DS: Saudi Arabia — Measures concerning the Protection of Intellectual Property Rights

This summary has been prepared by the Secretariat under its own responsibility. The summary is for general information only and is not intended to affect the rights and obligations of Members.


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Summary of the dispute to date

The summary below was up-to-date at


Complaint by Qatar

On 1 October 2018, Qatar requested consultations with Saudi Arabia concerning Saudi Arabia's alleged failure to provide adequate protection of intellectual property rights held by or applied for entities based in Qatar.

Qatar claimed that the measures appear to be inconsistent with:

  • Articles 3.1, 4, 9, 14.3, 16.1, 41.1, 42 and 61 of the TRIPS Agreement.

On 12 October 2018, the Russian Federation requested to join the consultations.


Panel and Appellate Body proceedings

On 9 November 2018, Qatar requested the establishment of a panel. At its meeting on 4 December 2018, the DSB deferred the establishment of a panel.

At its meeting on 18 December 2018, the DSB established a panel. Australia, Bahrain, Brazil, Canada, China, the European Union, India, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Norway, Russia, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Arab Emirates, the United States and Yemen reserved their third-party rights.

On 6 February 2019, Qatar requested the Director-General to compose the panel. On 18 February 2019, the Director-General composed the panel.

On 5 August 2019, the Chair of the panel informed the DSB that the panel expected to issue its final report to the parties in the first quarter of 2020. In its communication, the Chair also informed the DSB that the report would be available to the public once it was circulated to the Members in all three official languages, and that the date of circulation depends on completion of translation.



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