For setting up or commencement of any business in the UAE, the most important step is to register the Trademark. A trademark for a brand can be any name symbol that signifies the product or the service the company is providing. There are 6 simple steps to be followed for the registration of the trademark of a brand name in UAE.
What is a Trademark?
A trademark is a distinct symbol, word, logo or multiple words or logos that are registered or established legally through their use as representing an enterprise or the brand of a product. A trademark protects logos and brand names used on services as well as goods. Trademarks are intellectual property rights that are protected by law. Trademarks are different from patents, which protect inventions, and copyright, which protect an original work of authorship.
The trademark law in the UAE was introduced in its Federal Law No.37 of 1992 on Trademarks. The main purpose of a trademark is brand recognition. Trademarks serve as an assurance to the consumer that products or the company bearing the trademark are of a well-known brand and reliable quality. To put it in simple words, trademarks protect consumers from using fake brands or counterfeit products. Accordingly, trademarks help in standing out amongst the competition by protecting the goodwill of the enterprise that owns the mark.
Trademark Authority in the UAE
For the purpose of trademark registration, the Trademarks Office- Ministry of Economy is the authority in charge. However, for the Enforcement of trademarks
- The IPR (Intellectual Property rights) Department- DED (Department of Economic Development)
- The ECD (Economic Crimes Department)- CID (Criminal Investigation Department)
- Ministry of Justice
- Customs Department
Importance of Trademark in the UAE
Trademark registration in the UAE is the most important part of setting up any business. Trademarks give a distinguished identity to any brand, product or service. If a trademark is registered the brand gets legal recognition accompanied by legal rights. Once a trademark is registered a brand can legally sue any other brand in case of an infringement.
What can be Registered as a Trademark?
Any form of distinctive seals letters, numbers, words, logos, hallmarks, titles, advertisements packs. marks or group of marks that are to be used to distinguish or differentiate between goods or services is allowed to be registered as a trademark. Sound can be considered to be part of a trademark if it accompanies the brand.
What cannot be Registered as a Trademark?
- Any item or goods which are devoid of any distinctive character or property or mark or which consists of mere denominations
- Products or good with any familiar drawings.
- Any mark which is in violation of public morals or disrupting public order.
- Public emblems, flags and other symbols pertaining to the State, Arab or international organizations or any other public institutions, or any foreign country, or have any such imitations.
- Symbols of the Red Crescent or the Red Cross and other similar symbols, as well as the marks, which are imitations.
- Marks, which are identical or similar to the symbols of purely religious nature.
- Geographical indications or names which may cause confusion as to the origin or source of the goods, products or services.
- The names, surname, photograph or emblem of a third party, unless prior consent of that person or his heirs’ has been obtained.
- Any kind of marks that can mislead the public or which contain false data as to the origin or the source of products or services, or about their other characteristics.
- Marks that contain an imaginary, imitated or forged trade name.
- Marks owned by natural or legal persons, dealing with whom is prohibited by the law.
- the registration of such marks which cause some classes of products or services to diminish the value of other products or services.
- Marks containing the following words or phrases: "Privilege", "Privileged", "Registered", "Registered drawings", "Copyright" or "Imitation is a forgery" or any other similar words and phrases.
- National and foreign decorations of metal and paper currencies.
Above mentioned are some of the characteristics where registration of a trademark can be denied.
Steps to Register a Trademark in the UAE
The following are the steps to register a trademark under the UAE IP regime.
1.Check the Availability of a Trademark
The first step is to inquire or check whether the trademark used is available for registration. It can be checked online or by the government registered trademark office or MOE. If the Trademark is already in use by any other institution or brand then that cannot be you and can amount to infringement.
2.Trademark Registration Application
The trademark registration application form is to be filled. The form should be downloaded by the e-commerce government website. The forms must be downloaded and attached to the required documents.
3. Registration Fees
After filling out the registration form, the next step is to pay the prescribed fees through the online e-commerce portal set up by the Ministry of Economy. The estimated prescribed fee is about $10,437.
4. Revaluation by the Ministry
There will be a revaluation of form by the Ministry of Economy, UAE. After the form is submitted the MOE will either accept the application or if there are any errors they will reject it. The result of the revaluation will be informed to the person within the next 30 days of submission. If the form is rejected a person has the right to appeal.
5. Publish in the Local Newspaper
After the approval from the MOE, the trademark application must be published in any 2 local Newspapers. The newspapers should be recognized by the public at large. Any person who has any complaint or any objection with the trademark can within 30 days of publication object to it.
6. Certificate of Registration
After publication, if there are no objections within the given time, then the MOE will grant the certificate of registration. The certificate of registration includes registration number, date of application, name of the business, details of the owner, details of the registered trademark.
Requirements for a Trademark
There are some documents to be provided before registering a trademark. Additional info also may have to be submitted.
- Nationality, name and address of the trademark owner
- Nature of business for which the trademark will be used
- A visual representation of the mark
- Meaning or significance of the mark if the mark is not in Arabic
- A power of attorney from the holder, duly notarized as well as legalised at the consulate of UAE. However if the notarisation is done at UAE, no legalisation is required
- If priority is being claimed, all details regarding the priority application as well as an approved copy of the priority document.
Regions Covered Under a the UAE Trademark
A UAE trademark registration is protected in the emirates of Sharjah, Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Ras Al Khaimah, Fujairah, Umm Al Quwain and Dubai.
Domain Names under Trademark
A domain name in the UAE can be owned by companies as well as individuals without the need for any local presence. The domain name, however, has to be registered with the authority in the UAE, which is the .aeDa. A domain name is only protected if it is registered under the Trademark Law of the UAE. Usually, to avail protection for a Domain name, an unfair competition lawsuit is filed in the court to enforce the rights in domain names.
Remedies Available for Trademark Infringement
In case of infringement, the following remedies can be sought depending upon where the action is initiated
- Confiscation and destruction of the goods
- Interim as well as permanent injunctions
- Damages and compensation
- Imprisonment of infringer with fine
- Temporary Ban on operations of the Business Enterprise
The stronger the trademark, the better protection it will have. The best trademarks are suggestive original, arbitrary, descriptive, fanciful, and totally unexpected. Trademarks that are basic or that inadequately showcase and describe products or brands usually receive less protection. Descriptive trademarks also can be registered, but they are weak. A strong mark is said to have a not so obvious connection to the services or brands.
The above-mentioned steps might look very easy to read but the process can be very complicated at times. While registration even if one step is missed or altered, it may affect the whole registration procedure. It is advisable to hire firms to make this procedure more simplified. We are here at Commitbiz to help you register your Brand name in the shortest period with maximum efficiency and customized services. In case of any query contact us – we will be happy to help.