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Laws relating to Trademark in United Arab Emirates

In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), trademarks are governed by Federal Law No. 36 of 2021 on Trademarks and Geographical Indications. The law provides protection to registered trademarks and prevents others from using identical or similar marks without the owner's consent. Trademarks are registered at the TM department at the Ministry of Economy.

Trademark registration process in United Arab Emirates

A smooth trademark registration generally passes through three phases:

Filing – which you file the trademark at the TM department.

Publication – if the mark is accepted and not rejected, it will be published for 90 days (opposition period).

Registration – after the opposition/publication period ends, you can pay the final registration fees and receive your trademark certificate.

After filing a trademark at the trademark office, and settling official fees relating to filing the trademark examiners at the Ministry of Economy in the UAE to examine trademark applications, the examination process takes place on two levels:

Formal examinations of trademarks in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) - are examinations which take into account regulatory, formal or documentary aspects of the trademark filing requirements. In other words, an examiner will look at, whether all the required documents for filing have been submitted, whether these documents have been properly authenticated (legalized or locally legalized), whether the fees have been settled, whether the applicant is entitled to register a trademark locally, whether the classes designated are available locally, and whether priority documents are included or not.

Substantive examinations of trademarks in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) - are conducted by examiners at the trademark office within the ministry of economy.

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How long does it take to get a trademark registration in United Arab Emirates?

It takes anywhere between 4 to 7 months to receive a trademark registration certificate.

Examination criteria for trademarks in United Arab Emirates

The examination criteria are both on absolute grounds, and relative grounds:

Absolute grounds for trademark refusals in the United Arab Emirates are:

  • Trademarks which are devoid of any distinctive character.
  • Trademarks which exclusively consist of signs regularly used in trade, to refer to a type, kind, quality, quantity, intended purpose, value, geographical origin, or other characteristics relating to the goods or service the trademark is registered on.
  • Trademarks which exclusively consist of signs or indications that are used in the normal course of the trade.
  • Trademarks which are contrary to public policy.
  • Trademarks which are contrary to public morals and ethics.
  • Trademarks which deceive the public, as to the nature, quality, or source of the goods or services.
  • Trademarks which include public emblems, flags, and other symbols relating to the state, Arab, or international organizations, or one of their institutions, or a foreign state unless so authorized by it, as well as any imitation of such emblems, flags or symbols.
  • Trademarks which include symbols of the Red Crescent or Red Cross and other similar imitating symbols.
  • Trademarks which are similar to or resemble symbols of a purely religious character.
  • Trademarks which are geographical names and whose protection or use create confusion as to the origin or source of the goods, the products, or the services.
  • Trademarks which are essentially the name, surname, picture, or emblem of a third party unless prior approval is provided.
  • Trademarks which are indications of honorary distinctions that the applicant for registration cannot prove.

Relative grounds for trademark refusals -Relative grounds for trademark refusals - assess whether a trademark application filed in the UAE may cause confusion due to the similarity with a previously registered or famous trademark locally.

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Costs for trademark registration in United Arab Emirates

Costs relating to trademark registration are both official and professional. Official fees are fees paid to the government for processing your trademark registration and are required to be paid for each phase of the process.

Professional fees for trademark registration

Professional fees for trademark registration in the UAE ranges from USD160 to USD1,500 depending on the service provider you are working with. Easy trademarks provide cost-effective solutions and have professional fees ranging from USD160 to USD300 depending on the package you choose, as we leverage legal technology, which provides the brand owners with the ability to get premium service, consistency, and delivery with a cost-effective price. Once you are ready to start, choose the package you want and you will see the total official fees and professional fees for each package.

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Official fees for trademark registration

Official Filing fees of a trademark = USD258

Official Publication fees of a trademark = USD230

Official Final Registration fees of a trademark = USD1,375 

In the UAE the total official fee for trademark registration is around USD1,863 

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How long is a trademark protected for?

A trademark is valid for 10 years from the filing date.

When does the protection of a trademark in United Arab Emirates start?

Trademark registration is valid for 10 years calculated from the filing date. In order to maintain protection after 10 years, a brand owner should renew the trademark by filing a renewal application.

What trademark classes are available in United Arab Emirates?

A trademark owner who is usually referred to as an applicant has to file a trademark on each class required since the UAE is not a multi-class system. Each class is considered a different trademark. An applicant can protect a trademark on all 45 classes. Every trademark is registered on a specific list of goods (products or services). In the UAE there is no limitation on the number of classes you can register your trademark on. Historically, pork products were not included; however, now fewer rejections are being issued on it. Alcoholic products are also tricky, as these products are used locally but not necessarily registrable.

What are the documents required for trademark protection in United Arab Emirates?

A Power of Attorney

  • If you are not a resident of the UAE, then a legalized power of attorney is required for trademark registration in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). A legalized power of attorney means that the power should be stamped at the UAE embassy the applicant is from in order to be enforceable locally within the UAE. 
  • If you are a resident or a national of the UAE living in the UAE, the power of attorney should be notarized and a copy of your trade license or Emirates ID will be sufficient to file the trademark locally. Notarizing the POA can be completed online directly with the Dubai or Abu Dhabi courts, or through a quick visit to the notary.
  • The power of attorney can be submitted within 60 days of filing a trademark in the UAE. Late fees may apply if an office action is issued before you submit the power of attorney.

Trade License / Commercial Certificate / Certificate of Good Standing:

  • If you are a local entity, then a trade license is required, and a simple copy of the license as long as it is valid.
  • If you are an international company, a license is NOT required.
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What are important deadlines for trademark protection in United Arab Emirates?

  • The power of attorney can be submitted within 60 days of filing a trademark in the UAE.
  • Trademarks are published for a period of 30 days for any third party to oppose. 
  • There is a strict 30 day period to settle publication fees from the date of issuance of a notice of allowance (trademark acceptance decision). Any delay will lead to a penalty payment for late settlement of publication fees which multiply every month. 
  • There is a strict 30 day period to settle final registration fees (issuance fees) from the last day a trademark is published should no notice of opposition be issued. Any delay will lead to a penalty payment for late settlement of registration fees which multiply every month.  

Are international trademarks available in United Arab Emirates?

If you want to register your trademark internationally and target specific countries you can designate the UAE through an international application, which you will have to go through the trademark registration process in the UAE.

National Vs International trademark in United Arab Emirates?

The Madrid Protocol came into force in the United Arab Emirates on 28 December 2021. To date, there is no guidance on the extent of examination for international applications. 

Benefits from designating the AE (UAE) as part of an international application: 
International application does not require a legalized POA unless a rejection is issued (so it is cheaper in terms of legalization costs, but if a rejection is issued, we have 30 days to provide the documents) 
International applications take longer to examine, so if you are filing a trademark on class 33 or other products which are not technically allowed to be registered in the UAE, the period where a trademark is examined can be used to the bran downers advantage. 

Benefits from filing a national application in the UAE: 
National applications are much quicker to prosecute and receive the certificate of registration. 
National application fees are phased out by phase, and not paid upfront, so if a trademark is rejected, the official fees paid are simply the filing fees. Not the registration fees which is much more expensive than filing.

Local tips for trademark registration in United Arab Emirates

  • Arabic is the language used to register and apply for trademarks in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). 
  • Ask your local council for how the trademark is being described and transliterated as this has an immediate impact on the scope of protection
  • Make sure a local agent always has a valid power of attorney as oppositions can be refused on formalities grounds if the power of attorney is not available, legalized AND locally legalized. 

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Service level guarantee for trademark registration in United Arab Emirates

If you require approval from management, you can print this page and obtain approvals. Remember to choose the package you want. If you are not a lawyer, we recommend you choose the premium package. We have individually vetted and certified all trademark agents, and have provided them with a proprietary system owned by Easy Trademarks to guarantee the level of service you will receive.

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