Intellectual Property Protection
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY PROTECTION – Overview
Intellectual means “Mental intelligence,” and Property means a “thing belonging to someone.” Therefore Intellectual Property collectively means a thing developed by the thinking, research, and intelligence of a person. It is an intangible form of Property developed by a person’s creativity, such as literary and artistic works, designs, inventions, symbols, phrases, etc. As per World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), Intellectual Property refers to “creations of the mind, such as inventions; literary and artistic works; designs; and symbols, names, and images used in commerce.”
In this article, we will generally define the categories of Intellectual property. We have laid down the following categories, which fall under the domain of Intellectual Property:
- Patents& Industrial designs
- Trade Secrets & Rights against unfair competition
- Geographical Indications
A trademark is a name, logo, image, phrase, design, or a combination of these elements, which helps identify a brand of products or services by differentiating with the others available in the market.
Article 2 of the Federal Law No. 37 of 1992 provides, “Shall be considered a trademark anything having a distinctive form such as names, words, signatures, letters, figures, drawings, logos, titles, hallmarks, seals, pictures, engravings, advertisements, packs or any other mark or group of marks if used or intended to be used either to distinguish goods, products or services whatever their source or to indicate that the goods or products belong to the trade mark’s owner due to its manufacturing, selection or trading or to indicate the rendering of a service. The voice shall be considered part of the trademark if it accompanies it.”
Classification of goods and services provides 45 classes wherein a trademark can be registered. If an individual or an entity wants to register a trademark in more than one class, then a separate application is made for every class.
PROCESS OF REGISTERING A MARK:
- Application for Trademark research – In order to identify whether any previous trademark in the same class is registered or not. In most cases, the results are not accurate; still, it is always recommendable to go for this.
- Application for Trademark registration – Once all the documents are collected and compiled, including but not limited to, the application form, trade license and power of attorney, then an application is processed to the Trademark Department.
- Receiving Initial Approval – After the registration application is made and all the documents are reviewed, the trademark department issues initial approval within 3 months.
- Publication in newspaper and in official gazette – The issued initial approval is then published in the official gazette of the trademark department and in the two daily local newspapers. The publication is done for a month. This is in order to enable all the commercial entities registered in the UAE to file an objection if they feel any similarities in their registered trademark and that of the new application.
- Receiving Final Certificate of registration – If there are no objections filed, the Trademark Department issued the certificate of Registration.
What happens when there is an objection filed within 1 month of the newspaper publication?
Suppose an objection is filed within one month of publication; in that case, a party has to present a statement of defense. They must provide proof related to the dissimilarities between the trademarks, prior usage of such trademark, any prior registration in other countries, the similarity of the products or services involved, and the goodwill derived from such use. Suppose, in the opinion of the Trademark department; all the proofs are sufficient to prove a claim over a trademark. In that case, a registration certificate is issued in favour of a party. If the evidence provided is insufficient, the party is requested to change the trademark accordingly.
What are the rights available after a trademark is registered?
A registered trademark confers a bundle of rights to the owner. Some of the rights are enumerated below:
- Right to exclusive use.
- Right to license.
- Right to earn the profit.
- Right to prohibit others.
Are the “Passing Off” available to unregistered trademarks in UAE?
“Passing Off” rights are available to unregistered trademark holders, wherein they can claim the damages under the law of torts. This right is available to most of the common law jurisdiction countries.
What is the time period of trademark protection?
A trademark once registered is protected for 10 years. After the expiry of the 10 years, it has to be renewed again.
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