Further changes to trademark fees introduced

United Arab Emirates
On November 17 2009 the UAE Trademark Office issued a notice to all trademark agents and representatives stating that it has introduced further changes to the payment of publication and registration fees for accepted UAE trademark applications.
Following changes introduced in July 2009, trademark applicants had an initial period of 30 days from acceptance for publication to attend to the payment of publication fees, and a subsequent 30-day period to pay the official registration fees once the opposition period had ended. The new ministerial decision announced that both the publication and registration fees must be paid within 30 days of acceptance for publication. Both fees must thus be paid at the same time.
This means that applicants are requested to pay the registration fees, even though there is a possibility that their application may be opposed. The ministerial decision makes it clear that the Trademark Office will consider a refund of the paid registration fees only where a request is made in writing within the opposition period. It thus suggests that registration fees will not be refunded where an application does not progress to registration for whatever reason, unless a request is made within the opposition period.
It may mean that an applicant could lose its application following an opposition, but still bear the cost of the significant official registration fees (approximately $1,365), even though the mark is not registered.
While the ministerial decision states that the practice will come into force only once published in the Official Gazette, the Trademark Office has already started to follow the new rules in acceptance notices. For all accepted applications, the applicant must thus pay the official publication and registration fees within 30 days, with immediate effect.
Jon Parker, Rouse, Dubai

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