H.E. Abdulaziz Alnuaimi: The UAE has exerted significant efforts in enabling the growth of our intellectual property system
Abu Dhabi, 28 July 2022: The Ministry of Economy held a media briefing session on the issuance of the executive regulation of Federal Law no. 36 of 2021 concerning trademarks under the Cabinet Resolution no. 57 of 2022. In his speech during the session, H.E Abdulaziz Alnuaimi, Assistant Undersecretary of the Commercial Affairs Regulation Sector at the Ministry of Economy, stated that the UAE has been exerting significant efforts in promoting the system of intellectual property (IP) and copyrights, with trademarks as a key pillar. It has therefore issued a set of legislations and laws to support their growth and prosperity within a secure and safe environment. These efforts emphasize the significant role of this sector in encouraging creativity and its contribution to building the country's new economic model based on knowledge and innovation, and in line with the goals and principles of the 50 and the UAE Centennial 2071.
H.E. elaborated that the regulation reflects an exceptional integration of efforts between the Ministry and its local and federal partners, as well as global entities concerned with the IP sector. The collaboration guarantees the country's adherence to international best practices in this regard, thereby stimulating FDI flows and attracting international companies to relocate to the UAE by guaranteeing a highly conducive working environment. This, in turn, strengthens the UAE's position as a favored destination for innovators and creators, thus promoting its leadership in global competitiveness indexes for IP protection.
H.E Alnuaimi added: “The Federal Law no. 36 of 2021 concerning trademarks is a new legislative step towards enhancing IP protection in the UAE. The law establishes major rules for trademark owners within a barrier-free environment that promotes creativity and innovation. It guarantees the growth and prosperity of their businesses, and meets the aspirations of the country to transition into a sustainable, leading global economy based on knowledge. The UAE issued the executive regulation to usher in the next 50 years of development. It is set to offer comprehensive protection for trademarks specifically and innovations in general, as well as strengthen the confidence of investors in the advanced legislative environment that regulates the UAE's business sector in line with international best practices.”
Furthermore, H.E. Al Nuaimi pointed out that the executive regulation of the trademark law aims to combat all forms of commercial fraud, improve the quality of products traded in the UAE market, and enhance the attractiveness of the national economy before leading global companies and brands. The regulation also aims to support and develop Emirati brands and ensure their competitiveness globally, as well as increase their effective contribution to the country's GDP growth. In addition, it allows greater flexibility to accommodate unconventional trademark patterns and provides them with legal protection, in light of the advanced technologies used in building companies' trademarks. This shows how the UAE is keeping pace with international developments in the field, consolidating its position among the countries with advanced, innovative trademark protection.
The regulation targets a large group of society members, including investors and owners of foreign companies, owners of commercial projects and companies within the country, authorized registration agents, lawyers and legal service providers, and everyone concerned with the protection, registration or the prevention of infringement of a trademark. It is also aimed at designers and talented investors in all fields, concerned local and federal government agencies, and public interest organizations. In addition, H.E. Al Nuaimi reviewed the most prominent provisions and amendments included in the regulation, which are as follows:
The regulation adds new categories of innovative trademark, most notably smells, sounds, and hologram technology.
The regulation adds a provision to protect geographic indicators which were not mentioned in the legislation, and clarifies the following:
The trademark owner can apply for protection of a geographic indicator outside the country, after presenting the geographic indicator's registration certificate from the source country.
Those who wish to apply for international registration of their brands must register them in the UAE first and then submit an international application.
The law offers protection in the country only to brands registered in the UAE. As for those who wish to receive international protection for their brand, they must register by applying in accordance with the protocol relating to the Madrid Protocol, or by applying directly to the desired country if it is not a member of this agreement.
Regarding applications for trademark registration, the regulation clarifies the following:
It is possible to submit one application for multiple categories, in addition to submitting multiple applications for the same license for individuals and companies.
Deposit, publication, and registration fees double based on the number of categories that were applied for, and there is no maximum limit for required categories.
Raises fines to AED 1 million, in order to put a stop to trademark infringement.
The regulation will ensure that trademark registration procedures are not halted if the Objections Committee accepts any grievance submitted against it, adhering to the highest standards of transparency and justice.
Extends the renewal period with a AED 1,500 fine from three to six months.
Makes it possible to renew after the completion of a six month protection period with AED 1,000 fine.
The protection period cannot be renewed six months after it ends, and it will be required to submit the deposit again.
The regulation sets a 90 days maximum limit for the issuance of the technical inspection results deciding to accept, reject, or conditionally suspend the trademark. It also states that payment must be made within 30 days of the date of trademark acceptance in terms of publication or final registration, and fines will be imposed if this period is exceeded.
The regulation authorizes the submission of a trademark cancellation request in accordance with Article 24 of Federal Decree-Law No. (36) of 2021 regarding trademarks.
The Assistant Undersecretary emphasized that the regulation will contribute to increasing the competitiveness of the country's markets and help create an environment that fosters creative ideas and their flexible and sustainable implementation. It also plays a vital role in supporting the UAE's ambitious goal to attract the best talents and minds in various strategic sectors, in addition to consolidating the country's leadership and enhancing its attractiveness for investments in the fields of creative economy.
The Ministry of Economy registered 10,749 new trademarks in the first half of 2022 with a growth rate of 98% compared to the number of trademarks registered during the same period in 2021. H.E. invited individuals and companies who wish to register their trademarks to apply through MOE's website via: https://services.economy.ae/m/TMR.
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