GENERAL QUESTIONS

A: The trademark registration in United Arab Emirates includes the following steps: first, checking whether the trademark being registered is entitled to protection in United Arab Emirates (absolute grounds of refusal). Not all trademarks can be registered as trademarks. For instance, merely descriptive terms for the respective goods and services may not be registered as a trademark. To avoid collisions between your trademark registration in United Arab Emirates and older trademarks a trademark search should be conducted. Second, after search, your trademark could be applied for registration in UAE Ministry of Economy (UAE Patent Office) through the local patent attorneys.

Copyright could be registered in UAE only after creation the copyright object in accordance with UAE Federal Law No. (7) of the Year 2002 Concerning Copyrights and Neighboring Rights.
There two main requirements - copyright object should be: result of intellectual work (not plagiarism) and expressed in any objective form.
You can register your copyright object in UAE by filing a simple form and depositing one sample of the work with the one of following organizations:

  • UAE Ministry of Economy (Copyright Department) - within 1 - 3 months;
  • Dubai Copyright Office(official representation of International Online Copyright Office INTEROCO, European Union) within 10 days;
  • U.S. Copyright Office (by the post).

A: Registration of trademark or copyright object in UAE is voluntary right of author (or rightholder). But in case of using trademark or copyright objects on the market as a designation of goods/service selling to customers - registration the trademark (or copyright) is mandatory to avoid penalties for cheating and deception of UAE consumers according to UAE Executive Regulation to the Consumer Protection Law.

A: There are 2 legal ways to register your brand - as a trademark or as a copyright. The trademark and copyright certificates have an equal legal power and both certificates are protecting your brand as an intellectual property object. The difference is in process of brand registration, registering bodies and law enforcement.

To choose the proper legal form of brand registration, your should determine the main target of brand using. If you want to participate in state tenders and work mostly with ministries and official authorities, we recommend to you register brand as a trademark. But for the businessmen, who sale goods and services on the open market for consumers (B2B, B2C) more efficient, cheaper and faster is register brand as a copyright.

A: Definition of trademark: according to United Arab Emirates Federal Law No. 37 of 1992 On Trademarks - shall be considered a trade mark 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 as part of the trade mark if it accompanies it.

Trademark is protected according to the classes, included in trademark application form. Total number of classes are 45, among them 1 - 34 goods (for example 16 class - printed materials), 35 - 45 services (for example 35 class - marketing).
Definition of copyright: according to United Arab Emirates Federal Law Concerning Copyrights and Neighboring Rights - copyright work is any created compilation, in the scope of letters, arts, sciences, whatsoever is its type, mode of expression, value or purpose.

As a copyright work could be registered logos, books, pamphlets, essays and other written works, computer programs and applications, databases, lectures, addresses, sermons, dramatic, dramatico-musical works and dumb shows, music compositions with or without words, sound and audiovisual works, architecture works, engineering plans and layouts, works of drawing, painting, sculpture and lithography (fabric, metal, stones, wood) and engrave or similar works in the scope of fine arts, photographic works and works analogous to photography, works of applied and plastic art, illustrations, geographical maps, sketches, three-dimensional works relative to geography, topography and architecture designs etc.

Criteria Trademark Copyright
Registration process 10 - 12 months
Ministry of Economy
6 months -
US Copyright office10 days - INTEROCO
European Copyright Office
Certificate validity time 10 years
(further extension needs additional fees)
During the life of author and 50 years after his death
Region covered by certificate Only UAE 167 countries members
of Bern Convention
(UAE is member of Bern Convention since 2004)
Economy branches covered by certificates Only registered
in certificates classes/ branches (total 45 classes,  for each class should be paid  additional official fee)
For all branches/classes of economy
Who can be an author Authorship for trademarks not possible Author could be
private individual
Who can be right holder Only legal entity (company, organization) Private individual or legal entity (simultaneously partially ownership by physical persons and companies is allowed)
Price of registration 6 000 - 10 000 USD 1 300 USD
Registering organization UAE Ministry of Economy International Copyright Office (INTEROCO) 
Official state body for intellectual property rights protection 1. Competition
Regulation Committee (Ministry of Economy)
2. Dubai Courts
Dubai Courts
Responsibility for intellectual property right violation Penalties and
product confiscation
1. Penalties and product confiscation
2. Criminal responsibility (imprisonment)

A: Registered trademark will be under legal protection in UAE during 10 years since the date of official TM registration. To keep trademark in force after 10 years - owner should pay additional official fess to the UAE Ministry of Economy for further extension. The quantity of extensions for trademarks certificates is not limited.

Registered copyright object is protected in UAE through lifetime of author and fifty years beginning from the first day of the calendar year following the death. The economic rights of the authors of collective works except the authors of applied arts shall be protected for a period of fifty years beginning from the first day of the next calendar year of the first publication in case that the author is a legal person but in case that the author is a natural person, the period will be calculated according to the rule stipulated in UAE Copyright Law.

A: For the trademarks authorship could not be legally fixed, because application for trademark registration should be submitted to the UAE Ministry of Economy only be legal entities (companies and organizations).

In case of copyright protection as an author could be any physical person (or group of private individuals) who will be written in application form. In UAE are recognized and protected rights of authors of all countries-members of The Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works. According to UAE Copyright Law author - is the person who creates the work, and the person who has his name mentioned on the work, or has the work attributed to him as its author at the time of publication, unless proved otherwise

A: As a owner of trademark (according to United Arab Emirates Federal Law No. 37 of 1992 On Trademarks) could be registered only legal entities (companies and organizations).

Copyright ownership may belong to:

  • - private individuals;
  • - legal entities or companies;
  • - private individuals and legal entities (simultaneously partially ownership).

A: Yes, the company could be rightholder of copyright work, and the contract between author and company should be signed in accordance with United Arab Emirates Federal Law Concerning Copyrights and Neighboring Rights

A: The trademark certificate will be automatically cancelled in case of liquidation of rightholder company. In this case no need to receive court decision for cancellation of trademark certificate. As per the United Arab Emirates Law, a concerned court shall, on a request from any interested party, may order the invalidation of Trademark certificate registration if it is proven that the trademark has not been practically used for 5 years.

The copyright (which was registered on private individual) could be cancelled only after UAE court decision. There are no other official bodies in UAE who can cancel the registration of copyright certificate.

REGISTRATION PROCESS

The Ministry of Economy and Commerce is responsible in UAE for trademark registration.

Copyright could be registered through:

  • UAE Ministry of Economy (Copyright Department) - within 2 - 3 months;
  • Dubai Copyright Office (official representation of International Online Copyright Office INTEROCO, European Union) within 10 days;
  • U.S. Copyright Office (by the post), 6-12 months.

There are costs for intellectual property registration in UAE:

  • one trademark - 6 000 - 10 000 USD
  • one copyright - 1 300 USD

The period of time for registration process are following:

  • for trademark registration 10 - 12 months
  • for copyright registration in INTEROCO (office in Dubai) - 10 days
  • for copyright registration in US Copyright office 6-12 months

For trademark registration following documents should be prepared:

  • application
  • sample of trademark design (brand name)
  • confirmation of official fee payment
  • power of attorney
  • trading license
  • ID or passport of person who will sign application
  • list of goods and services to be protected
  • contact details of applicant

For copyright registration:

  • application
  • sample of copyright work
  • ID or passport of person who will author
  • information about rightholder (owner)
  • confirmation of official fee payment
  • contact details of applicant

Yes, United Arab Emirates joined to the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works on July 14, 2004. The Berne Convention is an international agreement governing copyright, which was first accepted in Berne, Switzerland, in 1886. The Berne Convention formally mandated several aspects of modern copyright law; it introduced the concept that a copyright exists the moment a work is "fixed". It also enforces a requirement that countries recognize copyrights held by the citizens of all other signatory countries.

The Berne Convention is administrated by World Intellectual Property Organization. The Berne Convention, adopted in 1886, deals with the protection of works and the rights of their authors. It provides creators such as authors, musicians, poets, painters etc. with the means to control how their works are used, by whom, and on what terms. It is based on three basic principles and contains a series of provisions determining the minimum protection to be granted, as well as special provisions available to developing countries that want to make use of them.

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