By Abhishek Chandok and Vibhukant Chauhan
Saudi Arabia officially became the 122nd country to join the Hague Apostille Convention, 1961 on December 07, 2022.
The Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents, commonly known as Hague Apostille Convention 1961, serves the purpose of abolishing the traditional requirement of legalization, replacing the often long and costly legalization process with the issuance of a single Apostille certificate by a Competent Authority in the place where the document originates. As of April 2023, there are 124 signatories to the Apostille Convention.
Earlier, the Power of Attorney that would be submitted with Saudi Authority for Intellectual Property (SAIP), in relation to IP prosecution, had to be legalized / attested through Saudi Embassy in the Applicant’s country which is a complex and time-consuming procedure and hard to be carried out by an individual. Therefore, individuals had to avail services of attestation agents which also resulted in legalization being an expensive affair.
Given that Saudi Arabia has become a signatory to Apostille Convention 1961, the documents originating in Saudi Arabia, and those apostilled according to the requirements of the treaty will be accepted in the 123 member countries of Apostille Convention 1961. Similarly, documents processed and originating from other member countries will be accepted in Saudi Arabia as well.
This change would help an individual avoid the complicated procedure of legalization / attestation at Saudi Embassies and would also reduce verification / processing time of obtaining an apostilled document.
Accordingly, for Intellectual Property prosecution in Saudi Arabia, attestation of Power of Attorney through a Saudi Embassy would not be required and apostille certificate would suffice the purpose of legalization of the Power of Attorney.
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