Trademark registration in the UAE


The trademark registration procedure in the United Arab Emirates is a crucial system designed to protect the identity of business products and the integrity of organizations. The UAE's thriving economic and business ecosystem attracts a diverse portfolio of business owners and foreign investors; hence, protecting intellectual property rights is paramount. This article delves into the fundamentals, underscoring its significance, procedures, and legal framework governing its protection in the country.

WHAT IS A TRADEMARK?

It is any sign capable of being represented graphically, distinguishing the goods or services of one enterprise from those of others. It can include, but is not limited to, brand names, symbols, logos, slogans, and combinations. These are classic embodiments of a company's reputation, goodwill, and market presence warranting robust legal protection.


  • Trademark registration offers significant benefits:
  • Avoids the duplication of brand assets
  • Helps to keep the brand identity intact
  • Provides competitive advantage
  • Offers global recognition
  • Enhances brand perception, authenticity, and transparency
  • Provides legal authority and security

WHAT CAN BE REGISTERED IN THE UAE AS A TRADEMARK?

As per the United Arab Emirates Federal Law, this can be any distinctive form of symbols, logos, words, names, labels, signs, designs, hallmarks, pictures, patterns, titles, seals, packs, announcements, or any other mark or group of marks. However, the registration is subject to certain eligibility criteria and regulatory constraints established by the Ministry of Economy in the UAE. Marks containing national flags, emblems, or symbols contrary to public interest or official symbols of international organizations without authorization are prohibited. Similarly, marks that breach public morals, religious sensitivities, or public order are ineligible for listing. Moreover, brands or marks that incorporate third-party names, titles, direct translations of well-known brands, or copyrighted material without consent, are also considered ineligible.

HOW TO REGISTER A TRADEMARK IN THE UAE?

Navigating the extensive process in the United Arab Emirates requires a critical understanding of the procedural requirements and regulatory framework prescribed by the UAE Ministry of Economy.

The steps involved in acquiring the registration are as follows:

1 - Preliminary Research
Applicants are advised to conduct a comprehensive search to ascertain the availability of their desired mark by reviewing existing ones registered in the UAE to identify potential conflicts or similarities that may hinder the process and approval.


2 – Submission of application
On completion of the research, applicants are required to fill out the online application form on the official website of the Ministry of Economy, which can be located on the homepage under ‘Services’ followed by clicking ‘e-Services, ‘Trademarks’ and ‘Trademark Registration’ under New Application.
The documents required to apply vary depending on whether the application is filed by an individual applicant, a company or business, or a foreign company.

However, generally, the documents required are as follows:

  • Trademark logo
  • Copy of the Trade License
  • Passport Copy
  • Power of Attorney
  • Priority Document
  • List of goods and services to be protected

3 – Legal examination of applications
The Ministry of Economy undertakes a comprehensive examination to assess the conformity of the proposed trademark with legal requirements and provisions. In the event of discrepancies in the information provided, applicants can appeal or update the application as necessary. If the application is devoid of issues, approval is typically granted by the Ministry within 30 days.

4 – Publication of announcement
When the application is approved, it is imperative to have an announcement published in the Official Gazette. The Ministry of Economy implements this for a fee of AED 1,000. It is also necessary for this to be published in two Arabic newspapers in the UAE to register objections, if any, from interested parties within a specified timeframe at an additional surcharge.

5 - Acceptance or rejection issuance
The Ministry of Economy reviews the registration as per the law and protocols, based on which the process is either approved or rejected, and the applicant is informed accordingly.

WHAT IS THE COST OF TRADEMARK REGISTRATION IN THE UAE

The cost of this process in the UAE is approximately AED 8,700. It also involves an additional fee of AED 1000 for the publication in the Official Gazette. There may be further costs which are involved in the process of translation and related legal assistance. There is also an additional fee for the publication in the two local newspapers.

The registration process in the UAE appears simple; however, any inaccuracies or errors in the application form or during the submission of the document will result in the rejection of the application. Hence, it is best to obtain professional assistance from an experienced consultant to ensure a seamless registration process.

HOW TO GET A TRADEMARK CERTIFICATE?

In the absence of objections or issues, the certificate is granted by the Ministry of Economy and includes important details relevant to the trademark, such as the registration number, trade name, name of the owner, the trademark, and goods and services covered.

HOW TO RENEW YOUR UAE TRADEMARK REGISTRATION?

The registrations in the UAE are valid for 10 years, after which renewal is required. The renewal is required to be completed within three months from the date of expiration. However, a fine of AED 1000 is levied for each month delayed.

The renewal process can be implemented by visiting the official website of the Ministry of Economy, selecting ‘Services’ followed by ‘Trademarks’, then selecting ‘Modification’ and ‘Maintenance Services’. Finally, the ‘Renewal’ option can be selected from the drop-down menu. The applicant is required to fill out the online application form, submit a copy of the previous registration certificate, and pay the renewal fee of AED 6,700, after which the registration will be renewed within 30 days.

HOW TO CANCEL A TRADEMARK REGISTRATION?

The cancellation of this procedure can be done via the official website of the Ministry of Economy. The applicant must visit the ‘Trademarks’ page, followed by selecting a service under Modification and Maintenance called ‘Cancel Registered Trademark by Owner Request’. Upon completion of the application form and submission of the required documents, there is a cancellation fee of AED 1,500. If the application is approved, it is mandatory for an announcement of the cancellation to be published in two Arabic newspapers, after which the cancellation process will be complete.

CONCLUSION

The registration of trademarks is gaining significant popularity as it enables individuals and organizations to safeguard their brand identity by providing the necessary legal protection and helping prevent duplication. Additionally, it enhances brand value and assists in maintaining credibility, thus playing a vital role in long-term sustainability.
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