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Registering Your Trademark

wholesale merchandise trademarkTrademark is the right given to person to protect his trade name so as to distinguish his goods and services from the others. It is a right through which a person can stop others from taking advantage of his trade reputation and from misleading consumers. But this right is not a default right and has to be acquired through registering one's trademark. In the United Arab Emirates the trademark rights can be enjoyed by registering the trademark with the Ministry of Economy and Commerce.


According to the federal law no. 37 of 1992 (hereinafter referred to as 'the law') a trademark may be registered by 4 categories of people including nationals and non-nationals. The first two categories involves the State nationals and non-nationals, both natural and juridical, who carry out any commercial, industrial, handcraft or service activities. The only additional condition for a non-national is that their activities should be carried on in the State. The third category of people also involves non nationals, natural and juridical, but the non-nationals in this category carry out their trade and commerce activities in another country that deals with the State as per the concept of reciprocity. The last category involves the public juridical persons.


Trademarks for several goods or services can be registered together through a single application if the goods or services are all within the same class. Annexure 1 of the implementing law provides a classification of the goods and services into several classes. Where the goods that one is dealing with fall within more than one class, then in that case the person is to provide for a separate application for the goods falling in separate classes.


The application is to be made to the ministry of Economy and Commerce according to the procedure set by the implementing law. The law does not specify the details that need to be added with the application but some of the necessary information to be included in the application would be as follows:


1. Name and Place of Residence of the applicants of the trademark.
2. Type of trade activity undertaken.
3. Description of the goods, products or services.
4. Details about the trademark including a sample of the same.
5. Apart from these, the relevant authority at the Ministry has the rights to ask for any other documents that they deem necessary for the registration of the said trademark.


Once the application is made, a receipt is given to the applicant evidencing the receipt of the application. The said receipt shall consist of the following details:


I. Serial number of the application.
II. Name and place of residence of the applicant.
III. Date and hour of depositing the application.
IV. Class of products, goods or services concerning the application.
V. Statement of documents annexed to the application.


After accepting the application, the Trade Control department (hereinafter referred to as 'the department') shall review it and conform that it does not fall under any of the non-registrable marks or does not infringe any of the existing trademark. After the review the department may ask for any other additional information or clarifications that may be necessary, they may also require the applicant to make any amendment in the said trademark.


In case the application for the registration is rejected by the department, the department must notify the same to the applicant with the reasons for the rejection in writing and inform the applicant about his right to file a grievance about the same with the Trademarks Committee (hereinafter referred to as 'the committee').


On submitting of the grievance of the applicant with the committee, a date is notified to the applicant for the hearing the grievance of the applicant. This date should be notified to the applicant at least before a period of 10 days from the date of hearing the petition. If the applicant is not satisfied by the decision of the committee after such hearing, the applicant has the right to file an appeal with the competent civil court within a period of 60 days from the date of the decision of the committee.


Prior to accepting the application, the department is to publish the relevant information which is enlisted below in the official gazette and in two daily newspapers issued in the State. This is done at the applicant's expenses and it is done for the purpose of inviting objections from third parties regarding the registration of the said trademark. The information to included in the notification is as under:


I. Name, nationality, profession and domicile of the applicant for registration.
II. A true copy of the Mark.
III. Serial number of the application for registration.
IV. Goods, products or services for which the registration of the Mark has been applied, together with specifying the class to which they belong.
V. The location of the trade shop or the exploitation project using or purporting to use the Mark in order to distinguish his goods, products or services.


The publication is done to notify the public about the said registration so that they may object to it if the registration is in any way prejudicial to their rights. Objections have to be submitted to the department in writing within a period of thirty days from the date of publication in the newspapers. On receiving the notification, the department must notify the applicant about the same within a period of 15 days from the date of receipt of the objection. To which the applicant must submit a written reply at the department within a period of 30 days from the date of receipt of the said notification. In case the applicant does not reply within this period, he is deemed to waive his right to the said trademark. The department later hears both the parties and gives its decision. The aggrieved of the decision may file his grievance to the Trademarks Committee within fifteen days. Any grievance from the decision of the Trademarks committee can be appealed to the competent civil court within a period of thirty days from the date of decision of the committee.


Following to the completion of registration and payment of the fees, the trademark owner shall be provided with a certificate declaring ownership in the said trademark. Trademark is granted for a period of 10 years after which the trademark owner has to renew his trademark registration for a similar period.