Trademark Registration In The UAE

Guiding Businesses

Trademark Registration In The UAE

Welcome to the world of trademark registration in the UAE – a landscape governed by the UAE Federal Law no. 36 of 2021 and its Executive Regulation. In this guide, we’re going to walk you through the intricacies outlined in these legal documents, offering a step-by-step walkthrough for both local and foreign entities. Whether you’re a business owner or an individual, the information provided here equips you with the knowledge to efficiently navigate the UAE’s trademark registration process, ensuring the safeguarding of your brand identity. So, let’s dive in and explore the essentials of trademark registration in the UAE.

The basis of UAE trademark registration proceedings is the UAE Federal Law no. 36 of 2021 (the “Trademark Law”) and Executive Regulation (Cabinet Decision No. 57/2022) (the “Regulation”). The basis of trademark registration, opposition and rejection can be found in these legislations.

  1. Who Can Apply for a Trademark in the UAE?
  2. According to UAE laws, you – whether you’re an individual, a company, a partnership, or any other legal entity[1] – are eligible to register trademarks if you own or have the legal right to use them within the UAE.
  3. To get the ball rolling, as a business owner, you need to have a genuine presence in the UAE, either physically or through a legal representative. If you’re a foreign entity or individual without a UAE presence, worry not. You can still register your marks by appointing a local agent or representative, who must be a UAE national or a company wholly owned by UAE nationals.
  4. Here’s a pro tip for you: To apply for a trademark in the UAE, you need to be a registered Trademark Agent or have a UAE PASS ID. This ID is accessible to all citizens, residents, and visitors. Even if you’re a foreigner, you can obtain a visa remotely and become a remote resident to acquire a UAE PASS ID for seamless website access to the Ministry of Economy (MOE) services.
  1. Process for Trademark Agent Registration
  2. Log in to the MOE website.
  3. Choose the service you need from the list.
  4. Fill in the application data – easy as pie!
  5. Attach the required documents to support your application.
  6. Transfer the application to the relevant department for a decision, and we’ll keep you informed officially.
  1. Required Documents
  2. Your commercial license – a must-have.
  3. Legal agency documents, but only if your application is submitted through a Registration Agent.
  4. Don’t forget the documents stipulated by Ministerial Resolution No. 80 of 2005 regarding trademark registration agents[2].
  • The Trademark Registration Process in the UAE

Step 1: Check for Existing Trademark

  • Before you start, make sure your desired trademark isn’t already in use. You can do this through a paid Trademark Search service in the UAE, which costs approximately 350 AED. You can also check the official MOEC Trademark Inquiry tool, but please note that the official search is accessible after creating an account and logging in on the UAE Government website.

Step 2: Complete the Application

  • Fill out the online application form on the MOE’s website. You can access the form by logging into the MOE’s website and choosing the service from the list of available services.
    • Required documents[3] for your trademark application include:
      • Trademark Logo
      • Copy of Trade License
      • Power of Attorney
      • Passport Copy
      • Priority Document
      • List of Goods and Services to be protected
      • Additional documents may be requested on a case-by-case basis. Ensure you attach the necessary documents to your application.

Step 3: Application Review and Payment

  • After submitting your application, it will be reviewed by the MOE. It’s crucial to be precise and provide accurate information, as missing or incorrect details may lead to rejection. If necessary, you can challenge or revise your application. The examination process can take up to 90 days, depending on the complexity of the application.
    • Once your application is reviewed and accepted, you must pay an electronic payment of AED 750.

Step 4: Publishing the Trademark Announcement

  • Following acceptance, your trademark must be published in two local Arabic-language newspapers. To do this, you’ll need to pay the MOE AED 1,000 for publication in the official trademark journal. Additional fees may apply for publishing the announcement in two local Arabic-language newspapers.
    • A 30-day objection period starts from the date of issuing the Trademark Bulletin. During this period, members of the public can object to your trademark. The MOE will review objections and may either reject them or notify you.

4.1 Process of Trademark Opposition in the UAE

  • To initiate trademark opposition in the UAE, a fee of AED 7,500 is required.
    • File a written Opposition to the UAE Trademark Office within 30 days of the last publication of the trademark that is being opposed.
    • The UAE Trademark Office will forward the Opposition Notice to the applicant within 15 days. It’s important to note that the opponent is not legally obligated to send the document to the applicant.
    • The applicant can file a written reply with the Trademark Office within 30 days of receiving the Notice of Opposition. The response will not be automatically forwarded to the opponent, and the applicant is not obliged to send the response to the opponent.
    • Failure to submit a response within the 30-day period will result in the application being considered abandoned.
    • Once the reply is lodged, the Trademark Office will hear submissions from either or both parties if they request a hearing.
    • The UAE Trademark Office will issue a decision after the hearing. This decision can either accept or reject the application or impose any restrictions or conditions on the application as deemed appropriate.
    • Hearings Officer for Trademark Opposition in the UAE:
      • The UAE Trademark Office has a Hearings Officer appointed to manage trademark opposition proceedings. The Hearings Officer is in charge of these proceedings.
    • No Minimum Standard for the Contents of the Notice/Reply:
      • There is no specific requirement for the minimum standard of content in the Notice of Opposition or Reply in the UAE. The only requirement is that both the Notice of Opposition and the Reply must be in writing. However, you are allowed to detail all potential grounds of opposition as stated in the Notice of Opposition. Additionally, you can introduce new facts during the hearing. The merit of the contents in the Notice of Opposition or Reply is not assessed. Nevertheless, the Trademark Office will ensure that the documents are in order and filed within the specified deadline.
    • No Extension for the Deadline:
      • The UAE Trademark Office strictly enforces the deadline for filing a Notice of Opposition or Reply. No extensions will be granted for submitting these documents within the stipulated deadline. If needed, trademark agents in Dubai can assist in filing the Notice of Opposition or Reply in a timely manner.

Step 5: Receiving Your Trademark Registration Certificate

  • If there are no objections within the 30-day objection period, the MOE will issue a trademark registration certificate. This certificate includes essential details such as the trademark registration number, the trade name, the owner’s name, a description of the goods and services it covers, and the trademark itself.

Step 6: Fines for Delay and Final Registration

  • Fines may be imposed if you delay paying the publication fees after 30 days from receiving the acceptance decision. The fines amount to 100 dirhams, with a maximum annual cap of AED 1,000, calculated monthly.
    • The accepted marks are published in the Official Trademark Bulletin, issued twice a month. The objection period is 30 days from the date of issuing the Trademark Bulletin.
    • After the objection period concludes, a final registration fee of AED 5,000 must be paid, and a mark registration certificate will be issued within 30 days from the end of the objection period. Fines for delays in paying the final registration fees can be imposed, with a maximum annual cap of AED 10,000, calculated monthly.

  • What Can Be Registered as a Trademark in the UAE?

In the vibrant landscape of the UAE, your trademark can encompass a variety of elements – signatures, titles, characters, seals, posters, names, and more. These elements, however, must serve the fundamental purpose of distinguishing one brand from another. It’s your unique stamp, your brand’s identity. But, there are some ground rules. Your trademark can’t play host to geographic names, symbols offending public morals or religions, public symbols like flags, or internationally recognized symbols like the Red Cross and Red Crescent. Names or titles of third parties or direct translations of other well-known trademarks are also off the trademarking table. Remember, while trademark registration is not mandatory here, it offers you exclusive rights and a shield against potential infringers.

  • Trademark Validity in the UAE

Once you’ve successfully registered your trademark in the UAE, it’s a decade of exclusive rights for you. That’s right, a solid 10 years of brand protection. And what happens after this period? Well, renewal is the name of the game, and yes, it comes with its associated renewal fees.

  • Renewing Your Trademark Registration

Here’s where you need to be on your toes. You’ve got a three-month grace period to renew your trademark after it gracefully completes its 10-year run. But beware, delays come at a cost – AED 1,000 monthly fines will be knocking on your door.

  • Cancellation of Trademark Registration

Sometimes, plans change, and so do trademarks. If you find yourself needing to cancel your trademark registration, the MOE’s website is your go-to. It comes with a fee of AED 1,500 – a small price for flexibility in your brand strategy.

  • Filing the Notice of Opposition or Objection to Registration

Should you ever find the need to raise concerns about a particular trademark, the MOE is your go-to authority. It’s the hub for filing notices of opposition or objections to the registration of a mark.

  • Time Period for Filing Notice of Opposition

Timing is everything, especially in the world of trademarks. There’s a non-extendable time limit of 30 days from the date of publication of a mark in the MOE’s Bulletin within which its registration can be opposed or objected to. So, mark your calendars and make your moves strategically.

  • Requirement of Power of Attorney for Opposition

Now, let’s talk about the paperwork. When filing a notice of opposition, it’s not just about stating your case; you need to back it up with a Power of Attorney. If you’re based within the UAE, get it notarized. If you’re beyond the UAE borders, go the extra mile – notarize and legalize it. The Power of Attorney can be in Arabic or bilingual (Arabic and English), ensuring a seamless process for you.

  1. Filing by an Entity Relying on Unregistered Trademark

Now, let’s say you’re relying on an unregistered trademark. It’s still a legitimate move. If you can showcase a legitimate interest and demonstrate prior adoption or use of the trademark, you’re good to go. The notice of opposition is your tool to protect what’s rightfully yours.

  1. Grounds of Opposition under UAE Law

The battleground for opposition is grounded in relative conflicts. It’s all about your opponent’s mark and its prior rights through application, registration, use, or reputation. Strong cases often hinge on prior trademark registrations and the history of dealings between the parties.

  1. Consequences of Failing to File a Reply

Here’s a critical juncture – the response. If the applicant fails to respond within 30 days, consider the opposition greenlit, and the mark is refused registration. No extensions here; it’s a tight deadline that you can’t afford to miss.

  1. Duration of Opposition Proceedings

Now, let’s talk timelines. The entire opposition process typically wraps up between 4 to 8 months. It’s not an eternity, but every day counts. Stay proactive, and you’ll navigate through it smoothly.

  1. Appeal against Decision by Competent Department

And, if the verdict doesn’t swing your way, there’s an avenue for appeal. The decision by the competent department is appealable, but you’ve got a window of 30 days from the date of notification to file that appeal. It’s a strategic move, and the Grievance Committee is where your case gets a second look.

  1. Appeal against Decision by Grievance Committee

Now, let’s talk about what happens if the appeal to the Grievance Committee doesn’t swing your way. Don’t worry; you’re not out of options. Decisions made by the Grievance Committee are also subject to appeal. It’s like a series of checks and balances. If you believe the decision isn’t in your favor, you can file an appeal before the Federal Court of Appeal within 30 days from the date of notification.

Remember, this process is tailored for trademark protection within the UAE. It doesn’t extend to international protection. So, it’s essential to have a clear understanding of the scope.

Now, as you navigate through these steps, keep in mind that this process is designed to protect your trademark within the UAE’s borders. If you’re looking for more information and official resources, the UAE Government’s website: MOEC – Trademark Inquiry.

Considering the seemingly straightforward nature of the trademark registration process we’ve outlined in this guide, those with limited familiarity regarding the operational intricacies in the UAE may encounter challenges. It’s perfectly okay – trademark matters can get complex. That’s why we highly recommend conducting exhaustive research and seeking professional assistance to navigate potential complexities with proficiency.

For further elucidation, bespoke insights, and dedicated support in orchestrating your trademark protection in the UAE, we earnestly advise reaching out to Vidma Consulting Group LLP. Their proficiency lies in the meticulous streamlining of trademark registration and protection processes within the region, ensuring a comprehensive and efficacious strategy for the preservation of your intellectual property. Remember, when it comes to your brand, every step matters.

Copyright Notice: The content presented in this guide is protected by copyright law. Any unauthorized reproduction, distribution, or use of any part of this material without explicit permission from the copyright owner is strictly prohibited.

Legal Disclaimer: The information provided in this guide is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. Although extensive efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, it may not reflect the latest legal regulations or nuances. For specific legal guidance on business setup in Dubai, it is recommended to consult with a qualified legal professional well-versed in the most recent laws and regulations.

Verification of Information: This guide encompasses various aspects, including trademark registration procedures, classifications, and strategic considerations. It is essential to verify the accuracy of the details provided, especially considering the potential evolution of regulatory frameworks. Prospective business owners are strongly encouraged to validate the information with relevant authorities, such as government agencies and legal professionals, to obtain the most current and tailored guidance based on their specific circumstances.

[1] The following entities are eligible to register trademarks in the UAE:

  • Citizens of the United Arab Emirates
  • Natural and legal entities operating in economic, technological, or service-related fields
  • Foreigners, both natural and legal entities operating in the aforementioned fields.
  • Foreigners working in a similar capacity in another country based on reciprocity agreements
  • Other legal entities.

[2] As Ministerial Resolution No. 80 of 2005 is not available online, obtaining a UAE PASS ID and logging in to the MOE portal to access details for the registration of the UAE Trademark agent.

[3] Required Documents

  • In the event that the application is submitted in a personal name and the trademark owner is from within the country, a license is not required        
  • A commercial license is required if the application is submitted in the name of a company or institution        
  • Compulsory legal power of attorney if the application is submitted through a trademark registration agent registered in the trademark register        
  • In the event that the trademark owner is from outside the country, it is obligatory to submit the application through a registration agent and to attach the legal and notarized power of attorney.

Tags: , , , ,