What is a trademark?
A trademark is typically a brand name that is used in a business as an identification sign to distinguish the goods or services from other companies. A trademark can be a name, sign, picture, signature, colour, word, shape, or combination of any of these. It is easy to locate your business in the industry when you have a trademark. A trademark raises the company's profile and expands your client base.
Trademark Law in the UAE
To provide owners with exclusive rights to use 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 trademarks rights to the UAE nationals and non-nationals who perform commercial, industrial, service, or handicraft-oriented activities. 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.
What is a trademark class system?
Trademarks are registered under a ‘class’ system in the UAE. Different products and services are covered in each trademark class. There are 45 international classes and it is possible to register trademarks in 44 classes in the UAE. A separate application is required for the registration of a trademark in each class. Registering your trademark in classes that are not relevant to your goods or services will be costly and irrelevant. Hence, choosing the correct class is critical for necessary protection and avoiding unnecessary costs.
Difference between a trademark and other intellectual property
A trademark is only one form of intellectual property and is typically associated with logos and brand names. The other forms of intellectual property that can be protected by companies are:
Patents – used for new technology, inventions, ideas, processes, and methods
Copyrights – used for literary/artistic/dramatic/musical works, or computer software
Industrial designs – used for shapes, patterns, or ornamentation applied to industrially produced objects
Benefits of Trademark Registration in the UAE
Protect your brand by restricting the use of your mark by others who trade in the same, but defective goods/services
Enable customers to easily identify the brand and product required without duplication
Gain a competitive advantage by a strategy of differentiation
Create maximum value for your business
Use the registered mark as a marketing tool and grow your brand
Right to use ‘Registered’ in the brand name
Steps for Registering a Trademark in the UAE
Research existing trademarks - The first step in registering a trademark is to search for the trademark and ensure it is not already in use. This can be checked by carrying out a trademark search. The trademark cannot be used by you if it is already in use by another business company. The process of registering a trademark starts only after the required trademark is available.
Download and fill in 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 the following documents are required :
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
Initial approval fees - Pay the required fees for the initial approval of the trademark registration application form. This payment can be made via the Ministry of Economy’s e-services platform. Our business consultants can assist you with document preparation, application form submission, legal translations, and fee payment at this stage.
Ministry of Economy review - The Ministry of Economy will evaluate the submitted application form. Any incomplete form or improper documents will result in a rejection. Else, you will receive an initial confirmation about the approval of your trademark registration request within 30 days.
Publish the announcement in two local Arabic language newspapers - You must pay the ministry to publish the announcement of your application in two Arabic newspapers in the UAE. If a member of the public has an objection to your application, they have 30 days to register an objection. The Ministry will then review the objection and either reject it or notify you.
The local newspapers where you can publish the announcement of your trademark are:
Registration - If there is no objection to your trademark in that period, the Ministry of Economy will then provide you with a certificate of registration for your trademark in the UAE. The certificate will include important details such as the trademark’s registration number, the trade name and owner’s name, the trademark itself, and a description of the goods and the services that fall under it.
Trademark Validity in the UAE
A trademark registered in the UAE has a validity of 10 years, after which it needs renewal for an extra cost. Keep in mind that registering your trademark only protects it in the seven emirates of the UAE and not anywhere else in the world.
Any company or a brand that wants to set up their business and register their trademark in the UAE will need to pay close attention while finalizing their trademark.
At Concept Advocates and Business Consultants, our expert business set-up consultants are specialized in all legal requirements related to starting a business in the United Arab Emirates. Our expertise and deep understanding of the legal system will help you get through the trademark registration process correctly and ensure that you receive a positive result.
For more information feel free to contact us on + 971 4 353 0020, +971 52 454 2020, +971 4 220 00030. You may also drop an email to; firstname.lastname@example.org