Saudi Arabia accedes to Paris Convention

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has acceded to the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property and will now formally recognize priority claims based on trademark registration applications filed up to six months earlier in other member countries. Saudi nationals will also be able to file in other member countries and claim priority from an application filed in Saudi Arabia. This means that Article 9 of the Saudi Trademark Law, which provides for the making of priority claims, will now have full effect. As a matter of practice, a certified priority document supporting a priority claim must be filed within 90 days of filing an application in Saudi Arabia.

Obligations in Article 6 of the Paris Convention relating to the refusal of registration and prohibition of use of trademarks that are identical or confusingly similar to well-known marks have also been incorporated into the Saudi Trademark Law.

The decree confirming accession to the Paris Convention expresses some concern over the application of Article 7, which states that "the nature of goods to which a trademark is to be applied shall in no case form an obstacle to the registration of the mark". The concerns stem from the fact that certain goods are banned under Islamic law. For example, it is not possible to file applications for goods in Class 33 of the Nice Classification (alcoholic beverages) or for pork products in Saudi Arabia.

Peter Hansen, Rouse & Co International, Dubai

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