Welcome to the Saudi Arabia focus edition of Law Update.
One of the key markets in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) that continues to lead from the front is the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). As the largest country in the Middle East and the 18th largest economy in the world, the progress KSA continues to make is underpinned by its Vision 2030 that envisions developing the country as an investment powerhouse and hub that ultimately connects Asia, Europe, and Africa. Given Saudi Arabia’s significance to the regional economy, our team of experts have prepared a range of pertinent articles that provide insights into new laws, regulations, and the legal landscape in the Kingdom.
This edition will provide you with an up-to-date guide on matters such as; the framework issued by the Saudi Central Bank on IT governance, the anti-corruption landscape under Vision 2030; we also provide practical tips for dispute avoidance. This is only a snapshot; there are many more articles within the KSA focus section for you to read, which we hope you will find valuable and enjoyable.Read the edition
The Ministry of Economy in the UAE has recently issued circulars that are aimed at easing some of the formal requirements for trademark registration and some changes to the services being offered. This is a very welcomed step that will help all applicants, especially with the ongoing restrictions across the world due to the pandemic.
Following are the main changes:
Previously, a UAE trademark application could not be filed unless it was supported with a duly legalised Power of Attorney, if issued outside the UAE. This has always created issues, as the legalisation process can take time to be progressed.
In April 2021, the UAE Trademarks Office adopted the practise of allowing trademark applications to be filed without a Power of Attorney, with an undertaking that the legalised Power of Attorney will be submitted within 30 days.
On June 3, 2021, the Ministry issued another circular stating that it will no longer accept a 30-day undertaking and a copy of the signed Power of Attorney, and its translation should be submitted with the application. The legalised Power of Attorney needs to be submitted within 30 days of submission of the application. If the legalised Power of Attorney is not submitted within the stipulated period, the application will be rejected.
While the procedures have been eased, it is recommended to file the application together with the legalised power of attorney to avoid cancellation of the application. , should the power of attorney legalisation was delayed for whatever reason.
This procedure only applies to trademark applications and not third party oppositions, trademark renewals or recordals of assignments, licenses and change of owner details.
The UAE Trademark Office has further relaxed on the procedures for priority applications (effective 11 April 2021). The right of priority under the Paris Convention provides that, on the basis of a trademark application filed in one of the countries in the Paris Union, the applicant may, within six months of that filing, apply for protection in any of the other countries in the Union.
The requirements of the UAE Trademark Office were that a copy of the trademark application, on which priority was being claimed, had to be filed with the initial UAE application. Now with the more relaxed rules, a copy of the priority application can be submitted within three months of filing the trademark application.
As of 15th June 2021 the UAE Trademark Office will publish the Trademark Journal twice a month i.e. on the 15th and 30th of every month. The Journal was a monthly publication which has been changed to manage the volume of trademarks in the UAE. It is a welcome change as the bi-monthly publications will help reduce the time taken to obtain registration of a trademark.
With the largest and most comprehensive Intellectual Property practice in the region, our specialised trademark lawyers are available to support on every aspect of trademark registration and protection.