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 authorship's original work.
The trademark law in 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 enterprise's goodwill that owns the mark.
Trademark Authority in UAE
For 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
What Can Be Considered 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.
What is prohibited from being registered as a Trademark?
There are a few things that cannot be registered as a trademark; they are
- Descriptive Marks or marks that are not distinctive
- Any mark that violates public morals or public order
- Flags similar to that of any country, international organizations, and governments cannot be used unless authorized by a foreign authority. Emblems and logos of a similar kind are prohibited
- Logos of the Red Cross or the Red Crescent or any other imitation of such similar organizations is prohibited.
- Marks that are similar to symbols having a purely religious character
- Use of Geographic names that may confuse as to the origin of a product or service is also prohibited
- National Medals, International Medals, Banknotes as well as coins
- A translated version of a well-known mark or an already registered trademark if such translation would confuse the consumers.
Requirements for a Trademark Registration UAE
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 and legalized at the consulate of UAE. However, if the notarisation is done in UAE, no legalization is required
- If priority is being claimed, all details regarding the priority application and an approved copy of the priority document.
How to Register Trademark in UAE?
The procedure is quite simple and straightforward. Here are the steps to be taken into consideration to register trademark UAE–
1. Make Sure the Trademark isn't Registered Already
If another individual or company already registers the trademark, it cannot be registered. It can be searched online using tools like Marcaria. If the trademark is not registered, go ahead with the next step.
2. Fill an Application on the website of the Ministry of Economy
Ministry of Economy is the regulatory authority that governs the trademark application. Fill out the application form and submit the documents mentioned as under –
- Trademark Logo
- Copy of Trade Licence
- Power of Attorney
- Passport Copy
- Priority Document
- List of Goods and Services to be protected
Other documents may be required on a case-by-case basis. Once the necessary documents are uploaded, apply for registration.
3. Pay Fees
Pay the required fees once the application is submitted. The trademark registration UAE cost is around AED 8,700. This trademark registration cost in the UAE does not include any legal and translation fees you may have to pay.
4. MoE reviews the application
MoE will review the application for trademark and brand registration in UAE. It is suggested to be accurate and careful while filling out the form, as any missing or wrong information can get the application rejected. If the application has no issues, then the Ministry of Economy will typically approve within 30 days.
5. Publish the Announcement in Two Local Arabic-language Newspaper
Once the trademark is approved, announce the same in the official journal and two local newspaper. The newspapers where one can publish the announcement are –
- Al Khaleej
- Al Watan
- Al Ittihad
- Al Bayan
- Al Fajr
- Al Wahda
After publication in two Arabic-language newspapers in the UAE, members of the public have 30 days to voice an objection to the trademark. If someone objects to the trademark in that period, the Ministry of Economy will review the objection, following which they will either reject it or inform the party.
However, bear in mind that the Ministry of Economy only publishes the announcement at the end of each month, so applicants could have to wait almost two months to register their trademark in the UAE.
6. Receive the Trademark Registration Certificate
Suppose there has been no objection to your trademark in that period. In that case, the Ministry of Economy will then provide you with a registration certificate for the trademark in the UAE. The certificate will include important details such as the trademark's registration number, the trade name and owner's name, the trademark itself and a description of the goods and services that fall under it.
Regions Covered Under a UAE Trademark
A UAE trademark registration is protected in Sharjah, Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Ras Al Khaimah, Fujairah, and Umm Al Quwain.
Domain Names under Trademark
Companies and individuals can own a domain name in the UAE without the need for any local presence. However, the domain name 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 protect a Domain name, an unfair competition lawsuit is filed in the court to enforce domain names' rights.
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 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.
Need Help? Commitbiz is here for you
Registration of trademark UAE might seem like a tenuous job without help. Our team of experts at Commitbiz can offer our expert advice and provide hassle-free trademark registration. Feel free to contact us, and we'd be more than happy to help.