Effective May 18, 2015, a new rule relating to the payment of annuity fees in Italy came into force. According to the new rule, the Italian Patent Office has assigned a revised 15-digit official national application number (DOAN) to all Italian patents, validations of European patents, designs and utility models. The newly assigned DOAN must be referenced when paying renewal fees through the Italian Patent Office’s new system of payment.
Trademark registrations are valid for 10 years from filing date and are renewable for 10 year periods. For late renewals there is a six month grace period. Trademarks may be cancelled if the mark has not been in use for a period of five consecutive years following registration. When registering a trademark across each of the six GCC countries you must file a separate national trademark application for each. Official fees will vary for each trademark office. Official fees have increased considerably in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and UAE; Bahrain and Qatar are expected to increase as well.
Effective March 1, 2015, European patents may now be validated in Morocco. This is the first time that a non-European country recognizes the legal validity of a European in its territory. This move should expand the country’s opportunities to increase foreign investment, while simultaneously strengthening the economics benefits of the Moroccan patent system.