The role of a Trademark plays vital importance in protecting your business as it distinguishes goods and services from those of its competitors. A unique symbol, word, or phrase identifies a company\’s products or services. In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the legal framework for trademark registration was earlier protected by the UAE Federal Law No. 37 of 1992 (the \”Trademark Law\”) and its implementing regulations, but at present, the new law i.e., Federal Law no. 36 of 2021 which became effective from 2 February 2022, provides the registration and protection of the Trademark. This law provides ease of registration and imposes a hefty penalty upon the infringement of such marks.
Why Register a Trademark?
Registering a trademark in the UAE provides several benefits, including:
- Legal Protection: Trademark registration provides legal protection to a company\’s intellectual property and prevents other businesses from using similar names, logos, or slogans.
- Exclusive Rights: Once a trademark is registered, the owner has exclusive rights to use the Trademark for the products or services it covers.
- Brand Recognition: A trademark helps build brand recognition and customer loyalty by providing a unique identity for a company\’s products or services.
- Business Value: A registered trademark can increase the value of a company\’s business by making it more attractive to investors or potential buyers.
How to register the Trademark in UAE?
Our Business Lawyer in Dubai provides you with this answer as follows:
The official registration of the Trademark is to be done by the Ministry of Economy, wherein the applicant will make an online application for the Trademark. In case the applicant is staying outside the UAE or not in the country itself. A Power of Attorney is being made on its behalf and the application is to submit online before the Ministry of Economy by submitting a specific amount of fees.
The below mentioned documents a required to complete the process for the registration of the Trademark.
- Trade License
- Application for the registration of the Trademark shall include the following:
- The applicant\’s name and address.
- The Trademark to be registered.
- A list of goods and services associated with the Trademark; and
- A power of attorney appointing a trademark agent to represent the applicant before the UAE Trademark Office.
After providing the documents mentioned above then the, further procedure is being conducted.
What are the steps for the registration of the Trademark?
Our Corporate Lawyers in Dubai state that:
The procedure for the registration is defined in the steps mentioned below:
- After submitting the request in the form of an application with the Ministry of Economy, a trademark search will determine whether the desired Trademark is available for registration. This search can be conducted through the UAE Trademark Office\’s online database or by hiring a trademark agent to search on behalf of the applicant.
- This examination will focus on several critical factors, including whether the Trademark is distinctive, whether it can be represented graphically, and whether it conflicts with any existing trademarks.
- If the application is accepted, then the applicant is notified by the concerned department within 90 days from the date of applying.
- Then the fee as prescribed by the concerned department is to be paid by the applicant to publish the information for the registration of the Trademark in the official bulletin of the administration.
- In case of delay or default in submitting the publication fee, the department imposes fines at the pace of AED 100 monthly and a maximum of AED 1000.
- After the fee\’s successful submission, the accepted Trademarks are published by the Ministry in its Official Trademark Bulletin, which is issued twice a month.
- After the publication of the Trademark in Bulletin then, 30 days are allotted for filing the grievances before the Grievance Committee.
- In case the time of 30 days which is allotted for the filing of objections has lapsed, then the Trademark is to be registered within 30 days from the end of the objection period.
- If, in case, there is a delay in registration of the Trademark, then the fine is to be leveled upon the applicant, who is counted every month at the rate of AED 1000 and shall not be exceeded more than AED 10,000.
- If everything went well, then the authority would issue the certificate confirming the registration of the Trademark.
It is important to mention here that time consumed on an average is 150 days from the date of submission of the application for the registration of the Trademark.
What are the Sanctions for violation of a Trademark?
The sanctions in relation to the violation of the Trademark are being mentioned under the new law, i.e., Federal Law no. 36 of 2021, concerning the registration of the Trademarks. For the better understanding of the reader, the said sanctions are being mentioned hereinbelow:
- Article 49 of the said law states that:
\”Without prejudice to any more severe penalty stipulated in any other law, a sentence of imprisonment and a fine of not less than (100,000) one hundred thousand dirhams and not more than (1,000,000) one million dirhams shall be imposed on any person who commits any of the following acts:
- Counterfeits a trademark registered in accordance with the provisions hereof or imitates it in a way that misleads the public, whether concerning the goods or services characterized by the original Trademark or those similar to it. Knowingly uses a counterfeited or imitated trademark for commercial purposes.
- Affixing, in bad faith, on his goods or used in his services a trademark belonging to others.
- Possesses tools or materials intending to use them in imitating or counterfeiting registered or well-known trademarks.
- Knowingly imports or exporting goods bearing a counterfeited or imitated Trademark.\”
- Article 50 states that:
\”Without prejudice to any more severe penalty stipulated in any other law, a sentence of imprisonment not exceeding one year and/ or a fine of not less than (50,000) fifty thousand dirhams and not more than (200,000) two hundred thousand dirhams shall be imposed on any person who:
- Knowingly sells, offers for sale or trading, or possesses goods for sale purposes, or offers services bearing a counterfeited or imitated trademark or unrightfully affixed or used.
- Uses an unregistered trademark in the cases stipulated in Article (3) hereof, without any right, on his papers, commercial documents, goods, or services, which leads to the belief that the Trademark is registered.\”
Benefits of Trademark Registration in the UAE
Trademark registration in the UAE provides several key benefits for businesses operating there. These benefits include:
- Legal protection
Registered trademarks are protected under UAE law, meaning other parties cannot use or imitate them without the owner\’s consent. This protection helps businesses to maintain their brand identity and reputation and to prevent others from profiting from their intellectual property.
- Competitive advantage
A registered trademark can help a business to stand out in a crowded market by creating a distinctive and recognizable brand. This can be particularly important in industries where there are many similar products or services.
- Business growth
Trademark registration can help a business to expand into new markets by providing legal protection for its brand identity. This protection can be significant when entering markets where intellectual property rights are only sometimes respected.
- Licensing and franchising opportunities
A registered trademark can be licensed or franchised to other parties, generating additional revenue for the business. This can be particularly useful for businesses looking to expand into new markets without having to invest significant resources.
- Trademark Infringement in the UAE
Trademark infringement occurs when a third party uses a trademark without the owner\’s permission. In the UAE, trademark infringement is a civil offense resulting in damages, injunctions, and the destruction of infringing goods.
If a business believes its trademark rights have been infringed, it can take legal action against the infringing party. This may involve filing a lawsuit in the UAE courts or seeking alternative dispute resolution methods such as mediation or arbitration.
Trademark registration is an essential step for any business looking to establish a strong brand identity and to protect its intellectual property. Trademark registration is an easy process, and as per new developments in International Law, it is straightforward for the countries signatories to the Madrid Protocol to register their Trademarks in the other signatories\’ countries. Thus, it is to be kept in mind for the new startups or businesses that Trademark Registration is not a lengthy procedure anymore, and if your business is being protected under the relevant law, than it becomes easier for the business owner to avail the remedies in case of infringement of the registered mark.
The impact of International Treaties upon developing countries embargoes a significant impact as many countries have opted for the new law and changed their old laws to maintain the balance of the said treaties and protocols at equilibrium with all the other countries who are signatories to it. Thus, the UAE has done the same, and new changes have been brought to protect the interests of Intellectual Property Rights Holders.
How can we help you?
Nour Attorneys & Legal Consultants tends to provide one of the best Corporate Lawyers in Dubai, which are always ready to assist and address your grievances in relation to the registration of the Trademark at Nation or International Level. Our team of Commercial Litigation Lawyers are well versed and experience in the Trademark law of the UAE and has contested various disputes successfully before the concern forum and carved favorable outcome for our clients.
In case you want one of the best, fast, and reliable services for the registration of the Trademark or to contest the disputes on your behalf, then must consult our Business Lawyers in Dubai which are always ready to address your concerns and always happy to assist you like your Legal Partner for Commercial and Business Affairs.