UAE is an Arab country located in the eastern part of the Arabian Peninsula. It is a desert country in the Middle East known for its oil production. The UAE represented by Dubai is a shopping spree. With the deepening of trade between China and the UAE, more and more Chinese choose to register trademarks in the UAE, and many of them are eager to learn how to register a UAE trademark. We have concluded a Q&A about UAE trademark registration, which will allow you to know about the UAE trademark registration process in just a few minutes.
Application of a trademark
1. What can be registered as a trademark?
Under Article 2 of the Trade Mark Law, it is provided that, “anything having a distinctive form” may be registered as a trademark. The Trade Mark Law then lists: names, words, signatures, letters, figures, drawings, logos, titles, hallmarks, seals, pictures, engravings, advertisements and packs or any other mark or group of marks.
2. What information is needed to register a trademark?
An application must contain: the details of the trademark applicant (name, address, legal form if a legal entity, nationality, commercial activity, the details and reproductions of the mark applied for, the class covered by the application, with the statement of goods and services, details of the elected local representative), if the mark is applied for by a foreign applicant, priority information where applicable and a description and translation of the mark or parts of the mark(if not in Arabic).
3. What is the general procedure for trademark registration?
Trademarks are filed, examined on formal, absolute and relative grounds, published for opposition purposes and then proceed to registration.
4. How are goods and services described?
The UAE follows Nice Classification. Applicants are generally free to describe their goods and services as long as the description remain in accordance with the edition of the Nice Classification. Certain goods and services are, however, prohibited on policy grounds, including prohibited substances like alcoholic beverages, pork products, bar and night clubs. The UAE follows a single class filing system.
阿联酋遵循尼斯分类。 申请人通常可以自由描述其商品和服务，只要其描述符合《尼斯分类》的规定即可。 但是，出于政策考虑，禁止某些商品和服务，包括酒精饮料、猪肉产品、酒吧和夜总会等违禁物质。阿联酋为一标一类的申请系统。
5. What territories are or can be covered by a trademark in UAE?
A national trademark covers the entire United Arabic Emirates, including Free Zones.
6. Who can own a trademark in UAE?
There are generally no restrictions on who can own a trademark in UAE, subject to exceptional policy considerations, which have recently been eased to an extent.
7. Can a trademark acquire distinctive character through use?
Yes. Although the UAE is generally considered to be a “first to file” country, distinctiveness can be acquired through use, as recognized and considered by local officials and courts. The prior user is potentially material in examination, opposition, infringement and cancellation scenarios.
8. How long on average does registration take?
Registration currently takes around 4-5 months.
9. Is there more than one route to obtaining a registration in UAE?
No, the only route to registration is through a national application filed at the Trademark Office. The UAE is not a party of international filing system like Madrid.
10. Is a Power of Attorney needed?
Yes. A POA is required at the time of filing. Late filing is not permitted.
11. Does a POA need notarization and legalization?
Yes. Notarization and legalization is up to Embassy and Consulate level if a foreign applicant(Apostille is not locally accepted), and notarization is before a local notary for a local applicant.
12. How is priority claimed?
Priority is claimed under the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property. Priority must be claimed within 6 months of the filing of the priority application, and the national application must ideally be accompanied by a copy of the certified priority application, where available, with a sworn Arabic translation.
Absoulte grounds for refusal
\What are the absolute grounds for refusal?
a. Non distinctive trademarks;
b. Marks which violate public morals or are contrary to public policy;
c. Marks which resemble or are similar to symbols of pure religious character;
d. Public emblems, flags and symbols, of the United Arab Emirates, Arab, or international organizations, or institutions and other countries, unless authorized;
e. Symbols associated with Red Cross or Red Crescent;
f. Geographical names and data the use of which would cause confusion as to the origin or source of the goods, products or services;
g. Indications of honorary distinctions, to which a person has no entitlement;
h. Marks which are likely to deceive the public, or which contain false indications as to the origin or source of goods or services, or as to characteristics;
i. Marks, the registration of which for certain categories of goods or services, would result in depreciating the value of other goods or services, distinctively characterised by the mark;
j. National and foreign medals, coins and bank notes.
Relative grounds for refusal
What are the relative grounds for refusal?
a. a name, surname, picture or emblem associated with a person, unless the person or their heirs consent;
b. Marks containing an indication of fictitious, imitated or forged trade name;
c. Prior identical/similar mark;
d. Well-known mark.
1. On what grounds can a trademark be opposed?
A trademark can be opposed on absolute and relative grounds.
2. Who can oppose the registration of a trademark in UAE?
The Trademark Law provides that interested persons may oppose registration of a trademark.
3. What is the procedure for opposition?
Within the 30 days of publication, an opponent must submit a written notice of opposition with the Trademark Office, with its ground of opposition and supporting evidences. The trademark applicant will then receive a copy of the opposition and be provided with a 30-day deadline within which to file a counter-statement, failing which, the opposed application will be deemed to have been abandoned. If a counter-statement is filed, the Trademark Office will then allocate a hearing date, for the parties to present arguments, following which a written decision will issue. Notably, both parties may, within the discretion of the hearing officer, submit additional arguments and submissions up to the hearing date, or be invited within the hearing notification to supplement their oppositions and/ or provide information or documents to assist the hearing officer, including as to any possible settlement reached between the parties. It is, however, recommended to prepare and file full arguments and evidences up front, to avoid the risk that supplementary arguments/ evidences might not be considered.
1. What happened when a trademark is granted registration?
Once the trademark is granted registration, a notice will be issued requesting the payment of registration fees. Upon payment of the fees, an electronic registration certificate will be issued(the UAE Trademark Office no longer issues hard copy certificates). Additional penalty fees would apply in the event of late payment of registration fees.
2. From which date following application do applicants’ trademark rights commerce?
The Trademark Law expressly provides that trademark rights commence from the filing date of a registered mark.
3. What is the term of a trademark?
The term of a trademark in UAE is 10 years, as calculated from the filing date.
4. How is the trademark renewed?
Trademark renewals in the UAE are done by way of submitting an online renewal application through the Ministry of Economy’s E-Services platform, providing a copy of the registration certificate and a notarized and legalized POA, and paying the renewal fees. The trademark is renewed every 10 years.