Saudi Arabia has become a hub for investment in the last decade. The country has picked up an extreme pace in the name of development. Innumerous plans and legal frameworks are being set in place by Saudi Arabia's government to help with the growth of different business types spread across various industries.
Yes, the Kingdom definitely lives up to an investor's expectations, but before setting up a company there, one must know about all the legal formalities set in place. One of the most crucial things to know about is the trademark laws in the Kingdom. Every country has its own set of specific regulations for trademarks.
Before going over registering a trademark in Saudi Arabia, knowing what trademarks are and why they are essential is crucial.
What are Trademarks?
A trademark is a type of intellectual property that a company registers to distinguish its products from other products. A trademark exclusively identifies a product as belonging to a specific company and recognizes the company's ownership of the brand. A trademark gives identity to a product and helps people to differentiate a particular product from the other. Many registrations must be done after registering a company in Saudi Arabia, and trademarks are one of them.
Trademarks are important because:
- Trademarks are an effective communication tool
- Customers find you using trademarks
- Trademarks are a valuable asset
- It Averts Legal Issues in the Future
- It Gives a Sense of Autonomy
Process of Registering a Trademark in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
A trademark is one of the strongest and essential assets a company has. The Law of Trademarks governs and defines the legal issues relating to trademarks in Saudi Arabia.
- The Ministry of Commerce maintains a register to call: "Trademarks Register." In the register, all registered trademarks and notices of assignment of ownership, mortgage, attachment, transfer, or license to use them, and also their cancellation and renewal are recorded.
- The following types of entities are allowed by law to register for a trademark:
- Natural or juristic persons of Saudi nationality;
- Persons regularly residing in the Kingdom and permitted to engage in any commercial or vocational activities;
- Nationals of countries that treat the Kingdom on a reciprocal basis;
- Nationals of a country that is a member of an international multilateral treaty, in which the Kingdom is a party to or persons who reside in that country, and
- Public agencies.
- A registration application for every trademark must be filed by the individual concerned if he is in the Kingdom or by an official agent domiciled in it with the competent department at the Ministry of Commerce as per the conditions and procedures specified in the Implementing Regulations.
- An application for registration of a trademark can be made for one or more categories of products or services, but separate applications must be submitted for each category in accordance with the procedures provided for in the governing laws.
- You can file one application to register a group of trademarks together if they are identical on the basis of their fundamental elements and differ only in ways that won't affect their character, for ex: color or the details of the products or services related thereto provided that these products or services belong to the same class.
- In a case where two applications are submitted for registration of the same trademark or similar trademarks that will cause confusion for the same class of products, then the registration process shall be put on hold for both parties until and unless one of the applicants presents a written statement from the other(s) legally stating that they waive their application or until the Board of Grievances renders a final judgment in favor of the registration of one of them.
- Within a period of sixty days after submission of the application, the competent department at the Ministry of Commerce will decide on the application after thorough and careful examination.
- Suppose the appropriate department decides that the registration application is not in accordance with the provisions of this law. In that case, it will notify the applicant in writing stating the same and may request the applicant for certain clarifications and documents for the registration.
- Suppose the applicant fails to respond to the competent department's requests to satisfy the conditions or make the amendments within ninety days from the date of receiving the notification. In that case, his application shall be considered rejected from the date of expiration of this period.
- Suppose the application for registration of the trademark is accepted. In that case, the competent department will publicize this registration in accordance with the procedures specified in the Appropriate Regulations, and the applicant will have to bear the cost of publicizing.
- Once the competent department gives the acceptance, then the trademark will be registered in the register mentioned above. The registration will be done keeping in mind the laws of the supervising legislation.
- After the registration is completed, the applicant will be given a certificate containing:
- the serial number of the trademark's registration;
- the date of depositing the registration application and the date of registration and the date of priority, if any;
- the commercial name or the name of the trademark owner, his place of residence, and nationality;
- a copy of the trademark, and
- details of the products or services and the class for which the trademark is registered.
- The registered trademark's owner can now request the appropriate department for any sort of addition and modifications, but such modifications should not affect the fundamentals of the trademark.
We here at Business Setup Worldwide aim to ensure that your journey in setting up a company is smooth and transparent. Contact us with any query you want to clarify. Our advisors would be more than happy to help you out.
How long does a trademark last in Saudi Arabia?
A trademark lasts in Saudi Arabia for nine years and eight months.
Why is there a necessity to trademark my business name?
Registering a trademark helps protect a name or brand from intellectual property theft or misuse as a business grows.
Do I require to register a trademark in every country?
Trademarks are territorial and must be filed in each country where protection is sought.