Business owners all over the world understand the importance of registering their businesses’ trademarks. However, some might be unaware of its prominent importance to the business success and to the business owner himself. Therefor there are some questions need proper answers for new business owners, entrepreneurs and anybody who might seem to be interested in understanding everything about the topic, especially business enthusiasts or those who are preparing for launching a business in the UAE.

  • What are trademarks?

Trademarks is generally used to describe the unique features, elements, and aspects of a certain brand like logos, slogans, hallmarks, packaging, names, words, signatures, letters, figures, graphics, titles, seals, patterns, announcements, packs, symbols and more that differentiate it from its competitors and makes it distinctive that it stands out.

Trademarks in UAE:

The United Arab Emirates’ government and authorities have always been keen on exerting great efforts, sparing nothing to protect brands and brand owners’ rights. Moreover, in order to preserve owners’ exclusive rights to using their brands, or business names and associated elements, Federal laws were issued, like Federal Law No. 4, as early as 1979. Thirteen years after that, the first federal trademark law was issued in UAE, then amended in 2000, followed by further amendments over the years till the most recent one announced in 2021.

The law grants rights of trademarks to the UAE nationals and non-nationals who perform activities that are in the commercial field, industrial field, service providing ventures, or manpower-based crafts. The law umbrella covers everybody who performs business or commercial activities in nations that have dealings with the UAE and legally binding and effective throughout the seven United Arab Emirates.

A trademark makes it incredibly simple and easy to pinpoint a business in the industry. This strengthens and verifies the company’s profile expanding its client base and paving the way for growth and success. A business’ trademark worth can only increase as long as the brand’s recognition grows as long as the trademark is registered.

  • What can be registered as a Trademark in the UAE?

A brand can be distinguished by a diversity of characteristics. However, laws regulate which of those characteristics are to be trademarked. Signatures, titles, characters, seals, posters, engravings, names, paintings, and any kind of label. Tag or mark that serve to distinguish a brand from another, can be trademarked. Moreover, as per the most recent amendment the capacity has expanded to include three-dimensional trademarks, holograms, and sound trademarks.

Furthermore, the trademark law reformation includes registration of geographical names of trademarks or names that are associated with specific geographic regions or their names or countries or their names and countries or regions which are renowned for producing certain products.

Trademark registration in UAE will assist business owners in securing exclusive rights to operate and benefit from them. It would also protect the business’ name from claimed infringers and give business owners the power to take any legal action required if there is an infringement or similar events. Therefore, when filing trademarks in the UAE, there are a few things to be aware of. A trademark in the United Arab Emirates shall not include violations of public morals and beliefs, symbols in the public eye, third-party names and titles, other well-known trademarks translated directly, and more. Additional restrictions on what may be put in a trademark can be present, and it can be consulted by the official authorities or the trademark attorney.

  • Who can apply for a Trademark?

An individual, a business owner, an entrepreneur, a business entity, or a company that desires to differentiate their product or service by means of a trademark, should file for trademark registration in the UAE as well as in those jurisdictions where they want to be protected.

  • What is the trademark registration process in the UAE?

In the light of the issuance of the new Federal Trademarks Law No. 36 of 2021 (“New Law”), coming into effect on 2 January 2022. The New Law replaces Federal Law No. 37 of 1992 as amended in its entirety, this is the most significant amendment to trademarks law since the 1992 Law’s enactment. While the New Law generally adopts the GCC Unified Trademarks Law, it has provided some different aspects and procedures.

However, the registration process remains hassle free. As a service, it enables the registration of a new trademark, whereby the registration application is examined and reviewed to verify that the trademark to be registered is not identical or similar to one previously registered or requested from the Ministry of Economy. For trademarks related to the control or examination of certain products, the department shall verify the minister’s approval of the same, as per the digital portal of the ministry of economy.

The process procedures happen in this flow:

  • Fill Application
  • Application Payment
  • Study Application
  • Pay For Publishing
  • Publishing
  • Pay For Registration
  • Registered

Keeping in mind that the new time frames as per the new Federal Trademarks Law No. 36 of 2021 are as follows:
The Ministry shall examine trademark applications within (90) days from the date of application. This is a longer period than it is in the previous Law, which was (30) days.

  • What are the benefits of Trademark Registration in the UAE?

Registering a trademark provides trademark owners with a number of benefits in terms of use and security and many more benefits including but not limited to: Business security, Asset Formation, Brand Value Increase, Business Independency, Rise in Firm Credibility, Right to use ‘Registered’ in the brand name or the symbol “®” after the trademark.

  • What are the most common events that are considered as a violation of the Trademark?

Any individual who forges or imitates a legally licensed trademark in order to deceive the public, as well as someone who uses a fabricated or imitated trademark in bad faith.

Anyone who uses a licensed trademark owned by a third party without permission or puts it on his goods in bad faith.

Anyone who knowingly sells offers for sale or negotiation or acquires for sale goods bearing a forged, imitated, or illegally placed trademark, as well as anyone who knowingly provides or offers to supply services under a forged, imitated, or illegally placed trademark, is guilty of trademark infringement.

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