It has recently been noted that the trademark registrar in Iraq has started requesting copies of home registration certificates for certain trademarks applications. This is not a mandatory requirement; however, we recommend that to submit one of the aforementioned documents at the time of filing in order to avoid delay in the examination of the trademark and consequently ensure smooth processing.
The Patent Office in the jurisdiction has held a training workshop for local agents for the online system for filing patents and has started accepting e- filings. It is expected that the new procedures for each stages of patent process will be adopted gradually.
We are pleased to inform you that the online e-filing of patents has become fully functional in this jurisdiction and there is also the option to search published and registered patents using the system.
We also wish to elaborate on a new Federal Law that has been approved recently in UAE for combating commercial fraud as it specifically addresses counterfeit goods .The new Law No. (19) of 2016 has been published in the Official Gazette on December 15, 2016, and has come into force the following day replacing Law No. 4 of 1979. For counterfeit goods, they are defined in the Law as goods that bear a trademark that is identical or similar to a registered trademark, enabling registered brand owners to take action against goods bearing similar marks, in addition to goods bearing identical marks. However, the law does not clarify how the trademark shall be determined whether it is sufficiently similar with a registered trademark or not, as this shall be determined upon the decision of the Higher Committee for Combating Commercial Fraud, which is yet to be established under the Ministry of Economy.
The Committee is entrusted, among other duties, with developing strategies and policies of combating commercial fraud, studying obstacles experienced upon the enforcement of the Law and proposing a mechanism for handling such obstacles and issuing regulations for the activities of the subcommittees. This is a positive development and a way forward in an attempt to harmonize the implementation of the Law on a federal level. It remains to be seen whether the Committee would also work on harmonizing procedures before competent authorities in handling brand owners’ complaints against commercial fraud.
We await more updates regarding the law and its implementing regulations.
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