Kuwait Intellectual_Property Rights
Kuwait is a member of the World Trade Organization under which they agree to follow certain standards for the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPR). In 2019, Kuwait took positive steps to reform its copyright enforcement system with its updated Copyright and Related Rights Law. A key provision of the law allows the government to conduct raids on business suspected to be selling pirated merchandise.
Following implementation of the law and a more aggressive stance by the government to tackle pirated and counterfeit goods, Kuwait was removed from the United States Special 301 Watch List, a list of foreign countries that fail to provide adequate and effective intellectual property protection and enforcement for U.S. stakeholders. Going one step further in 2021, Kuwait’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MOCI) created an online complaint system to report counterfeit products, and the National Library also created an online complaint system for copyright piracy. The Kuwaiti government is now actively and independently conducting investigations for violations of intellectual property. Notably, there is no formal process available to brand owners to record their trademarks with customs authorities.
Following these positive movements, several U.S. rights holders who previously left the market due to counterfeit concerns announced they would sell into Kuwait again.
This market intelligence report will explain the process for reporting suspected intellectual property violations in Kuwait.
Filing A Counterfeit Product Complaint
A brand owner, or their local partner in Kuwait, may file a complaint with the MOCI via an online system against a particular store or business that they suspect is selling counterfeit goods.
Complaints are filed with the Commercial Control Department (CCD) at the MOCI via this link: https://trademark.moci.gov.kw
In order for the Commercial Control Department to take action, the brand owner must fill out a complaint form including:
• The name, phone number, and address of the offending business;
• a sample of the allegedly infringing item; and
• a receipt from the shop (if it can be obtained).
Receiving a sample of the counterfeit product is key as the CCD must demonstrate to MOCI’s Criminal Evidence Department that there is merit in raiding the shop. An offending shop will be fined or shut down depending on the severity of the case.
The CCD will submit samples of the seized goods, along with the authentic samples provided by the complainant, to the Criminal Evidence Department of the police to investigate.
Filling a Copyright Complaint
An owner of a copyright may file a complaint with the National Library of Kuwait, which can take administrative action against infringement of copyright and related rights. Authorized Library officials can carry out investigations; seize potentially infringing material; prepare reports on the alleged infringement; and, where there are sufficient grounds, refer the matter to the Public Prosecutor for further action.
Copyright complaints can be filed with the National Library here: https://www.nlk.gov.kw/CopyrightInfringementComplaint.aspx.
The complaint should include:
• The complainant’s personal data;
• Complaint details; and
• Supporting evidence (such as photos)
If you require any assistance in respect of acting against counterfeit trade in Kuwait, you may email to our IP Attaché, Aisha Salem-Howey, at Aisha.Salem-Howey@trade.gov or our IP Specialist, Rasha Abdelmagid, at Rasha.Abdelmagid@trade.gov