As of December 22, 2019 it is now possible to register Copyright in Saudi Arabia.

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Most types of copyright work are registerable in Saudi Arabia. However there are some excluded works as follows:

Excluded works:

  • Regulations and judgements, decisions of administrative departments, international conventions, other official documents and their translations.
  • Ideas, procedures, methods of work, (i.e. things which may be otherwise protected by patent); concepts of mathematics, abstract principles, facts.
  • The content of of published newspapers, magazines, periodicals, and daily news or general news.

For other works, for registration the work must comply with the following requirements:

  1. The work or any of its contents shall not be contrary to Islamic law (Sharia law) or the laws of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, or be contrary to public decency.
  2. Each application is limited to one individual copyright work, taking into consideration the nature of the copyright work.
  3. The work shall not be an excluded work (see above)
  4. The work is a final finished form and is not a draft or a preparatory work.
  5. Payment of the official fee.
  6. Any additional conditions or requirements issued by decision of the Saudi intellectual property office.

Where there are no office actions raised, registration is expected within 60 work days of making an application.

Duration of protection

Architectural designs attract a copyright period for the duration of the author’s life +50 years following death of the author.

Computer software and programs - the copyright period for computer program expires 50 years from the date of first showing or publication of the copyright work.


Saudi Arabia is party to the Berne Convention for the protection of literary and artistic works. Under this convention, in each contracting state, the same rights will be accorded to members of any other states in the convention as are accorded to nationals of the contracting state. In other words, whatever copyright protection is available Saudi Arabia, is automatically available to copyright holders in other contracting states for copyright works generated in those other contracting states.

The new registration system is in addition to whatever rights are available automatically according to the Berne Convention.

If you wish to apply to register Copyright in Saudi Arabia, please contact one of our patent or trade mark attorneys.

Article by Robert Franks


Article Published December 27th, 2019