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Trademark Law

 

 

Saudi Arabia Trademark Law Summary

Principal Trademark Statute

Royal Decree No. M/5 of February 5, 1984.

Elements Of A Registrable Mark

What Can be registered as a Mark

The following can be registered as marks:

names or distinct shapes, signatures, words, letters, numbers, drawings, symbols, seals, and prominent inscriptions, or any other sign or combinations thereof.

What Cannot be registered as a Mark

The following cannot be registered as marks:

  • marks without distinctive features;
  • expressions, signs, or drawings contrary to religious practices or similar to religious symbols;
  • expressions, signs, or drawings contrary to public order or morality;
  • public emblems, flags, and other symbols, names, and designations belonging to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, countries granting Saudi Arabia reciprocal treatment, or to international organizations or governments, or imitations thereof;
  • official signs and seals of Saudi Arabia and those of governments and organizations listed above, relating to their control of products, services, or guarantees without authorization from the proper authority;
  • geographical names the use of which is likely to cause confusion as to the origin of the goods, or might lead to an unwarranted monopoly thereof;
  • pictures or names of others, without their authorization;
  • statements regarding honorary degrees;
  • statements that might mislead the public, or that contain false information as to the origin of the goods, services, or any other characteristics, as well as marks containing a fictitious, imitated, or forged commercial name;
  • marks similar to internationally famous marks, even though not registered in Saudi Arabia;
  • marks owned by individuals, legal entities or countries with whom dealing is prohibited by official order;
  • signs similar to marks registered or applied for by others for identical or similar products, and signs the registration of which would prejudice the value of the products or services of others.

Color

A mark can have one or more colors. Marks registered without an indication of color, are deemed registered for all colors.

Classification

The International Classification has been adopted with the following modifications: Class 33 (Wines, spirits and liqueurs) is not recognized, and Class 32 is altered to read: "Mineral and aerated waters and other nonalcoholic drinks, syrups and other preparations for making nonalcoholic beverages."

Registration Requirements

Documents Required

  • Application form, to be completed and signed by the applicant or its Saudi agent;
  • Duly legalized copy of the mark's corresponding home registration certificate;
  • Duly legalized Power of Attorney or Authorization of Agent;
  • List of goods to be covered and their classes;
  • Thirty prints of the mark for each class.

Translation into Arabic may be required for one or more of the above-mentioned documents.

Publication

Accepted applications are published in the Official Gazette.

Fees (1995)

One mark in one class, including registra- tion certificate and publication expenses: $1,400.00

Effects Of Registration

Period of Protection

Ten Hegira years (approximately nine years and eight months) from the date of the application, renewable for similar periods.

Rights Conferred

Exclusive ownership of the mark.

Challenges to Registration

Lack of Use

Marks not used for five consecutive years, may be challenged for lack of use. However, marks used for two consecutive years after the date of registration, cannot be challenged unless a court determines otherwise.

Cancellation

Marks unlawfully registered, against the public order and morality, or not effectively used for five consecutive years, can be cancelled upon a petition filed by the Registrar or any interested party. In addition, non-renewal of a mark is construed as an abandonment and results in its cancellation.

Opposition

Opposition may be filed within thirty days from the date of publication in the Official Gazette.

Criminal Penalties

Fine, or imprisonment, or both.

 



 

The Trade Marks Regulations were originally issued by Royal Decree No. 8762 dated

28-7-1358 H. (1938). It contained 43 Articles. However, Articles 41, 42 and 43 were subsequently repealed by Royal Decree No. 8/M of 20 Rabi II, 1393 H. (1973). Thereafter these were reviewed and promulgated by Royal Decree No. M/5 dated 4-5-1404 H. (Jan. 7, 1984). Rules for Implementation of the Trade Marks Regulations were issued by the Minister of Commerce Resolution No. 94 dated 5.8.1404 H. (May 6, 1984).

Provisions of the new Regulations included: definitions of trade marks, registration, announcement, renewal and deletion thereof in addition to the transfer of ownership of marks, mortgage, seizure, and licensing thereof together with definition of fees due on registration, etc. They define crimes and penalties regarding trade marks to protect public and private rights and formulation of procedural rules to decide on their crimes and impose penalties thereon.

The fees due under the provisions of these Regulations were defined by Article 47 in the following manner:

a) SR 1,000 (one thousand) on any part of the following:

1. Application to register a trade mark for one category.
2. Application to register a collective trade mark for one category.
3. Request to examine a trade mark for one category.
4. Viewing the Register for one trade mark in respect of one category.
5. Every photocopy taken from the records of the Register in respect of one trade mark for one category.
6. Application to enter transfer or assignment of ownership for one trade mark in respect of one category.
7. Application to license the use of a mark for one category as well as entering its mortgage in accordance with article 36 and 40 of these regulations.
8. Each amendment or addition to a mark for one category as well as entering its mortgage in accordance with Article 22 of the Regulations.
9. Application to add or to alter any statement for which no fee is specified in respect of a mark for one category.

 

b) SR 3,000 (three thousand) on any part of the following:

1. Application for temporary protection for a trade mark of one category.
2. Registration of trade mark.
3. Renewal of registration of one trade mark for one category.
4. Renewal of registration of a collective trade mark for one category.

These fees may be amended by a resolution of the Council of Ministers.

For further details, please contact the Department of Internal Trade, Ministry of Commerce (see appendix I for address).

 PATENTS LAW:

   The Patents Law was promulgated by Royal Decree No. M/38 dated 10/6/1409 (January 17, 1989).  The Law contains 62 articles with the main objective of providing adequate protection of inventions inside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

     Applications for patents shall be submitted to the Directorate of Patents at King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology on the form designed for such purpose (see appendix I for address).  The patent's term shall be fifteen years from date of grant and it may be extended for five more years.

    Patents' disputes shall be resolved by an ad hoc Committee at the King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology. Appeal against the Committee decision may be made to the Board of Grievances within sixty days from the date of notification. 

Patents fees as referred to in Article 59 of this law are as follows:

Type of Fee                                                                                                 Individuals                       Companies
 1. Patent Application                                                                                      SR 400                              SR 800
2. Issuance/Publication of Patent                                                                      SR 500                              SR 1,000
3. Annual Fees per Patent                                                                                SR 400                              SR 800
4. Amendment or Addition                                                                               SR 100                              SR 200
5. Change of Ownership                                                                                  SR 200                               SR 400
6. Obtain Patent Copy/Other documents                                                          SR 50                                 SR 100
7. Grant of Forcible Licensing                                                                          SR4,000                             SR 8,000
8. Registration of Licensing Contracts                                                               SR 400                               SR 800
9. Application for Patent Extension                                                                  SR 200                                SR 400

 

For further information, please contact the Patents Department, King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology (see appendix I for address).


THE LAW FOR THE PROTECTION OF COPYRIGHTS

The Copyright Protection Law, approved by the Council of Ministers Resolution No. 30 dated 2512/1410H., corresponding to September 25, 1989 was enacted by Royal Decree No. M/11 dated 19/5/1410H, corresponding to December 17, 1989, to take effect on 15/6/1410, corresponding to January 12, 1990.

The Law's objective is to afford protection to authors of classified creative works in science, literature, and arts without regard to the type of classified work, its mode of expression, its significance or the purpose of composition. It contains definition of the following: classified work, author, publishing, creation, copying and national folklore and falls into the following seven chapters:

Chapter One:      Copyright of Classified Works, Articles 2 through 6.
Chapter Two:     Copyrights of Authors, Articles 7 through 15.
Chapter Three:    Transfer of Copyrights, Articles 16 through 22.
Chapter Four:     Scope and Duration of Copyrights, Articles 23 through 25.
Chapter Five:      Filing Regulations, Articles 26 and 27.
Chapter Six:        Penalties, Articles 28 through 31.
Chapter Seven:   General Provisions, Articles 32 through 34.
 

For further details, please contact the Ministry of Information (see appendix I for address).

 

 

 

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