Trademarks have made their way into every sector of every business. In the modern-day, not having a trademark is the equivalent of an individual not having a name. A trademark serves as an identity and is attached with a standard of quality and reputation. Trademarks, however, are being used by manufacturers of counterfeit products and being passed off as original. This has decreased the revenue of the original manufacturers. The consumers are also being deceived into receiving products of lower quality for the same price.
The UAE has been one of the pioneers of all-around development in the Middle East. The nation has witnessed tremendous growth in the past decade and doesn't look like it will slow down at any time. With various visa offers and investment benefits offered to entrepreneurs and business persons, the growth is only set to soar high in the coming years. For those looking to start a business in the UAE, it is very important not to infringe any trademarks as well as have sufficient knowledge about trademarks in the UAE.
Trademarks in the United Arab Nations (UAE)
Trademarks are usually logos, symbols, words, figures, seals, numbers, letters, or a mixture of all these to represent an enterprise or an organisation. The primary purpose of a trademark is to distinguish an organisation as well as it's good and services. This is to associate certain products and services with an organisation. Trademarks create brand loyalty and improve customer retention.
The strength of a trademark is based on its popularity. The public’s awareness is what determines its goodwill.
A register called the trademarks register is set up at the ministry. This register has records of all the present trademarks, addresses, names and the kinds of activities of the owners, description of goods, services and products also if there are any licenses, mortgages, or any transfers of ownership that have taken place.
Trademark Registration in the UAE
The first step to registration is submitting a duly filled out application to the ministry. Trademarks have different categories for products and services and are allowed to be registered to that specific segment. This is under the international regulations of the World Intellectual Property Organisation.
This is also known as the Nice classification (from the Nice agreement which was signed in Nice, France. Classes 1 to 34 deal with goods and classes 35 to 45 deal with services.
Examples of these classes are
- Class 35- Services- Deals with business administration, business management, advertisements and office functions. This covers services rendered by organisations or persons involved in activities primarily with the object of helping in the management or working of a company or commercial organisation.This will apply to anyone looking to start an advertising agency in the UAE.
- Class 36- Services- This segment includes services mainly rendered in the monetary and financial affairs in relation to insurance contracts of all kinds.
- Class 37- Services- This segment is for those looking to start a construction company in the UAE. This class covers building construction, repair and installation services.
Trademark Renewal in the UAE
The protection given for a trademark is usually for a period of 10 years. However, the trademark can be renewed every ten years if the holder of the mark applies for such renewal. This application has to be submitted within the last year of protection according to the terms and conditions of UAE's federal law No.37 of 1992.
The advantage a trademark renewal has is that the process is hassle-free and instant. There is no further inspection or a forum for hearing objections against renewals of trademarks. The renewal is published in a bulletin and two Arabic dailies but at the owner’s cost.
While trying to apply for a renewal of a trademark, no change, addition or deletion is allowed to be made to any products or services on the list of services and products for which the mark is registered.
One of the advantages UAE’s trademark law offers is that during the month after the expiry of the protection period, the ministry will notify the owner of such expiry. The holder of the mark is given a grace period of three months for renewal. Only once such renewal hasn’t still be made will the ministry remove the mark from the registry.
- The application form needs to be submitted to the Ministry
- Pay the required fees
- Publish the trademark in the bulletin and in the two Arabic dailies.
- Collect renewal certificate
- Copy of the registration certificate
- Power of attorney
Are you looking to start a company in the UAE? Do you want to register your trademark in the UAE? Our team of experts at Commitbiz are one of the best intellectual property service providers in the country. Feel free to contact us, and we'd be more than glad to help you.