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Registering IP: Utility Certificate Guide

Our Utility Certificate Guide steers you through the different stages and requirements of the registration process, including various forms and documents.

Utility certificates can be registered at the national Intellectual Property Offices, for example with the Ministry of Economy in the UAE. In contrast to patents, not all jurisdictions offer the possibility to file a utility certificate. In the UAE, the application for a utility certificate is possible.

After the drafting is finished, usually with the support of an IP expert such as a patent attorney or paralegal, the application can be submitted to the IP office(s) and filing fees must be paid. The patent office then examines if the demanded requirements are met. If so, the utility certificate gets granted. General requirements are similar, but usually not as demanding as for patents (such as level of inventiveness, filing and prosecution procedure). The requirements and examination vary between jurisdictions but are usually not as detailed as for patents.


General requirements are similar, but usually not as demanding as those of patents (e.g. level of inventiveness, filing and prosecution procedure). The requirements and examination vary between jurisdictions but are usually not as detailed as for patents.

The creation of a utility certificate requires some creative and well-thought-out considerations and research. Inventors should pay attention to the following steps before registering a utility certificate. The described steps do follow a chronological order but can be performed either one after the other or in parallel:


The idea development typically starts with novel idea or invention which the inventor believes is innovative and not already state-of-the-art and/or protected by a patent or utility certificate. Already, in this process step, the inventor should document his/her idea as comprehensively as possible, i.e. with sketches, diagrammes, documented trials, or prototypes (if applicable).

Prior art search

To determine if the idea/invention is novel, a search for prior art should be performed. Throughout the whole invention process, it can be beneficial to perform searches at different points of time corresponding to the actual development status. To search for prior art, please click here.


At this stage, the actual development of the technical invention takes place. This can include experiments, testing, and even the development of (functional) prototypes. The inventors bring their idea/invention "to life" in a technical application, or at least create a concept to do so. An important aspect of the development stage is the comprehensive documentation of the invention, e.g. with technical descriptions, notes, technical drawings/sketches, diagrammes, or even prototypes.

Invention disclosure

The inventor usually discloses his/her invention to a patent attorney (internal or external). The invention disclosure should capture all important information needed for the attorney to draft a utility certificate application. To document the invention properly, invention disclosure forms are usually used. Such invention disclosure forms are provided on this page.

At this stage, the registrability of the invention is assessed by an IP expert (usually a patent attorney). The results of the prior art are taken into consideration to assess the novelty of the invention. Further assessment should include legal, technology, product, and market/business aspects. Consulting professionals such as technology experts, product managers, sales managers, etc. could be beneficial.

The invention assessment should answer questions like:

  • Is the invention new?

  • Is it related to a product?

  • Do we have freedom to operate?

  • Which competitive benefit will a patent bring?

  • Is an infringement detectable?

  • Will the utility certificate be enforceable?

  • How is the market potential? 

As a result of the invention assessment, a decision should be made whether to register the invention as a utility certificate or not.

Utility certificate drafting

The drafting of the utility certificate application is usually performed by a patent attorney. It is recommended to reach out to such experts to make sure that the requirements of the application in terms of content, structure, and formality are met. In general, a utility certificate application includes a title, an abstract with a short description, the description of how the invention is made and utilised, drawings of the invention, claims with the definition of the scope of protection and citations referring to former inventions/utility certificates.

To find professional support from a utility certificate attorney please click here.

Utility certificate registration

The submission of a utility certificate via an online portal is possible in many IP offices in the world, including the UAE. As for the drafting, it is recommend to let the registration and prosecution be performed by a patent attorney or registered agent. To find professional support, please click here.

After the submission of the utility certificate application, the examination at the IP office starts. The examination of utility certificates at most IP offices is not as comprehensive as it is for patents. After a first examination the IP offices can ask for amendments, e.g. adjustment of the scope of protection. The applicant should then reassess his/her invention and decide whether to implement the requested amendments or drop the application. If, finally, all the requirements of the IP office are met by the applicant, the utility certificate is granted. The duration, from submission to grant, varies from case to case and from office to office. For utility certificates, the duration is usually between 6-12 months.

Required documents

For registration of an utility certificate at MoE following documents are required:

  • Application Form

  • Abstract (Arabic) (pdf)

  • Abstract (English) (pdf)

  • Assignment (pdf)

  • Bibliographic Information (xls or xlsx)

  • Certified copy of priority application (pdf)

  • Commitment To Submit Documents Belonging To Application

  • Claims (Arabic) (pdf)

  • Claims (English) (pdf)

  • Description (Arabic) (pdf)

  • Description (English) (pdf)

  • Drawing (Arabic) (pdf)

  • Drawing (English) (pdf)

  • Emirates ID

  • Extract from commercial register or partnership (pdf)

  • Industrial Design Or Drawing Documents Receipt

  • Patent Or Utility Certificate Documents Receipt

  • PCT Documents

  • Power of Attorney (pdf)

  • Proof of applicant types

  • Representative Image – Minimum 500x500 pixel

  • Sequence listing

  • Others (zip)

Helpful templates

More information


Start your utility certificate registration process with the UAE's Ministry of Economy.

Apply Now

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