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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.