Grounds of Refusal for Trademark Application in UAE

UAE’s Ministry of Economy is the competent authority for trademark application in UAE. In order to authorize a trademark, a company must submit trademark registration application to the Ministry of Economy in UAE.

What is a Trademark?

A trademark is a distinctive and identifiable sign, symbol, expression or a design which differentiates products and services of a particular source from others. A trademark is known to be an intellectual asset. The owner of a trademark can be an individual, an organization or any legal entity. It is an exclusive identification for a product or service belonging to a particular business or entity in UAE.

How to proceed with Trademark Application in UAE?

For the trademark registration application in UAE, the applicant must first fill an application form which is available on the website of Ministry of Economy. Follow the steps below for trademark registration application:

  • Select ‘Services’
  • Select ‘e-Services’
  • Select ‘Trademarks’
  • Select ‘Trademark Registration’ under the subcategory of ‘New Applications’

Documents required for trademark registration application in the UAE

The necessary documents for registration of trademark are as follows:

  • Copy of Trade License
  • Trademark LOGO
  • Power of Attorney
  • Copy of Passport
  • List of products and services to be protected under the trademark

Other documents may also be required that vary from case to case for trademark application in UAE.

Once you have uploaded and submitted all the requirements, you will then need to pay the fees which also differ according to every emirate in UAE and the category of business/entity.

What are the grounds of refusal for trademark application in UAE?

Commonly there are two types of grounds for refusal for trademark application in UAE:

  • Absolute Grounds
  • Relative Grounds

Absolute Grounds – Those products and services that do not have any distinctive feature and do not differentiate from those of someone else can be rejected on absolute grounds.

Relative Grounds – When a trademark is already in use or is similar to a mark that is already under some other entity’s possession, then it is subject to refusal.

Below we will discuss these grounds in detail

Rejection of Trademark Registration in UAE

Commonly trademark application is refused against the following absolute grounds:

Trademark contains words which are generic – As an example, a mobile company may not register the word phone for its trademark as it is a generic word for the category of mobile phones.

Trademark is not distinctive – When a trademark does not differentiate from goods or service of an existing business it lacks distinctiveness and hence gets rejected. 

Lengthy words or symbols – Long and lengthy phrases that often advertise your product are rejected for trademark

Geographic words – Any word or symbol that describes a geographic location is subject to rejection 

Trademark consists of first or last name – A trademark may not contain a person or individual’s first or last name.

Signs and Symbols against a Public order or Charitable – Commonly pictures, symbols and words that violate moral and religious standards are subject to rejection for trademark in UAE.

Trademark consists of prohibited names or symbols – There are countries including UAE that prohibit a particular list of signs, symbols and names which are not allowed to be registered as trademark. These include company names, celebrity names, famous geographic markers, symbols of indigenous people, emblems or flags etc.

Relative Grounds of Refusal for Trademark Rejection

Consumer and market crowd tends to get confused if two very similar or even identical trademarks are used for the same category of product or service. This becomes a major relative ground of refusal for trademark application. In UAE, if your trademark infringes the rights of an existing trademark following a similar or identical design, copyright, personal name, company name, geographical indication or anything that is already in use by a company under the trademark, your mark will be refused.

Exception for refusal on Absolute Grounds

In a case where an applicant succeeds to prove before the Ministry of Economy that a trademark rejected has distinctiveness and can be approved. If a trademark gets rejected by the Ministry of Economy on the basis of similarity with an existing trademark, the applicant must prove its uniqueness and present the points where they think that the trademark has some sort of differentiation.

Need fool proof guidance on Trademark Registration?

Far consulting middle east deal with all kinds of PRO services in UAE through thorough research and arrangements in order to provide you the most authentic solutions for your business. If you are a small or large business in Dubai or even an individual who needs assistance in trademark application in UAE, FAR gets everything covered for you. team of legal and administrative consultants in UAE makes sure that you get the best solution for your business concerns. 

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