Trademark Protection in UAE. Are the same in all countries or different?
Most company executives are focusing on setting up their businesses in new jurisdictions. They are understanding the benefits of trademark and Trademark registration. Expanding businesses worldwide enhance the brand image and gives the business a global place to operate. However, they often overlook the need for trademark protection in the enthusiasm of increasing the profitability of the company.
To protect the trademark it is important to do a Trademark Search. It is important to consider how one can protect the company’s trademark. Business executives are now focusing on Trademark Registration in Dubai. The case holds true if you plan to conduct your business in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). To guard and enforce the rights that a holder has over the trademark, it is highly recommended to register the trademark at the time of setting up a business in the UAE(Dubai). This article discusses in detail the Trademark Protection in the UAE.
A Trademark is an identity mark for a company/business for its products or services which gives a unique image to the brand of the businesses. It serves to indicate the origin of goods and services to end consumers. Trademarks can be of any nature or any form i.e. a word, a logo, a figure, a 3-D shape, a sound or a melody. Trademarks are a crucial form of Intellectual Property. If the owners manage Trademarks intelligently and protect them properly, they can become the most significant asset of a company/business. The concept, net worth and need to protect this intangible asset are universal but the nature of protection and the factors contributing towards its stronger protection may vary from country to country.
Trademark Protection in different countries
- In different countries, the moment a trademark comes into use for the first time, the rights of the user begins. Such rights are termed as “common law rights in a Trademark”.
- By virtue of common law rights, the owner of the Trademark can prevent the unauthorized use of a similar or identical trademark.
- However, such rights are only available in common law countries. Hence, enforceable only in the geographical limits where such a trademark was first used.
- In such countries, registering a Trademark just grants greater protection to the Trademarks.
- If the owner undertakes and follows the Process of Trademark Registration effectively, they almost get the protection of the trademark but the uncertainties of infringement are there at some points.
In order to avoid Trademark opposition and infringement, it is important to effectively participate in the process of Trademark Search and also get them registered. One can easily get a Trademark registration in Dubai done by our website TrademarkCart.
Also Read: Documents for Trademarks
Trademark Laws in UAE for Trademark Protection
- The UAE Government has taken commendable steps to put in place robust laws for trademark protection.
- The present approach to the trademarks protection and the mechanisms through which protection to trademark is carried out in the UAE are very similar to those used in Western jurisdictions and will be familiar to many business managers already acquainted with intellectual property issues.
- The Federal Trademark Law No. 37 of 1992 (amended by Federal Law No. 8 of 2002) (“Trademark Law”) protects the Trademarks in the UAE.
- The Trademark Law contains a range of provisions outlining the procedural steps required to register a trademark and the penalties for breach.
- This article discusses some of the available steps to guard one’s trademark in the UAE and how to deal with any potential infringements.
Trademark protection in the UAE
- Trademark Regime of UAE is based on the principle of “First to file”. The mere usage of a Trademark does not create any right in favor of the user.
- The position of unregistered users of Trademarks in UAE is vulnerable. Under UAE law the unregistered trademark holds no protection.
- The position of any party using an unregistered Trademark for a long period becomes highly risky if another party with the misleading (legal for fraudulent) intention takes priority in filing and securing the Registration of a similar or identical trademark.
- In this scenario “the prior use” of a Trademark could be ground for opposing the Application or cancellation of a misleading registered Trademark.
- However, the same is least entertained ground under the UAE Trademark regime and unstable enough not to prevent the other party from using or infringing the Trademark.
- According to the UAE Trademark laws, everyone who is using or has developed a trademark and intends to use the same must get the Trademark registration in Dubai at their earliest.
- The Trademarks Law (37/1992) of UAE provides the Proprietor of the Trademark with every possible protection.
- The proprietor of a Trademark can enjoy all rights over a Trademark and eliminates the interference of everyone else. Also, can enforce his rights against the unauthorized use of identical as well as a similar trademark in relation to the same goods/services.
- And, they can prevent fraud and fake goods/ services from entering UAE markets through law enforcement agencies.
Also Read: Indian Trademark Registration
Before whom can the owner enforce a trademark against an infringer?
The owner can enforce a Trademark against an infringer before the following channels:
- The IPR Department – Department of Economic Development
- The Economic Crimes Department
- The Courts – Ministry of Justice
- The Customs Department
How a Trademark can be enforced against an infringer?
- In order to enforce a trademark through the IPR Department, CID and Customs, the trademark should be registered for the concerned goods/services in the UAE.
- An infringement action before the Court can be on the basis of foreign registrations, use in the UAE and abroad, and fame of the mark.
Also Read: Consequences for Trademark Registration
Procedural Stages and Time required for Trademark Enforcement proceedings
- It is not mandatory to send a demand letter before commencing enforcement action.
- The right holder can file an action at any time after the infringement comes into their knowledge.
The time frames are as follows:
- The IPR Department is a Department of Economic Development. It takes two weeks until the department issues the decision.
- The Economic Crimes Department – Criminal Investigation Department (CID). The department conducts the raid immediately. However, a decision from the Criminal Court may take as long as a year.
- The Courts – Ministry of Justice. The court issues the decision of the first instance usually within six to eight months.
- The Customs Department. The department issues the decision within three weeks.
Remedies available for Trademark Infringement
The following remedies are available in a trademark infringement action:
- Seizure and Destruction of goods
This remedy suggests that the right owner can seize the goods of the infringer and has the right to destruct the goods of the infringer.
- Interim and Permanent injunction
The action of an injunction means stopping one person from doing a particular activity or task through the judicial process. In terms of trademark infringement, it is restraining a person from unauthorized use of the trademark. Temporarily or permanently, the Court grants protection to the trademark owner.
- Payments of costs and damages
The owner can file a case against the infringer and the infringer may be asked to pay for the costs and damages incurred to the owner.
- Fine and imprisonment of the infringer
The infringer may be charged with a fine or imprisonment, in case of Trademark Infringement.
- Temporary closure of business premises
The business premises of the infringer may get a temporary closure.
It is therefore highly advised that businesses draw up and execute a plan for operating in the UAE, particularly in handling trademark rights. A trademark is one of the most valuable assets that a business can own. To guard and enforce the rights businesses have over their trademark, it is recommended to undertake the process of Trademark Registration in Dubai at the time of setting up the business in the UAE. This will enable the companies to have a sustainable corporate name and capable of building the goodwill of the business. Lastly, companies must constantly be watchful for and strenuously defend against the infringement of registered trademarks in the region.
If you are also keen to provide your business with a global market place, visit our website Trademark Cart or give us a call at +91 8750008585, and our team of experienced experts will guide you in the best possible way. We provide Trademark Registration in India, Trademark Registration in Dubai, Trademark Registration in the USA and many more services.
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