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:
A mark can have one or more colors. Marks registered without an indication of color, are deemed registered for all colors.
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."
Translation into Arabic may be required for one or more of the above-mentioned documents.
Accepted applications are published in the Official Gazette.
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.
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.
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 may be filed within thirty days from the date of publication in the Official Gazette.
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 However, Articles 41, 42 and 43 were subsequently repealed by Royal Decree No. 8/M of 20 Rabi II, 1393 H. (1973).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.
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).
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:
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:
For further details, please contact the Ministry of Information (see appendix I for address).
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