In May 1981, the heads of the six Arab Gulf states ratified in Abu Dhabi the Charter of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Membership is limited to the signatories of this charter ; i.e. Bahrain , Kuwait , Oman , Qatar , Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates .
This regional international organization was created to coordinate , unify and integrate the economic and political institutions of a naturally homogeneous region in the process of full development . This region has proved to be of vital importance to the world economy .
Among other means to foster foreign investment and transfer of technology , the GCC encouraged its members to further develop their laws and regulations concerning the protection of Intellectual Property both severally and jointly through the Science and Technology Committee and the Legal Department at the GCC Headquarters in Riyadh.
Consequently , member countries without effective legal protection of trademarks and patents issued new laws (Oman) or began to prepare new legislation (UAE). Other members began to revise or perfect their existing laws and regulations (Qatar , Saudi Arabia).
On the GCC level , the Legal Department at the GCC Headquarters in Riyadh prepared the Model Trademarks Code which was approved by the GCC Commercial Cooperation Committee at its meeting in December1987 . Member states were then asked to consider its adoption or any amendment thereof within three years .
During its July 1988 meeting in Riyadh , the same Committee considered the integration of this Model Code in the projected Unified Commercial Law in the same manner as followed by Kuwait in its Commercial Code of 1980.
Regarding patent protection, the GCC Secretariat organized a symposium on Industrial Property at the GCC Headquarters in Riyadh sponsored by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST).
Most significant is the research now being conducted by the GCC Science and Technology Committee and by both the Saudi KACST and the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR) to create a pan-GCC patent center similar to the European Patent Office In Munich with a GCC "supra-national " patent code .
Three of the GCC member countries are already members of WIPO: UAE (1974) ,Qatar (1976) and Saudi Arabia (1982) . The other three are on their way to becoming members of this intergovernmental "specialized agency " of the United nations .
GCC member countries benefited in many ways from the Working Agreement concluded between WIPO and the Industrial Development Center for Arab States (IDCAS) which entered into force in 1974 . Qatar hosted a Committee of WIPO and IDCAS experts in 1975 for the purpose of drafting the Model Law for Arab States on Trademarks , Trade Names, Commercial Indications and Acts of Unfair Competition . Saudi Arabia shared in a training program organized by WIPO through IDCAS in 1977.In 1978 , WIPO undertook a survey of the situation of Industrial Property in the UAE. This was followed by recommendations to the authorities concerned .