Features of registering a trademark in the UAE

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Launching or relocating a business in the United Arab Emirates requires obtaining not only a license for specific activities but also a patent or intellectual property protection. Therefore, an entrepreneur must study the specifics of registering a trademark in the UAE to avoid potential difficulties with government agencies.

Requirements for opening a business in the UAE

A business can be opened in the United Arab Emirates either on the mainland or through a simplified scheme in a free economic trade zone. The latter entails tax and customs benefits, as well as the possibility of full foreign capital and management. However, regardless of the chosen jurisdiction for business operations in the UAE, it is necessary to obtain the relevant license for a period of one year and open an account with a local bank. An application can be submitted online or in person to the relevant government authority.

Simultaneously, registration of a trademark is required, which ensures the legal validity of the company's operations in the UAE and prevents data leakage and unauthorized use of materials, developments, etc. This is especially relevant for the innovative and educational segments of business, as it prevents the unauthorized use of intellectual property.

Since many company founders launch operations in the United Arab Emirates to attract foreign investments and enter the global market, they opt for registering an international trade mark under the Madrid system. It protects business rights in 130 countries simultaneously and allows for the payment of unified fees for registration. However, the peculiarity of the procedure in the UAE is that registration of a trademark with the national bureau at the Ministry of Economy of the UAE is required for conducting operations in the country.

Registration Procedure and Timeline

The legalization of a trademark in the United Arab Emirates occurs in several stages and takes approximately a year. However, official sources define registration timelines ranging from six months to two years. The procedure is available to both individuals and legal entities, with the only difference being the required documents provided. However, the duration of legalization is not dependent on the applicant's status.

Initially, an application can be submitted to the patent office online or in writing, but the applicant must be physically present to provide a complete set of documents. This is because individuals or legal entities must attach a visual representation of the trademark in print.

After the initial review by the patent office and in the absence of any matches, the government agency publishes information about the intention to register the trademark in two local periodicals. The application can be challenged within 30 days of publication. If there are no objections from the public, the applicant pays the fees and receives the corresponding documents. However, if objections are raised and the patent office rejects the application, the applicant has the right to appeal the decision. To do this, an appeal must be filed within 30 days of receiving the rejection. The timeline for appeal consideration is usually determined on a case-by-case basis.

When submitting an application, it is important to consider national peculiarities. For example, in the UAE, it is impossible to register a trademark for a company engaged in the sale of alcoholic beverages, pork, etc.

Required Documents and Fees

The standard document package for the patent office includes the original and a copy of the applicant's identity documents, as well as a power of attorney if the applicant is acting on behalf of an organization or representing someone else's interests. In the case of trademark registration by a legal entity, founding documents and a license confirming the right to conduct activities in the United Arab Emirates must also be provided.

The document package must include a quality image of the trademark logo in PDF or JPG format. If the trademark has been previously registered under the Madrid Agreement or in another country not party to the Madrid Agreement, a certificate of registration in the foreign country must be provided. Additionally, a list of goods or services is required to determine the classes.

Fees for the patent office are paid in local currency in two stages: at the time of application submission and upon confirmation of trademark registration. Since the national patent office accepts documents only in Arabic, in most cases, the applicant must also pay for the translation of the necessary documentation with notarization.

Assistance from The Level Consulting

Registration of a trademark in the United Arab Emirates is facilitated by cooperation with consulting companies: in this case, the entrepreneur nominally participates in the application process. Involving experts speeds up the application process, as a specialist conducts a preliminary check to confirm the uniqueness of the trademark. With the issuance of a power of attorney, the entrepreneur does not need to independently submit the application and be present during further procedures at the patent office: the applicant receives the issued registration certificate.

The Level Consulting company assists in registering trademarks for individuals and legal entities and ensures full control of the procedure at all stages. Business legalization facilitates brand promotion in the Middle East market and protects intellectual property. A trademark registered in the UAE promotes local and international collaborations and increases the significance of the business in domestic and global markets.

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