In today’s competitive world, protecting your brand is of utmost importance. Brands are the vital assets of the company. It can attract the people with a positive feeling and build trust of the customer on your product and services. Hence, investors/entrepreneurs these days protect their brand by registering it in the country of origin. When it comes to the UAE, trademark registration can be onerous at best, but cannot be ignored. Before diving deep, let us first understand what exactly is trademark.
What is a Trademark?
A trademark, in layman terms, can be defined as any name, symbol, word, design, or logo that is used by a manufacturer or a merchant to distinguish themselves from other businesses. A trademark can also include figures, signatures, marks, and even sounds if they are used to indicate that the products or services belong to the business.
What is Trademark in the UAE?
Registering your company’s trademark in the UAE will protect your brand and ensure that no other company in your category can imitate your intellectual property. Around 70% of trademarks in the UAE are owned by non-residents, showing that international entrepreneurs are keen to protect their brand image. The UAE trademark law covers the following areas:
- Definition of trademarks
- Signs that can and cannot be registered as trademarks
- Registration and cancellation procedures for trademarks
- Transfer of ownership of trademarks
- Licensing others to use trademarks
- Penalties for trademark law infringement and general and transitory provisions
Who can register for a Trademark in the UAE?
According to Federal Law No. 37 of 1992 on Trademarks as amended, the following persons can register for a trademark.
- The UAE citizens and natural and artificial persons practicing any commercial, industrial, professional or service business
- Foreigners and natural and artificial persons practicing any commercial, industrial, professional or service business
- Foreigners and natural and artificial persons practicing any commercial, industrial, professional or service business in any country on basis of reciprocity
- Other artificial persons
Procedure to Register for a Trademark in Dubai, UAE
Registering a trademark in Dubai is relatively a bureaucratic process but it is open to any company that wishes to register as long as the trademark itself is permitted. The trademark in the UAE is registered with the Ministry of Economy (MoE) and once approved, is protected in all the seven Emirates. It is important to note though that any intellectual property rights registered with a trademark certificate in the UAE are not protected outside of the country. Follow the below-mentioned steps to register your trademark in the UAE.
1.Research on the Registered Trademarks
This step is to make sure whether the trademark that you want to get registered is not in the list already. Once you’re confident that the trademark isn’t already in use, you can then begin the application process.
2.Apply for Trademark Registration
To apply for the same, you need to download and fill an application form through the e-service site of MoE. To complete the trademark application, you will need your trademark itself, as well as the following paperwork:
- Sample of trademark design (brand name)
- Power of attorney
- Trading license
- ID or passport of person who will sign application
- List of goods and services to be protected
- Contact details of applicant
3.Pay the Fees
Once you submit the application with the supporting documents, you shall have to pay the required fees. It can also be done via e-services. The cost differs on different factors as prescribed in the Federal Law.
4.Review by the Authority
Your part is done at Step 3. Now, the Ministry of Economy will review your application. If there are any problems, you may receive a rejection. You can either appeal or modify your application as per the requirements. Assuming everything in your application is correct and there are no issues, you will normally receive approval within 30 days.
5.Publishing the Application in National Newspaper
Next step is to publish the announcement of your application in two Arabic newspapers in the UAE. If a member of the public has an objection to your application, they then have 30 days to register an objection, and the Ministry will then review the objection and either reject it or notify you.
If there are no obstacles in your way then you will receive a certificate of your trademark registration in the UAE. The certificate will include your registration number, the date of application and registration, the trade name and the business owner’s name, your trademark and a description of the products, goods and services that come under it.
Remember that, once registered, your trademark will be valid for 10 years – after which you will need to pay a fee to keep the trademark. If you notice that another company is using your trademark or very close imitation is observed, the firstly, you can contact them formally to let them know about the infringement. If they refuse to change their practices, contact the Ministry of Economy’s trademark department who will follow up the case. Penalties include confiscation of goods, fines of at least AED 5,000 and even imprisonment.
If you want to register your trademark in the Dubai, UAE, there are few points that you must be aware of before the registration. Your trademark must;
- Be distinct
- Do not be offensive to public morals or religion
- Your trademark must not contain any public symbols such as flags
- Must not contain the Red Cross, Red Crescent or similar
- Must not contain any symbols of a religious character
- Must not contain any names or titles of a third party
- Must not contain any false statements
- Must not use certain words such as ‘Copyright’, ‘Registered’, ‘Concession’ or similar
- Must not be a direct translation of well known trademarks
Why is Registering a Trademark Important?
Trademark is a part of Intellectual Property and is valuable for a business. It is important to register your trademark because,
- It distinguishes your product or services from other competitors
- It protects your business from infringement
- It is an effective marketing tool
- It will provide your company with an additional revenue in case someone wants to buy your trademark or for franchising the business
- It increases the value of your business and creates a goodwill
A trademark is a useful tool for keeping your brand and intellectual property protected. While in the UAE the process is a little bureaucratic, it’s worth the effort to make sure no one infringes on your brand’s identity. If you want to register your trademark or any kind of intellectual property, we at Business Setup Worldwide can help you with it. Contact us today- we’d be happy to assist you.