New online filing system due to go live

United Arab Emirates

The UAE government has recently taken several steps and issued internal circulars in order to convert the mechanisms for completing official transactions and shift to online services. In line with this change, the UAE Trademark Office announced on November 23 2015 that the online filing system that was developed over the past several months will go live on December 6 2015.

The Trademark Office tested the new online system with UAE trademark attorneys and agents over the past few months so as to get feedback on how to perfect the system and ensure that there is a smooth transmission.

It is to be noted that the online system will be accessible only to UAE trademark attorneys and agents who are registered with the Ministry of Economy. The features available from the onset will be the trademark filing portal and the trademark renewal portal, while examination, publication and registration procedures will be handled by the Trademark Office for the time being. However, hard copies of the application forms must still be mailed to the Trademark Office. It is not yet clear whether the ministry will permit online trademark searches or whether the publication of trademarks will soon be possible via the website.

This is a step in the right direction which is being viewed favourably by all interested parties, as it will streamline the trademark registration process and bring the United Arab Emirates into line with developed trademark offices worldwide. This should also assist applicants in tracking their trademark applications more efficiently, ensure the availability of proper trademark filing records and, most importantly, decrease the risks associated with misplacing any physical documents relating to applications. A main advantage of the online system is that it will reduce errors resulting from manual data entry.

Munir Suboh and Shernaz DeSa, Al Tamimi & Company, Dubai

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