By Innovation-SA on September 23, 2019 in Business
Trademarks are symbols used by companies to distinguish their products and services from other companies. In Saudi Arabia, Trademark registration is a necessity to be granted right overs a particular trademark. With recent developments in technology, the country now permits businesses to file and receive their trademark license online. Not only has this drastically accelerated the timeframe necessary to receive approval, but it has also enhanced the efficiency of the process. On the other hand, while the process itself has become simpler, illegal products such as alcohol still TM registered in the country. Listed below are some of the key factors that you should be mindful of while registering your TM in the KSA.
Merchandise and Amenities Classification
While applying for trademark, applicants must select a merchandise only from the pre-approved list shown on the website. Applications with merchandise which are not listed online may not be registered correctly and thereby cause significant delays. Secondly, the descriptions available on the website may not cover your requirements thoroughly, but unfortunately, a written application is not a viable alternative.
Examine Your Submission
TM registration in Saudi Arabia follows a “first to file” scheme. To be clear, whoever applies first for a TM has the right to the same. Also, as per the KSA’s trademark law, concerned officials can forcefully impose constraints and make modifications to your mark so that it does not match an already existing one. If you find yourself in such a situation, keep in mind that you will only have a single opportunity to make the required modifications. Situations where you will be required to make these changes include:
- Trademark Clash
- TM is illustrative or standard
- TM is not mentioned in the list of excluded subjects
- TM is restricted
Your trademark is released online as soon as it is approved. During this time any interested opposition parties can oppose to its approval. The segment of resistance is within 60 days from its published date. Saudi Arabia does not accept any applications to extend the objection period beyond the timeframe, as mentioned above. Once an objection is filed, the declaration denoting the same is provided to the primary claimant by the TMO. The claimant is required to provide a written response to the same within a two-month timeframe.
Withdrawal by the Opponent
If the opponent who filed an objection is not able to produce a counterstatement, his claim is banished. Secondly, if they decide to withdraw their objection, the entire process shall be canceled, and the ministry issues an official statement denoting the same. An agreement to settle the dispute is a commonly prevalent practice seen within the KSA. In case both parties remain interested and cannot resolve the problem between them, the governing authority issues a ruling based on the proofs submitted by both parties.
In most cases, the validity of a particular trademark is 9 years. If a claimant wishes to keep the registration beyond this period, he/she will need to start the renewal process during the last year of expiry. Applicants can also make use of 6-month grace period following the end of the first term but will be required to pay the necessary fines.