1. How can I register a trademark in the UAE?

In the UAE, the registration of trademarks is accomplished before the Ministry of Economy, trademarks department. Only by holding a valid registration within the UAE territory can the applicant secure the rights of the same. A trademark is valid for 10 years from the filing date. The same is renewable for consecutive periods of 10 years each. The registration before the Ministry of Economy is mandatory to claim the rights over the trademark.

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2. Does the MENA region have a regional patent office?

No.  There is however a regional patent office that extends protection to the 6 GCC member countries -Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. However, as of 6 January 2021, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Patent Office has stopped accepting new patent filings.

3. How long is a patent filed at the GCC Patent Office valid for?

A patent is valid for 20 years from the filing date. Annual payments or annuities are mandatory to keep the rights over the patent. After the protection term, the patent is open to public.

4. Do I have to file a patent application in each GCC country?

This was possible prior to 6 January 2021. Post this date patent applications seeking protection in the GCC member states of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and UAE will need to either
a) file individual Paris Convention or Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) applications in each separate jurisdiction.

b)file a national phase application in each of the individual GCC Member States (within 30 month priority period) using the PCT system, including a priority claim back to the priority application.

5. What about patent applications filed on or before 5 January 2021?

The GCC Patent Office will continue processing, examining and granting GCC patent applications filed before this date.

6. What languages are applications examined in?

This depends on the country. In Egypt, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia applications are always examined based on the Arabic translation of the specifications. In the UAE, documents have to be submitted in both English and Arabic and examination in English is also done by the UAE Patent Office. Applications in the GCC Patent Office are examined in Arabic and English and examination is outsourced to foreign patent offices.


7. How are domain names managed and protected in the UAE?

Domain names (website addresses) are administered and managed by UAEnic (United Arab Emirates Network Centre). Domain names are protected under the provisions of law and they should be also registered before the concerned authorities.

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