Following the recent introduction of value added tax in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, VAT is expected to be introduced in Bahrain as of January 1, 2019. The VAT will apply to goods and services at the standard rate of five percent, with some limited exceptions on basic food items, healthcare, and education. It is expected that the remaining GCC countries, which include Kuwait, Oman and Qatar to follow suit and introduce the VAT. Source: SABAIP.com
The Patent Office in Bahrain announced that it will begin receiving and processing patent applications in electronic form. The e-portal allows for the submission of application forms electronically along with soft copies of the required documents such as the power of attorney, assignment from inventors, and Arabic translation. Other jurisdictions in the Arabian Gulf that previously implemented electronic filing for patent applications are Saudi Arabia, the regional office of the Gulf Cooperation Council, the United Arab Emirates, and most recently Qatar. Source: SABAIP
Pursuant to Ministerial Decree no. 65 of 2016 approving the Implementing Regulations of the GCC Trademark Law, the official fees for trademark related matters have increased significantly across the board in comparison to their current level. The new official fees for filing through registration of a trademark have increased to BHD 650 (approximately $1,722 USD). The new rates for Official Fees became effective as of May 29, 2016, and will be applied on all new as well as retroactively for pending trademark applications. Additionally, an electronic Official Gazette (eOG) has been introduced which will be published every Thursday of each month. The eOG will be available in English and Arabic. This electronic version will contain the particulars of each accepted trademark application and a representative drawing, along with a list of cancelled registrations.