Why and how to register a trademark in Saudi Arabia

In Saudi Arabia, trademark registration is mandatory to be granted rights over a trademark, as it is a "first to file" jurisdiction. Only in some exceptional cases can an unregistered trademark be protected. The trademark applications must be filed with the Ministry of Commerce and Investment of Saudi Arabia (MCI).

It is not necessary for a trademark to be in use in Saudi Arabia in order for it to register.

If you register a combined trademark (which includes both word elements and figurative elements) in Saudi Arabia, the exclusive right to use the trademark is limited to a use of the trademark in the exact configuration or way in which it was filed and registered. If you wish to use the word element of your trademark separately from the logo (or vice versa), it is recommended you register for another trademark including only the word or figurative elements you wish to use and protect separately.

Nevertheless, if a third party eventually intends to register or use a trademark for similar goods or services that includes a primary or distinct part or portion of your trademark, you will have the right to oppose the application based on confusing similarity.

Opposition actions may be filed by third parties against a trademark application within three (3) months after its publication in the trademark gazette. The probabilities of success for an opposition will vary in each case depending on the circumstances.

Although a trademark does not have to be in use in order for it to register, it must not go unused for periods of five years or it will become vulnerable to cancellation actions based on lack of use of the trademark. To prevent this vulnerability, the use must be on a commercial scale. Lack of use may be justified in certain circumstances.

Registered trademarks in Saudi Arabia have a validity of ten (10) Hegira years (approximately 9 years and 8 months in the Gregorian calendar) from the application date and can be renewed indefinitely for further periods of ten (10) Hegira years. The renewal can be requested within twelve (12) Hegira months before the expiration date. After this, there is a grace period of six (6) Hegira months during which the trademark can still be renewed, upon payment of a late renewal fee.

For trademark search reports the trademark must be in Latin alphabet and will only consider other trademarks in Latin alphabet. If you wish for a search for a trademark written in the local writing system (Arabic) and that includes results of trademarks in the local alphabet (Arabic), please contact us. Additional fees will apply.

If you would like for the figurative or design elements of your trademark to be considered when assessing your trademark for registration in Saudi Arabia (Trademark Search Report), contact us directly in order to determine if we may be able to offer this in this jurisdiction. In such cases, prices for service and estimated delivery times may vary.

As in many countries, a Power of Attorney document must be executed and delivered so that the trademark owner may be represented before the trademark authority of Saudi Arabia. Following recent changes in Saudi Arabia law, once a Power of Attorney is provided, it will be valid for five (5) years only. For this reason, if you have filed trademarks in the past or require renewal of a previously filed trademark, a new Power of Attorney document will have to be provided for Saudi Arabia.

When a trademark is successfully registered in Saudi Arabia, a hard copy of the trademark certificate will not be issued. Only digital certificates are given by the trademark office of Saudi Arabia upon registration of a trademark.

 

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