PRO Partner Group How to register a Trademark in the UAE Dubai Abu Dhabi

How to register a Trademark in the UAE?

There are a lot of things to take into account if you are considering setting up a business in the UAE, such as establishing a relationship with a local partner, deciding the legal structure of your organisation, and applying for the relevant trade license and business permits. One crucial element that many businesses neglect to consider though, is how to protect their trademark; the distinctive indicator that enables consumers to distinguish their products or services from a competitor’s. This article explores the process of registering a trademark in the UAE, and why doing so can be imperative to the success of your business.

What is a Trademark?

A trademark is defined as any name, symbol, word, design, or logo that is used by a manufacturer or merchant to distinguish themselves from other businesses. A trademark can also include figures, signatures, marks, and even sounds if they are used to indicate that the products or services belong to the business.

Trademarks are protected according to their class, and there are 45 classes in total, which categorise a range of goods and services.

Trademarks in the UAE

Trademarks are not currently mandatory for businesses in the UAE, though the benefits of registering a trademark generally outweigh the cost of not doing so and certainly regulator processes do require the registration of a Trademark.

Trademarks are registered in the UAE with the UAE Ministry of Economy, and once approved are protected in all seven emirates: Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Ras Al Khaimah, Ajman, Fujairah, Sharjah, and Umm Al Quwain. It is important to note though that any intellectual property rights registered with a trademark certificate in the UAE are not protected outside of the country.

Why is a Trademark Important?

As a form of intellectual property, a trademark is valuable to a business for a multitude of reasons:

  • Distinguish your products or services: Trademarks enable consumers to identify a business’ products or services and distinguish them from competitors. This in turn helps to increase exposure in the marketplace.
  • Protect your business: A registered trademark provides protection by ensuring that it can only be used exclusively by that business. Any infringements to a company’s trademark will be handled by the UAE Ministry of Economy, and there are serious penalties for infringement of trademarks, including fines and imprisonment.
  • Distinguish your products or services: Trademarks enable consumers to identify a business’ products or services and distinguish them from competitors. This in turn helps to increase exposure in the marketplace.
  • An effective marketing tool: Trademarks can be an effective marketing tool for businesses wishing to establish their presence in a new market, particularly for branch organisations.
  • Additional revenue: It is possible for a company to sell their trademark or to franchise their business.
  • Increase business value: Trademarks are intangible assets that can drastically increase the value of a business.

How to register a Trademark in the UAE

PRO Partner Group specialise in the formation of businesses in the UAE, and as such are able to guide you through the registration of your trademark and ensure that the entire process is handled quickly and efficiently. As a guide, registering a trademark in the UAE typically follows these steps:

  1.  Not all trademarks can be registered as trademarks in the UAE, so it’s critical to first establish that your trademark is eligible for protection.
  2. Carry out comprehensive research to ensure that there is no conflict associated with your proposed trademark.
  3. Determine the correct class for your trademark, to ensure that it correctly represents the goods or services that are vital to your business.
  4. Apply for your trademark with the UAE Ministry of Economy (UAE Patent Office). Once submitted, applicants have 30 days within which to pay the publication fee.
  5. The trademark will be advertised in the official trademark journals. If there are no objections after the publication, then the registration process can begin.

The entire process of registering a trademark takes between 18 and 24 months on average, and costs between AED 15,000 and AED 20,000. Once approved, the registration is valid for ten years, after which point it is necessary to re-apply for renewal.

The following documents are required in order to register a trademark in the UAE:

  • A sample of the trademark design
  • UAE Trade Licence – this can be an Onshore UAE company or a Freezone Company
  • A comprehensive list of the goods and services to be protected
  • Passport and Power of Attorney of the business owner

Abigail Cuthbert is the Business Development Executive at PRO Partner Group. For further information on PRO Partner Group’s comprehensive range of PRO services or for any other questions relating to company set up in the UAE contact Abi on abi@propartnergroup.com or call a member of the team on:

T: +971 (0)4 456 1761 (Dubai)
T : +971 (0)2 448 5120 (Abu Dhabi)
www.propartnergroup.com