In late 2017, the Saudi Intellectual Property Authority (SAIP) was created by Royal Decree (Resolution No. (496) dated 9/14/1439 AH(. SAIP became the umbrella for all IP departments in Saudi Arabia.
The Saudi Authority for Intellectual Property aims to organize, support, sponsor, protect and promote IP in the Kingdom in line with local and international standards, and in cooperation with other bodies has organized workshops and run social media and newspaper initiatives to push its messages.
In mid-2019, the Committee of Intellectual Property (Dispute Resolution Committee), is looking on 162 violations of intellectual property in Saudi Arabia. The Committee can impose a fine not to exceed one hundred thousand riyals. It can also close the company that caused the infringement for not more than 2 months, and make a statement publicly (listing the company that caused the infringement in the newspaper). In the event the infringement is repeated, there shall be severe penalties.
With the rise of startups, entrepreneurs, inventors and creators, IP awareness becomes crucial, therefore registering your IP is important to protect yourself and business.