Decree-Law No. 5 of 1999 concerning Intellectual Property Rights



Having perused Article 71 of the constitution, and

The Penal Code promulgated by Law No. 16 of 1960 and all its amending
laws; and

The Penal Procedure and Trials Code promulgated by Law No. 17 of
1960,and all amending laws; and

The Civil and Commercial Procedure code promulgated by Law No. 38of
1980 and all its amending laws; and

The Civil Law promulgated by Law decree No. 67of 1980, duly amended
by Law no. 15 of 1996;and

Law No. 16 of 1986 ratifying Inter-Arab-Copyright Convention; and

Law No. 2 of 1998 ratifying the State of Kuwait accession to the
convention establishing the International Organization of
Intellectual Property, and

Pursuant at the proposal made by the Minister of Information; and

After ratification by the Council of Ministers

We hereby promulgate the following law :

Article 1

Authors of creative classified works of literary, arts and sciences
of whatever value, nature or purpose of their authorship or manner of
expression shall be under the protection of this Law .

A person who creates a classified work or to whom the classified work
is, attributed at the time of its publishing or diffusion, whether by
stating his name in such classified work or by any other means of
whatsoever nature shall be considered as author, unless otherwise is
established and proved.

Article 2

The protection shall particularly include the following classified

a) Written classified works.
b) Orally delivered classified works, such as lectures, speeches,
religious preaching, sermons and the like.
c) Classified theatrical, dramatic and musical works .
d) Classified musical works, whether related to words or not.
e) Classified works performed by means of moves or steps, which are
materially prepared and worked out for production and /or direction.
f) Cinema and broadcasting audio visual classified works.
g) Line or color painting and imaging works graphic and architecture
drawings, sculpture works, arts, ornamental, decorative and engraving
h) Photographic works .
u) Applied Arts works, whether vocational or industrial.

j) Illustrative images, geographical maps, designs, layout-drawings
plans and miniature models of Geographical, Topographical,
Architecture and Scientific works.
k) Computer-classified-works, such as software, software-packages
data bases and the like.
I) Classified derivatives and translated works.

The protection shall also include the title of classified work if it
is creatively characterized and not merely a business- expression for
the purpose of indicating the classified work subject matter.

Article 3

Any person who under the author's authorization translates a
classified work into another language, summarizes, amends,
illustrates or otherwise describes in detail or construes the same in
a manner under which the classified work appears in a new shape shall
enjoy the said protection too.

The protection established and specified in the preceding paragraph
shall not prejudice the protection enjoyable by the principal author
of the classified work, provided that the rights of a photographic
classified work's author shall not constitute preventing others from
taking new photographs of the same photographed item even if the new
photographs are taken from the same place; and generally, under the
same circumstances whereby the first photograph was taken .
Title II


Article 4

Only the author shall have the right to determine on publishing his
classified work, and specify the manner of publishing. He shall alone
have the right to utilize his classified work financially in any way
of utilization, and no other person may exercise such right, unless a
prior written authorization is obtained from the author or this
Article 5

Regarding utilization the author's copyright shall the following :

a) Reproduction copies of the classified work in any manner
b) Conveying and/or communicating the classified work to public and
audience of viewers in a public performance, theatre works,
broadcasting means Television and/or Cinema shows or any other means,
c) Translating the classified work into any other language, amending,
summarizing, construing, illustrating or modifying the same in any
other shape or manner.

Article 6

The author is the only person to whom the classified work is
attributed, save when the classified work is accidentally broadcasted
or viewed within introduction of a certain material of current

The author or his private / public successor shall have the right to
reject or prevent any deletion, alteration, modification, addition or
any other amendments to be made in his classified work without having
secured his permit or authorization.

Amending , altering, modifying or enhancing the classified work into
an other shape is exempted from the provision of the preceding
article, unless such act affects the author's reputations, his
academic status of artistic prestige or in the event of prejudicing
the contents of the classified work. work. However, in all cases any
translation amendments, modification or improvement made in the
contents of the original classified work shall be clearly indicated
and stated therein.

Article 7

The author after publishing of his classified work may not prevent
rhythming and eurhythmics or playing of such classified work if it
has taken place at a private gathering or assembly, which does not
directly or indirectly result in any financial income.

Article 8

If a person has made a single copy of a classified work already
published, or he has translated, adapted, modified or altered the

for his personal use in any other manner whatsoever, the author may
not prevent him from doing so, provided that the publishing of such
works may not be made, unless the permit of its owner and the author
is obtained.

Article 9

The author after having published his classified works he may not
prohibit conducting and carrying out of analysis and minor quotations
if they are meant for criticism, educational, cultural, and study
works or for information purposes, provided that the original
reference, source and name of author are clearly indicated and
mentioned therein.

Article 10

Press, Periodicals, Broadcasting, Television and/or other information
media may communicate without the author's permit, any articles or
comments relating to political, economic or religious discussions or
comments relating to political, economic or religious discussions
over which the public option is concerned at a specific period of
time, unless such communication is expressly restricted and /or
prohibited as provided for in the original text from which such a
communication shall be made.

In the event of communicating, publishing or quoting any such work,
etc. the relevant source reference and name of the author shall
always be clearly indicated and stated therein.

Article 11

Press, Broadcasting and other information media without having
secured the permit of the author may publish and broadcast, for the
purpose of communicating news, speeches, lectures, preaches and talks

delivered at open meetings and sessions of legislative and
administrative assemblies and bodies as well as the meetings held by
academic, literary, technical, political, social and religious
Institutions since such speeches, lectures, talks and preaches are
directed to public, which shall be addressed accordingly.

Moreover, legal open arguments and pleadings may be published within
the scope of law without having secured the permit of the author.

Article 12

In the event of cases provided for in the preceding two articles, the
author alone shall have the right to publish his complied speeches,
articles and/or essays.

Article 13

The author's heirs shall alone have the right to financially utilize
the relevant classified work in the manner prescribed in this law,
provided that the following stipulations are observed and abided by:

a) If the author had concluded a contract in writing with a third
party for utilization of his classified work, then his contract
should be implemented in conformity with its stipulated terms.

b) If the author had directed by a will that his classified work,
should not be published or he had fixed specific date or stipulated
other conditions for that purpose, then the contents of his will
shall be implemented.

c) If one of a joint classified work's authors died, and he had no
heir or trustee, his relevant share be equally devolved to the other
joint authors, unless otherwise is agreed upon in writing in that

Article 14

If the heirs of a Kuwaiti author or his successors have failed to
publish or republish his classified work, and the Minster of
Information deemed it necessary to publish such classified work, for
the public interest, but the heirs or successors have continued to
abstain from doing so for one year period with effect from the date
of his request forwarded to them by means of a registered letter,
then he may exercise the said right under an order issued by the
Chief Judge of the Court of First Instance, confirming delivery of
the said classified work to him for publishing purposes, but without
prejudice to the right of author's hires or successors for a fair
equitable compensation.

Article 15

Performing artists, such as performer- actors, singers, musicians and
instrumentalists shall be entitled to a percentage of performing for
what they performed on the basis of their creative ability. Moreover,
they shall enjoy the financial right to utilize their performance,
whether by means of communicating their performance to public
audience, or for reproduction, leasing, and the public availability
of their performance already confirmed through broadcasting or
electronics means of computer-software and packages.

The Broadcasting corporations shall enjoy a financial right to
license utilizing of their records and to prevent any use of their
programs without a prior written permit given by them in this

Article 16

The protection of author's copyrights of a foreign language
classified works, with the right of the person translating such work
into another language, against translations of that classified work
into Arabic language shall expire within a lapse of five years with
effect from the first day the genuine classified or translated work
was published.

Nevertheless, the Minister of Information may license translating
into Arabic or publishing of such classified work after a lapse of
one year from the date of publishing the original classified work or
the date of work translated for the first time. In such a case, the
author or the person to whom the translation work was devolved shall
be fairly and equitably compensated.

Article 17

Without prejudice to the provisions of the preceding article, the
protection of author's copyright against utilizing his work in a
financial manner shall lapse as follows :

1) After a lapse of fifty (50) years from the date of author's death.
As for the period of a joint classified work it shall be calculated
from the date of death of the last alive party of the joint authors, with effect from the end of the relevant Gregorian year in
which he died.

2) After a lapse of fifty (50) years from the end of the Gregorian
year in which the classified work is published regarding the

a) The classified works which are published under assumed name or
published without having the author's name indicated therein, unless
the author's personality is revealed by well known to all, then the
period shall be expired as stipulated in clause "1" herein.

b) The classified works the copyright holder of which is deemed to be
a judicial person I e a body - corporate.

c) Classified Cinema Topographic and Photographic works, as well as
applied arts, computer programes and data bases.

d) The classified works, published for first time after the death of
their author i.e. writer or composer.

3) After expiry of fifty (50) years, with effect from the end of the
Gregorian year in which the performance is made with regard to
performing artists, and as from the end of the Gregorian year in
which the recording was made in case of Cinema records producers or
of the records prepared and intended for television or broadcasting

4) After a lapse of twenty (20) years as from the end of the
Gregorian year in which the first radiocast or telecast is made in
case of broadcasting.


Article 18

If more than one person have jointly participated in a written or
composed classified work to an extent where no share of any of them
could be separated from the other shares, then all of them shall be
considered equal joint holders of that classified work, unless
otherwise is agreed upon in writing .

In such a case none of them may exercise the author's rights
constituted under copyright, save upon agreement of all authors
(writers and /or composers). But in the event of disputed, the court
of First Instance shall determine on the issue.

Each of then joint authors shall have the right to take preventive
measures and summary proceedings in case of a copyrights
infringement. He shall also be entitled to file a lawsuit to claim
his share in compensation for the damages sustained by the reason of
such infringement.

Article 19

If more than one person have jointly participated in writing or
composing a classified work where the share of each could be
separated then each of the participants shall be entitled to
utilizing the part of his participation separately, provided that
such act shall not prejudice the joint utilization of the classified
works, unless otherwise is agreed upon in writing.

Article 20

Without prejudice to the right of author of a literary proportion in
a lyric music classified work, the composer of the musical part shall
alone be entitled go a license for of performing in public the entire
joint classified work, or to implement , publish or reproduce the
same. The author of the literary part shall have the right to publish
the part belonging to him, provided that he may not dispose of that
part in a way to be a basis for another musical classified work,
unless otherwise is agreed upon in writing.

Article 21

For joint classified works which are performed with moves accompanied
with music and for all other similar classified works, the designer
of move and steps shall have the right of being licensed to perform
in public the entire joint classified work or to implement or
reproduce the same.

The composer of the musical part shall alone have the right to
disclose of that part, provided that , it shall not be used in a
classified work similar the said joint classified work, save when
otherwise is agreed upon in writing.

Article 22
The following shall be considered as partners in a cinema classified
works, or in a classified works prepared and intended for
broadcasting or television ( TV ) purposes:

1) The scenario-editor or the author of a classified written thought.

2) The scrip-writer who modifies a literacy classified works in a
manner to suit such art.
3) The Dialogist, i.e. the dialogue writer.
4) The music composer ( the musician ) if a music is specially
composed for such a classified works.
5) The director, and /or producer if he could manage to observe an
actual control, and has intellectually performed a positive work duly
realizing and achieving and of the aforesaid classified works.

In case of a movie, TV, or broadcasting classified work which is
simplified or extracted from a former classified work, then the
author of the classified work shall be deemed as a prater in the new
classified work.

Article 23
The scenario-editor, the scrip-writer who modifies a literary
classified work, the dialogue- writer (dialogist) and the director

i.e. the producer shall all collectively have the right to display
and show any movie-classified work or any classified work prepared
for broadcasting or a TV. show in spite of any objection raised by
the author of a genuine literary classified work or raised by a music
composer. the musician, but all of which shall be made without
prejudice to the civil rights of the objector, as duly constituted
and existing by the reason of this participation in the relevant

The author of a literary proportion or of a music composition each
shall have the right to publish or diffuse his classified work in any
other way, unless otherwise is agreed upon in writing.

Article 24
If any of the participants of a music classified work or of a
classified work prepared for broadcasting or for a TV show has
refused to perform his proportional works or failed to do so for
circumstances or reasons beyond his control, he shall have no right
to prevent the other participants or deprive them of using the part
he has already performed, but he shall be deemed a composer author of
his accomplished part of work, and consequently he shall enjoy the
rights constituted accordingly.

Article 25

Any natural or judicial person who has undertaken the implementation
of or who has been held responsible for implementing a movie classified work prepared for a radio broadcasting or a TV. show or
who has made the necessary financial means available at the hand of a
classified work author for realizing the production and/or direction
of the same shall be considered a producer.

However, in all cases the producer shall be considered as a publisher
of the classified work , and consequently he shall be entitled to all
rights of the publisher.

The producer, shall within the utilization period agreed upon be
considered as attorney acting on behalf of the authors ( writers or
composers ) of the classified work and on behalf of their successors
regarding any show or utilization agreement, but without prejudice to
the rights of any. Literary or music classified works author's unless
otherwise is agreed upon in writing.

Article 26

A collective classified work denotes a classified work jointly
planned and made under direction of a natural or judicial person to
the extent that the work of each participant could not be separated
and singly identified .

The judicial person which directed and organized the creation of such
classified -work shall be considered as author, which alone shall be
entitled to the exercise of the author's rights.

Article 27

If a classified work is created for the account of a natural or
judicial person, the Author's right shall be established in the favor
of the creator, save in the event of an agreement stipulates
otherwise in writing.

Article 28

In case of any classified work mode under assumed names or which do
not bear the name of author, the publisher whose name is shown in the
classified work shall be deemed as a person authorized by the author
to exercise the rights established under this law, unless otherwise
is proved.

Article 29

Any person takes a photograph or picture shall have no right to shown
exhibit, display, publish or distribute its originals or reproduction
without having secured the permit of persons of whom he has taken
such a photograph or picture, unless otherwise is agreed upon in

This provision shall not be applicable if the publishing of such a
photograph or picture was made on occasion of events publicly
occurred or related to any official men or persons enjoying public
reputation or in case the competent authorities have approved the
same act for the purpose of public interest.

Nevertheless, showing, displaying or circulating of the picture or
photograph in the event of the preceding case may not be made if it
shall prejudice or result in disparagement of honor, reputation or
dignity of the person whom it represents. However, the photographed
or pictured person may permit publishing his photo or picture in
daily papers, periodicals, magazine and such similar publications,
even of a written agreement stipulates otherwise.

The provisions shall be applicable to all pictures images,
photographs and/or portraits of whatever manner or way they are made
whether by means of imaging, picturing painting and engraving or by
any other means.


Article 30

The author may assign to a third party directly the exercise of
utilization rights provided for in Article 4,paragraph 2 and Article
5 of the law hereof provided that the assignment of any right herein

shall not constitute authorization of the assignee to exercise any
other right.

It is conditional that for the validity of said assignment it should
be written, with the right under assignment expressly determined and
specified therein, besides clearly indicating and stating its extent,
purpose, duration and place of utilization.

The author shall abstain from any act which may obstruct or impair
the financial use of the assigned right.

The provisions governing the assignment made by the author regarding
his financial rights in accordance with the provisions of this law
decree shall be applicable to the performing artists.

Article 31

The assignment of author's rights regarding his classified works
whether fully or partially may be made on the basis of a proportional
sharing in the yield of utilization or haphazardly by casual means.

Nevertheless, if it is proved that the agreement , is inequitable and
prejudicing the rights of the author or it has become so under
certain circumstances occurred after conclusion of the relevant
contract, the court may, on the basis of the said circumstances and
after counterbalancing of the two disputing parties, interest pass a
judgment in favor of the author confirming payment of a part of the
net profit resulting form utilization of the classified work, in
addition to what already agreed upon.

Article 32

Any assignment of the rights provided for in Article 5. Paragraph "1"
and Article "7" of this Law shall be void and null.

Article 33

Any assignment made by the author regarding the total of his future
intellectual production shall be deemed null and invalid.

Article 34

The assignment of the single original copy title of a classified work
of whatsoever type shall not constitute the assignment of the authors
right of such a classified work. Nevertheless the assignee to whom
the ownership is devolved may not be compelled to let the author's
copy. reproduce, communicate or show the said classified works. All
of which is applicable, unless otherwise is agreed upon in writing.

Article 35

In the event of serious reasons occurred the author shall alone move
for the court of first Instance to withdraw his classified work from
circulator or to introduce and make any modifications or adjustments,
in spite of his assignment of the relevant financial rights. In such
a case, the author shall be bound to compensate the assignee to whom
the financial utilization rights are devolved fairly in equitable
manner .Such just compensation shall be paid within a term specified
by the court, otherwise the effect of judgment shall be no longer
existing and completely nullified.



Article 36
The summary actions judge at the Court of First Instance shall, upon
a motion moved for by an author or his successor and pursuant to a
writ of judgment on a petition, rule the following proceedings to be
applied regarding each classified work published, shown or exhibited
without a written permit given by the author or his successor, on the
ground that the provisions of Article 5 of this Law are violated

1) To conduct a detailed description of the classified work.
2) Cessation and discontinuation of publishing, diffusion sowing
exhibiting or making of such classified work.
3) To levy an execution and attachment on the original classified
work, its reproduction, copying and on the materials used for
republishing and rediffusion of such classified work.
4) To confirm and establish the public performance of any musical
rhythm, theatrical acting, recital, recitation or delivery of any
classified work before the public , with discontinuation of the
existing show or prohibiting the same in future.
5) Calculating and assessing the income resulting from publishing,
diffusing showing or exhibiting of the classified work through an
expert to be delegated for such a purpose whenever deemed necessary,
besides levying attachment and execution on such income in all cases.

The summary actions judge may rule that an expert to be delegated and
commissioned for the purpose of assisting the execution officer,
besides imposing a suitable bail to be deposited by the petitioner.

The petitioner shall bring the original cause of disputer before the
competent court of merits, within an eight day period following the
date of court ruling which if brought not within the said limitation
the issue shall be deemed void and null.

Article 37
A petitioner whose motion was caused to be rejected and ruled out and
the person adjudged accordingly may each brings a complaint against
the same before the judge who made the rules. Such act shall not
prevent the institution of the original action before the competent
court; and the relevant complaint shall be instituted under normal
applicable proceedings of action at law filing . Moreover, it should
be grounded and substantiated, otherwise it shall be deemed void and

A judgment shall be rendered in respect of the complaint whether
confirming upholding quashing or vacating the said ruling. Moreover ,
( syndic ) shall be appointed for the classified work under dispute
whose duty is to republish exhibit reshow re-make or reproduce copies
of such classified work, provided that the yields of the production
shall be deposited with the treasury of the court. The said
receivership shall be discontinued by agreement of all concerned
collectively or under a court judgment.

The complaint raised against the ruling shall not ensue its stay of

Article 38

The Court of merits before which the original dispute is brought
shall at the request of the author or the person acting on his behalf
destroy and/or damage the reproduced copies, pictures and /or images
which were illegally published, together with the materials used for
its publishing purpose, the features and characteristics of those
reproduced copies and materials or to make the same unuseful for
work. All of which shall be made at the expense of the party held
liable. Nevertheless, if the right of the author shall lapse after
less than a two year limitation with effect with effect from the date
of judgment rendition, the court without prejudice to the author's
rights provided for in Articles4 and 5 clause "c" and Article 6,
Paragraph "1" hereof may commute the judgment of damaging the
condemned work or changing its characteristics by a judgment
confirming attachment on property for payment of any amount adjudged
to be payable to the author, such as compensations and indemnities,
relates to a transaction of a classified work into Arabic in order to
avoid violating the provisions of Article"15" paragraph "1" .In such
a case the judgment rendered shall be limited to confirmation of
attachment on property regarding the translated classified work, for
the purpose of settling any amount the court adjudged payable to the
author, such as compensations and indemnities.

However. in all cases, the author for his debt originating and
resulting from his right of compensation and indemnity shall have a
prior lien over the net price of the items sold and the money
attached for payment of his due debt, save the lien of court fees and
legal attorney charges and the expenses spent for maintaining and
keeping such items and for collection of the said amounts.

Article 39
The author's rights and entitlements may not be attached, but the
reproduced copies of the classified work already published and/or
diffused may be seized and attached. The said judgment shall include
the classified works whose author had died before their publication
and/or diffusion, unless it is conclusively and proved that he had
meant to have them published before his death.

Article 40

Buildings and constructions shall neither be subject to attachment
and seizure nor to a judgment deterring their demolition, damage or
confiscation for the purpose preserving the rights of the Artic at
author whose drawings and designs were illegally utilized and used in
the relevant project.

Article 41
Every author of any right provided for herein whose right is
infringed shall be entitled to compensation and shall have the right
of being compensated accordingly.



Punishable with imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year and a
fine not more than KD 500/- Five Hundred Kuwaiti Dinars or with
either of these two penalties, every infringer who:

a) Infringes the author's rights provided for in Articles 4,5 and 6
Paragraph "1" and Article 12 of this law.
b) Any infringer who sells, offers for sale, circulates, broadcasts
to Public by any means whatsoever or who has imported in or exported
out of the country any ungenuine and /or imitated classified work.
c) Any defaulter who reveals discloses or facilitates showing up or
revealing a computer programme prior to its publishing or diffusion.
d) Any defaulter who removes or facilitates to remove to clear away
or to eliminate any means of protection organizing or restricting the
classified work not shown, demonstrated, performed or recorded by
public audience.

However , the court may rule confiscating all tools assigned to the
task of illegal publishing if they are only useful for such a
purpose, besides confiscating all reproduced copies too. Likewise the
court may rule the rendered judgment to be published in one or more
issues of the Gazette or a newspaper at the expense of the defaulter
adjudged guilty. However, if the accused infringer had been condemned
before and punished for committing one of the crimes referred to in
this article, and it was established within a five year term from the
date of final judgment that he has committed any of the preceding
crimes, then the court may pass a judgment , provided that it shall
not exceed one half of the said prescribed penalty, besides rolling
lock-out of the firm utilized in committing the crime for not more
than a six month term.


Article 43

Without prejudice to the provisions of international conventions and
agreements enforceable in the state of Kuwait , the provisions of
this Law hall be applicable to:

a) The classified works of Kuwait State citizens, i.e. Kuwaiti
nationals which are published within the country or abroad.
b) The classified works of Arab authors who are nationals of the
member-states of Inter- Arab copyright convention which are published
in any of these states.
c) Classified works of foreign authors which are published in the
state of Kuwait for the first time.
d) Classified works of authors of member- state Nationals of the
International organization of Intellectual property Rights.
e) classified works of foreign authors who are nationals of states
treating the classified works of Kuwaiti authors on the basis of

Article 44

The provisions of this Law shall be applicable to the classified work
referred to in the preceding article which are existing at the time
of its enforcement , provided that for calculating the protection
period of these classified work, the duration lapses as from the date
of the event occurring which is fixed for the commencement of the
said period up to the operative date of this Law shall be included

The provisions of this Law shall be applicable to all event,
occurrences and -/or contracts following its effective date even
thought they relate to classified works already published, diffused

shown or played. As for the contracts which were concluded prior to
the enforcement of this Law, they should not be subject to its
provisions, and shall remain to be governed by the provisions which
were applicable at the time such contracts were completed and

Article 45
The Minister of Information shall delegate the officials required to
implement the provisions of this Law. Such officials shall have the
right to enter any printing press, bookshops, publishing houses,
public places and shops which deal in the classified works governed
by the provisions of this law for the purpose of controlling the
events occurred and the material - subject of pertinent violations,
besides recording the necessary minutes and records of occurrence .
They shall whenever deemed necessary seek the assistance of Policemen
for performing their duties and the tasks entrusted with.

As for the violations which are subject to lockout and shutting, the
Minister of Information or any official delegated by him may give the
order of lockout to close up the violating firm, until the Public
Prosecution Permit is secured or the Competent court rules to open it
or the case is determined and a relevant judgment is passed in that

Article 46

The Public Prosecution shall undertake the authority of
investigating, inquiring and taking action and prosecuting affairs in
all crimes resulting from the implementation of the provisions of
this Law decree.

Article 47
Any text contradictory to the provisions of this Law shall be

Article 48

The Minister of Information shall issue the resolutions deemed
necessary for the implementation of this Law decree,. Moreover, the
Minister of Information shall issue a decision duly regulating the
system and rules of filing and depositing the classified works, with
the relevant procedure and any payable fees, besides establishing a
special Register for recording all incoming and actions of the
classified works subject to the provisions of this Lade Decree.

Article 49

All Ministers, each with his jurisdiction shall implement the
provisions of this Law Decree, which shall be operative the date
published in the Official Gazette, and shall be brought before the
National Assembly.
Amir of Kuwait
Jaber Al Ahmed Al Sabah

Published in Bayan Palace
21 Ramadan 1420
29 December 1999