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Oman: The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion (MoCIIP) has granted two patents on devices as part of the ministry’s endeavor to support the national workforce system.  

These devices include one tracking the locations and tracks of fishermen’s boats, and fishing vessels, and calculating the quantity of caught fish and another one for a remotely controlled device for operating loop linkage unit.

MoCIIP emphasized that the effective system of intellectual property and patents in the Sultanate of Oman in accordance with the strategic directions of Oman Vision 2040, contributes to achieving the objectives related to the performance and provision of high-quality government services.

It also contributes to creating a competitive business environment that, promotes economic growth and diversification, and empowers the sector. In order to enhance the attraction of investments, as well as contributes to creating a possible tool for companies and projects based on innovating new technologies, that are convertible into assets that, can be utilized commercially and industrially.

Role of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion

Nidaa bint Yaqoub Al-Tamimiyya, Head of the Patents and Industrial Designs Department in the National Intellectual Property Office at the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion, said: “The Ministry plays a major role in spreading knowledge of intellectual property rights and providing many services related to encouraging, facilitating and registering patent applications.”

“The Ministry also focuses on the technical inventions that address the challenges of meeting the needs of changing markets and technological progress, which contributes to providing high-quality products and services and holding lectures and seminars on motivating researchers and workers in scientific and research institutions, inventors and other beneficiaries, in order to present and implement creative ideas and projects through services that provided by the Ministry.”

She further added that MoCIIP has the capability of conducting the initial research for the idea of the inventor and providing him/her with the results of the research so that the inventor can know the strength of his/her idea and the possibility of protecting it, by searching in documents and databases that similar or close to the idea, in order to save effort, money and time of the owner of the idea, that helps to reduce repeated ideas, promoting a focus on new and qualitative ideas.

Nidaa stressed that the ministry provides technical advice to inventors in terms of the opportunities to benefit from the databases and the technical information of patents, as it contains scientific additions, which can contribute to developing local patents, facilitating the transfer of the technology of these inventions and the possibility to use it locally.

The Head of the Patents and Industrial Designs Department clarified that the number of national applications registered in all fields of intellectual property, particularly, applications related to patents (national and international patents) in 2022 reached 85 national applications, while their number till the first half of 2023, reached to 32 national applications.  

She pointed out that, this number is a result of the role played by the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion in spreading awareness through many workshops and awareness lectures that conducted by the inspectors at the National Office for Intellectual Property, which targeted several sectors, including the educational, academic sectors and small and medium- enterprises.  

Nidaa further said, “The owner of the patent may sell his/her patent or license for others to use it or dispose of it, as the patent has a financial value, while the patent can be bought and sold, and the usufruct right can be decided on it as well, where it is permissible to license to others to exploit it.”

More about the Devices

Suleiman bin Khamis Al-Khawaldi and Shaima bint Taher Al-Saadiya, the owners of the invention of the devices for tracking locations and tracks of fishermen’s boats, fishing vessels and calculating the quantity of caught fish, clarified that their invention is an electronic device with assembled and programmed parts.

They pointed out that the device is divided into two parts, the first one is to be installed in boats, ships, trucks, or any other place in order to collect information, then to be installed on a radio to transfer the collected data, while the device is equipped with a weight sensor,   theft sensor, a temperature and humidity sensor, a location sensor, and a small screen to display data. The device is linked with a rechargeable solar cell, where other services can be added whenever needed.

As for the second part of the device, it is a 7-inch screen that runs on an operating system. The screen contains a special map that is designed based on the needs of users, in addition to an interactive map, where the user can obtain all the required data, directions, and voice alerts to inform the fisherman about the fishing areas and the restricted areas, as well as alerting him whenever he leaves the territorial waters, informing him of the places of throwing nets and other services that the user needs, in addition to knowing the boats near him.

Al-Khawaldi and Al-Saadiya also pointed out that, the reduction of fees for students, job seekers and small enterprises has become a motive for innovators to register their innovations and protect them from infringement, while patent specialists play a major role in introducing innovators to how to formulate a patent during the submission of applications for registering in the National Intellectual Property Office at the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion.

On his part, Badr bin Sulayem al-Muqbali, the owner of the invention of the Remotely controlling device for operating the loop linkage unit, said: “The invention is a device that can replace the engineer who operates the loop linkage units in switching the status of the keys of the equipment in terms of performing the opening, closing, and grounding functions, while this device can also be controlled remotely via a wireless remote control. The device is also connected to a rechargeable battery as a powerhouse.”

Badr Al-Muqbali further added, “I became acquainted with patent registration through seminars implemented by the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion, and social networks.”

He further emphasized that the economic point of view on the importance of obtaining a patent, stresses the possibility of strengthening the status of the patent holder in the market and the protection of the invention again theft, while the registration of a patent guarantees the owner of the idea and the investment return of his invention.”