Saudi Arabia has adopted the GCC Unified Trademark Law and follows a first-to-file system. However, there are some significant differences. For example, the definition of industrial design excludes sound and scent trademarks.
Additionally, Saudi law does not recognize common law trademarks or copyrights. Therefore, it is important for U.S. companies to ensure their intellectual property is protected in Saudi Arabia.
What is a trademark?
Generally, trademarks are recognizable signs or expressions that distinguish the goods of one undertaking from those of another. They may take the form of names, words, signatures, letters, numerals, devices, marks, labels, tickets, pictures or drawings, shapes or colors. A registered trademark in Saudi Arabia confers exclusive rights to its owner for the goods or services listed in the application. However, certain goods or services cannot be trademarked due to religious or morality reasons. These include pork products and alcoholic beverages.
The process of registering a trademark in Saudi Arabia can take anywhere from 3-6 months, depending on the workload and backlog at the Trademark Office. Applicants must submit several documents, including a sample of the mark, a list of the goods or services covered by the application, and a legalized power of attorney (if being filed through an agent). The official language of proceedings is Arabic. The registration fee is $2,405. A registrant can file for a single class or multiple classes.
Trademark registration in Saudi Arabia
The trademark office of Saudi Arabia has strict requirements for trademark applications. Applicants must provide detailed information about their mark, the goods or services it will cover and other relevant details. Additionally, they must submit a declaration that the mark is not identical to existing marks, and they may also need to provide a specimen of the mark for review. Finally, they must include a signed and apostil led Power of Attorney document.
A well-known trademark agent in Saudi Arabia can help with filing an application and meeting the required standards. In addition to the basic requirements, Saudi trademark law requires that the trademark be distinctive and not violate any laws or regulations. It also must be classified properly based on the Nice International Classification of Goods and Services. Once the registration process is complete, the trademark application will be published for oppositions. Trademarks registered in Saudi Arabia are valid for 10 years (9 years and 8 months Gregorian calendar) from the date of registration.
Intellectual property rights in Saudi Arabia
Although the Saudi Arabian government does not guarantee the same IP protection that companies can expect in the United States and other Western markets, it recognizes the critical role intellectual property plays in driving innovation and fostering business growth. As such, it is actively promoting an IP-friendly environment and building an innovation culture in the kingdom. The Saudi Intellectual Property Authority (SAIP) has taken several steps to facilitate cooperation between the private sector and government agencies, including setting up a “IP Respect Council.” SAIP also conducts regular inspections of businesses suspected of infringing patents and trademarks and regularly publishes results of these inspections online.
In addition to trademarks, copyright and industrial designs are protected in the Saudi Arabian system of law. In general, shapes with distinctiveness, letters and figures, drawings, symbols, seals and relief inscriptions can be registered as trademarks, but sound and scent marks are not. The country is a member of the World Trade Organization and adheres to the Berne Convention and the Paris Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works.
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Brand protection in Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia is a country with strong laws designed to protect businesses. As such, it is an excellent place to register a trademark. In addition, the Kingdom is a member of both the Paris Convention and the World Intellectual Property Organization. This makes it easy for international businesses to protect their brands in the country. In addition, we offer a variety of online brand protection services, including mystery shopping services, brand audits, brand watch services, domain monitoring services, and social media listening/monitoring services.