Saudi published last week a new draft Intellectual Property Law on its national public consultation portal. This is an interesting proposed piece of legislation that aims to improve the intellectual property framework in Saudi by addressing the relationship between intellectual property and artificial intelligence, addressing the issues relating to the creation of intellectual property in outer space by Saudi-funded space missions, and filling a number of existing gaps in Saudi intellectual property laws relating to ownership, licensing, and enforcement of intellectual property rights.
The government of Saudi issued in May last year a national policy on the right to information, making Saudi the first country in the GCC to formally recognise the right to information as a legitimate right for members of the public. However, even though this is a transparency policy, the actual text of the policy was not available to the public in full until very recently. This post looks at the non-legally binding nature of this policy, its widely worded exceptions, and the lack of an external appeal process or any other mechanism for enforcing it. Notwithstanding its shortcomings, this policy remains a major milestone for the right to information in the GCC and may encourage other governments in the region to consider granting their citizens similar rights.