What is a Trademark?
A trademark is a recognisable sign, design or distinct signature in a product or service that belongs to a specific business or company in Qatar. The trademark is used to distinguish a service or product from other competitors while offering several advantages in the market. The Qatari authorities enforce a registered trademark in the State of Qatar, ministries as the enforcement of the trademark rights is a significant priority of the government.
Trademarks are critical business tools because they allow companies and businesses to establish their product's or service's reputation without having to worry that an inferior product will diminish their reputation or profit by deceiving the consumer through illegal measures. The trademarks comprise of words, names, symbols and logos. Anything that distinctly identifies your company can be a trademark, provided that it is for goods.
Why should you register your Trademark in Qatar?
Registering your trademark in Qatar with the Industrial Property Protection Office offers protection from the Ministry of Economy and Trade & the Trade Affairs Department in the Ministry protects and secures your trademark from misuse, unauthorized usage, infringement through imitation, copying or altering products or parts of the products, false advertising and prevents intimidation or harassment of the trademark owner from larger or more powerful corporations.
How are Trademarks enforced in Qatar?
By registering your trademarks in the State of Qatar, they are enforced by law according to the Law no. 9 of 2002 pertaining to Trademarks,Commercial Indications, Trade Names, Geographical Indications, and Industrial Designs and Models
The Industrial Property Protection Office shall establish a register to record all registered trademarks in Qatar and their owners' data, assignment or transfer notifications, license beneficiary data and assignment, renewal, deletions and cancellation thereof, and all other issues concerning trademarks in accordance with the provisions of the implementing regulations of this Law.
According to the Qatari laws, without prejudice to the international or bilateral agreement and treaties, applicable in Qatar, the foreigners shall have the same rights that this Law guarantees for citizens of Qatar as long as they are citizens or residents of countries treating the citizens of Qatar and its residents on the same basis.
What cannot be registered as a Trademark in Qatar?
According to the Trademark Laws, the following shall not be registered as a trademark or as part of a brand
- Signs destitute of any distinctive character, or which are merely a description of characteristics of the goods or services or which are only the normal appellations given by usage to such products or services, or the standard designs thereof
- Any expression, design or sign contrary to morals or public order
- Public emblems, flags and other symbols and names or denominations relating to any state or international organisation, as well as any imitation thereof unless prior written consent is obtained from the competent authority
- Official signs and hallmarks of any country or relating to its control or guarantee of goods and services, unless prior written consent is derived from the competent authority
- Symbols, which are identical with or similar to the Red Cross or Red Crescent
- The picture, name or emblems of an individual unless prior written consent is obtained there from
- Indications of honorary distinctions, which the applicant fails to prove that he is legally entitled
- Signs which are confusingly identical or similar to a mark previously registered or filed by a third party for identical or similar goods or services or well-known signseven if not registered or applied for registration in Qatar irrespective of the identification or similarity of the related products or services for which registration issought
- Signs likely to deceive the public or which contain false indications as to the origin or other characteristics of the goods or services, as well as signs that might create confusion for holding a fictitious, falsified or counterfeit commercial indication or trade name
- Marks identical or similar to religious symbols
How to Register your Trademark in Qatar?
- The application for registration of a mark shall be filed with the Office on the form prepared for this purpose, upon payment of the prescribed fees
- A single application for registration of a group of marks may be filed upon payment of the prescribed fees
- Without prejudice to the provisions of international or bilateral agreements and treaties valid in Qatar, if the applicant is not domiciled in Qatar or does not have a real and actual domicile therein, he shall apply for registration through an agent domiciled in Qatar provided that a legalised power of attorney accompanies the application
Finally, the owner of the trademark, once its registration is achieved, shall receive a certificate from the Trade Mark Registry that contains the following particulars
- The serial number of the trademark
- The filing date of the application, the date of registration, the date of priority, if any, and the name of the State wherein the corresponding application was filed andon the basis of which the applicant claims the priority rights
- Trade name or particulars of the owner of the trademark
- The specimen of the trademark
- A list of the goods or services for which the trademark is registered and the class or classes to which they belong
The term of the protection of a trademark shall be ten years from the date of filing of the application for registration. The owner of the trademark may ensure the continuation of the protection for further consecutive periods of ten years by a renewal of the registration in conformity according to the rules of law.
Moreover, the owner of the registered trademark in the State of Qatar shall have the right to prevent third parties fromusing his mark or any sign that is likely to deceive the public in respect of the goods or services for which the mark has been registered or similar goods or services. Any interested person may obtain from the competent Civil Court in Qatar, by a petition, or an order directing the implementation of the appropriate preventive measures for the protection of trademarks and secure the rights of the trademark holder in the country.
Without prejudice to any severer penalty for not following the trademark law provided for in another Law, the persons committing one or more of the following acts mentioned according to trademark laws shall be punished by imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year, and to a fine not exceeding 10,000 Riyals or to either of the penalties mentioned under the laws.
If you want to register your trademark in the State of Qatar, contact us. Our Qatar team shall guide you in registering your trademarks with all the supporting documents making the process easier for you and make sure that your trademarks are enforced according to the laws. Registering a trademark shall protect your business tradename, prevents your products, labels, GI tags, models and industrial designs from being imitated, copied, misused, wrongfully affixed, counterfeited or used without any authorisation in the State of Qatar.