Saudi Arabia

Chile to allow non-traditional trademarks; Spanish government pledges IP commitment; GRILLOUMI dispute – news digest

In our latest round-up, we look at Chinese officials obtaining registered trademarks for the entire South China Sea, Dubai Customs recycling 134,000 counterfeit items, and much more.

Chile to allow non-traditional trademarks; Spanish government pledges IP commitment; GRILLOUMI dispute – news digest
TikTok sued; first sound trademark in Saudi Arabia; Amazon counterfeits post goes viral – news digest
25 Aug 2020

TikTok sued; first sound trademark in Saudi Arabia; Amazon counterfeits post goes viral – news digest

In our latest round-up, we look at a massive haul of counterfeit golf products seized in China, Singapore rolling out new IP initiatives, CNIPA being asked to invalidate a tobacco company’s trademark, and much more.

Ben & Jerry’s gets political; Brazil to decide on iPhone mark; another Amazon anti-counterfeiting measure – news digest
14 Aug 2020

Ben & Jerry’s gets political; Brazil to decide on iPhone mark; another Amazon anti-counterfeiting measure – news digest

In our latest round-up, we look at the Saudi Authority for Intellectual Property looking to regulate its IP industry, Instagram’s new Reels brand facing a trademark lawsuit, and much more.


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23 Sep 2020

Saudi Arabia: Building for the future

The Saudi Authority for Intellectual Property has become the new sole authority for all IP matters as part of plans to transform the kingdom’s economy. Read more

23 Apr 2020

Procedures and strategies for anti-counterfeiting: Saudi Arabia

Any rights holder whose trademark has been infringed is entitled to file a civil action against the infringer before the competent commercial court in order to claim compensation. Read more

6 Apr 2020

Where Sharia meets intellectual property: brand protection in GCC states

For brand owners that need to protect and enforce their intellectual property in the Persian Gulf, understanding the impact of Sharia law can help to ensure their actions are more effective. Read more

31 Jan 2020

Saudi Aramco makes an impressive brand debut but challenges lie ahead for the industry: data analysis

Big Oil has traditionally flown under the radar when it comes to brand building, but changing tides mean that there must be a greater focus on the narrative surrounding the key companies involved. Read more


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14 May 2019

Procedures and strategies for anti-counterfeiting: Saudi Arabia

The Saudi Arabian Ministry of Finance adopted border measures for the protection of trademarks and copyrights in 2004. According to government sources, the measures are in line with Section 4 Part III of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs). Read more

24 May 2018

Procedures and strategies for anti-counterfeiting: Saudi Arabia

Saudi Customs has an internal IP rights unit which provides a database to facilitate enforcement against counterfeit goods. It is possible to formally request customs surveillance to safeguard against counterfeiting and trademark infringement. Read more

30 Apr 2018

US government ranks Canada’s border enforcement on same level as China; Special 301 adds Saudi Arabia and UAE

The USTR has published the 2018 Special 301 Report, and Canada has been added to the Priority Watch List due to “a failure to resolve key longstanding deficiencies in protection and enforcement of IP”.

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31 Mar 2017

ACFD recognises importance of protecting registered trademarks against use as trade names

Traditionally, the approach of the Anti-counterfeiting and Fraud Department (ACFD) to trademark infringement was that trademark rights may be enforced only against infringing goods. However, a recent case shows that the ACDF now seems to be recognising the importance of protecting a registered owner’s trademark against use as a trade name.

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Brand management

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1 Oct 2019

Procedures and strategies for pharmaceutical brands: Saudi Arabia

There are no specific provisions relating to international non-proprietary names (INNs) in Saudi Arabia’s Trademark Law. As a member of the WHO, in practice Saudi Arabia implements the World Health Assembly resolution over INNs. Read more

1 Jul 2019

Entering the Gulf – top tips for brand licensing and franchising in the Middle East

Some of the world’s biggest events, including the FIFA World Cup, are set to be held in the Middle East in the next few years. In an exclusive guest post, two experts from the region offer insights for international rights holders on brand licensing in the Gulf region. Read more

14 Sep 2018

Saudi Arabia to adopt plain packaging, T-ara resolve trademark dispute, and ICANN needs your feedback on RPMs: news round-up

In our latest round-up, we look at the US brands with the most loyal customers, 7-Eleven taking a menswear brand to court for alleged trademark infringement, and much more. Read more

15 Jun 2018

Despite the potential of the Middle East, excessive fees are leading to a shrinking trademark market: exclusive data analysis

In this week’s data report, we examine the state of the trademark market in the Middle East, taking an in-depth look at filing trends in Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE in particular. Read more

Enforcement and Litigation

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28 Jan 2019

Litigation procedures and strategies: Saudi Arabia

Under Saudi trademark law, there are clear provisions relating to the award of damages in trademark infringement cases. However, the award of damages is dictated by the principles of Islamic Sharia. Read more

13 Dec 2016

Litigation procedures and strategies: Saudi Arabia

The Saudi legal system is based on Sharia (Islamic law), an uncodified set of rules and principles derived primarily from the Quran and from the practices and sayings (Sunnah) of the Prophet Muhammad. The interpretation of Sharia varies across different schools of Islamic jurisprudence that have emerged over time.

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31 Oct 2016

Saudi Arabia adopts GCC trademark law

Saudi Arabia has become the third Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) state to adopt the GCC Trademark Law and Implementing Regulations. The new law contains some provisions which are significantly different to the old Saudi Trademark Law and which should lead to notable changes in practice and procedure.

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28 Jan 2009

Saudi customs authorities work with private sector to fight counterfeiting

The Saudi Arabia Customs Authority has signed a memorandum of understanding with a fraud and counterfeiting-detection company.

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22 Nov 2017

Changes to powers of attorney in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has issued a judicial announcement in which it stated that powers of attorney provided to legal advisers and IP representatives will be considered valid for five years only from the date of issuance. 

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IP Offices

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1 Mar 2017

Increase in official fees for publication of trademark matters

The fees for publication of certain trademark matters – including assignment/merger, licensing and cancellation of a licence – have changed from February 19 2017. This is the second increase in six months following amendments implemented in September 2016. Read more


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24 Feb 2011

'.sa' ccTLD is opened up

It is now possible to register domain names directly in Saudi Arabia’s ccTLD, ‘.sa’. The sunrise period for applications started on January 10 2011 and will end on March 7 2011. The landrush phase opens on May 2 2011. Given that the letters ‘SA’ indicate corporate entities in some European countries, the ‘.sa’ domain may attract interest beyond Saudi Arabia.

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Portfolio Management

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29 May 2015

Applicants allowed to amend applications according to reason for refusal

The Trademark Office has added a new option that allows trademark applicants to amend their applications according to the reason for rejection issued by the registrar, without the need to file an appeal. The amendment must be made within 10 days from the date of notification of rejection.

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17 Oct 2013

Significant changes to trademark application process introduced

With effect from September 25 2013, the Trademark Office has made significant changes to the trademark application process. All rights holders will need to be aware of these changes when instructing trademark applications in Saudi Arabia. Among other things, all applications must now be submitted electronically, and all trademark attorney firms must register with the Trademark Filing Portal to be able to file electronic applications.

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3 Mar 2008

Gulf Cooperation Council Trademark Law approved

The Saudi Cabinet has endorsed the Trademark Law of the Gulf Cooperation
Council. Saudi Arabia joins the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, which have already
approved the law. The new law will bring about a number of eagerly awaited changes
for trademark owners. Among other things, the definition of a 'trademark' will
be widened to include non-traditional marks.

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29 Sep 2004

Directorate jumps the gun by accepting design registrations

The General Directorate of Patents has begun accepting applications for
the registration of industrial designs, even though the Industrial Designs Law
has not yet been published. It is not yet clear whether the law will apply to
registrations filed for designs that have already been published, or whether it
will protect only those designs published after filing for registration.

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Trademark law

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31 Mar 2004

Saudi Arabia accedes to Paris Convention

Saudi Arabia has acceded to the Paris Convention. The decree confirming
accession highlights that most provisions of the convention have been adopted.
However, the decree expresses some concern over the application of Article 7,
which states that the nature of goods should not be an obstacle to registration,
because some goods are banned under Islamic law.

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26 Jan 2004

Representations of living creatures now registrable

The Review Panel overseeing the Board of Grievances issued in the autumn
a landmark decision removing the prohibition against the registration of living
creatures as trademarks. The decision is in line with the requirements for Saudi
Arabia's accession to the World Trade Organization and the TRIPs Agreement.

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