Trademark Law in the UAE
The United Arab Emirates has always put its best foot forward for protecting brands. To provide owners with the exclusive rights to using their business names and associated elements, the country issued Federal Law No. 4, as early as 1979. Later, in 1992, the first federal trademark law emerged in the United Arab Emirates, which was modified in 2000, followed by further amendments over the years. The law grants rights of trademarks to the UAE nationals and non-nationals who perform activities that are commercial, industrial, service, or handicraft oriented. The law also considers legal organizational entities as well as non-Emiratis who perform business or commercial activities in nations that have dealings with the UAE. Trademark registered in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is protected throughout the seven Emirates.
What is a Trademark?
According to the Federal Law No.37 of 1992, trademarks refer to those distinctive elements of a brand such as logos, slogans, hallmarks, packaging, names, words, signatures, letters, figures, graphics, titles, seals, patterns, announcements, packs, or symbols that distinguish it from its competitors.
A trademark connects your staff, clients, and the bottom line of your company, paving the way for growth! It is incredibly simple to locate your business in the industry when you have a trademark! This raises the company's profile and expands your client base. Your trademark's worth can only rise as your brand's popularity grows. According to this law, an organization or an entity may benefit from trademark protection after completing the trademark registration process.
What can be registered as a Trademark in the UAE?
Although a brand can be characterized by a variety of characteristics, laws regulate which of those characteristics can be trademarked. Signatures, titles, characters, seals, posters, engravings, names, paintings, and any kind of label that serves to distinguish a brand from another, can all be trademarked. According to Article 3 of Federal Law No. 37 of 1992, geographic names, banknotes, details of honorary degrees, and marks that could deceive the public or actually violate public order are not considered trademarkable.
Although trademark registration in UAE is not mandatory, it will assist you in securing exclusive rights to operate and benefit under the registered trademark. It would also protect the name from alleged infringers and give you the power to take legal action in the event of an infringement.
When filing trademarks in the UAE, there are a few things to bear in mind. If you want to file a trademark in the United Arab Emirates, it must not include any of the following:
Violations of public morals and beliefs
Symbols in the public eye (such as flags)
Red Cross and Red Crescent symbols, for example.
Third-party names and titles
Other well-known trademarks translated directly
Additional restrictions on what you may put in your trademark can exist, which can be consulted by the official authorities or your trademark attorney.
Trademark rights are allowed in the United Arab Emirates under the Trademark Law. This legislation has been in effect since 1992, and it was amended in 2002.
Who can apply for a Trademark?
An individual who desires to differentiate his 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.
However, not everyone working in the UAE can get a trademark or apply for trademark registration. The following parties are qualified to register their trademarks under Federal Law No. 37 of 1992 on Trademarks:
People of the United Arab Emirates, as well as natural and artificial persons engaged in any economic, technological, technical, or service sector.
Foreigners, as well as natural and artificial persons engaged in any economic, technological, technical, or service sector.
Foreigners, as well as natural and artificial persons engaged in any economic, technological, technical, or service sector in any other country on basis of reciprocity.
Other artificial persons.
Trademark Registration Process in the UAE
According to the UAE Trademark Law, the registration process for trademarks is simple. It starts with determining if the trademark being registered is eligible for protection in the country via Trademark Search. This is usually confirmed by conducting a thorough and methodical trademark scan. The trademark application will then be forwarded to the UAE Ministry of Economy's trademark department. Upon acceptance of the application, an approval decision shall be issued. The trademark's validity lasts ten years and can be extended for another ten years.
Steps for Registering a Trademark in the UAE
Registration of a trademark in the UAE is a process that looks very easy and manageable at the front but when undertaken, can prove to be a bit too complicated. Even a single howler in the application process will result in the trademark being rejected. The total timeframe to register a trademark is 4 months.
The steps below will provide a thorough description of the trademark registration in the UAE:
Research about Trademarks that are currently in use (Trademark Search)
The first step in filing a trademark is to see if the trademark we want is already in existence. This can be figured out by carrying out a trademark search. The trademark cannot be used by you if it is identified to be in use by another business company. The process for registering a trademark starts only after the required trademark is available.
Filling the Application Form
To claim a trademark, you must first download the application form and then fill it out. The form is available for use on the Ministry of Economy's e-services website. When applying for registration, you'll need the following documents:
Power of Attorney
Sample of Trademark Design
List of Goods and Services to be Protected
Contact Details of the Applicant
Identity Card or Passport of the person who will sign the Application.
Payment of the application fee
Once you've gathered all of the appropriate paperwork, you'll have to pay a trademark registration fee. This payment can be made via the Ministry of Economy's e-services platform. The trademark registration fee in the UAE is reported to be about AED 5000 (USD 1365). You may also have to pay further court fees or a translation charge.
Final evaluation by the ministry
After you've made your payment, the MOE will review your submission. Any problem, such as an incomplete question or an incorrect response, would result in your trademark application being rejected. If your application is turned down, you have the option to appeal and then make the requisite amendments. If there are no issues with your filing, you will obtain trademark clearance within 30 days.
Publication in two national newspapers
The Ministry will now publish the document in two national newspapers after you have received approval. It should be remembered that the claimant would be responsible for the costs of printing the announcement in both newspapers. Usually, it costs around AED 1,000. Anyone that has an objection to the trademark must file it within thirty days of the application being released.
Some of the newspapers in which you can get it published are:
Final registration of the Trademark
If no objection to the trademark is filed within the agreed period, the Ministry of Economy will issue you a certificate of approval. This will include the registration number, date of filing, company name and owner's name, trademark, and a list of the goods, products, and services that fall under it.
These are the six steps that you would take in order to register your trademark. If a trademark is registered, it is valid for ten years and can be renewed for another ten years following payment of a fee. It's also worth noting that this licensing procedure can only secure the trademark in the UAE, not anywhere in the world. Trademarks are only a subset of the broader category of Intellectual Property Rights.
image of a person stamping the registered trademark seal
trademark certificate is issued at successful registration of a trademark