As per the new stipulations issued by the Omani Trademark Registrar it is now permitted to file trademark applications in the name of individuals in Oman provided that the applicant submits a letter in any form; i.e. a declaration or an attestation certified, proving that she/he is engaged in business, trade or industrial activities and such document can be obtained from the Chamber of Commerce or from any equivalent official party such as the Ministry of Economy, Commerce or Industry where the applicant resides. Alternatively, the applicant can submit a simple copy of the mark home application or registration certificate in the home country if available which is preferable or of any other country in its absence.
The above is in compliance of the GCC Trademark Law (The Trademark Act of the Member States of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf) Article 4, to which Oman became party to on 25th July 2017 by the Sultanic Decree No. 33 of 2017.
The following categories of applicants shall have the right to register their trademarks:
1- Any natural or legal person holding the nationality of any GCC State, whether such a person is a manufacturer, producer, merchant professional or a service enterprise owner.
- Foreign persons residing in any GCC State wherein they are authorized to engage in commercial, industrial, professional or service business activities.
3- Foreigners holding the nationality of any state that is a member to a multilateral international convention to which a GCC State is a party or any residents therein.
It is permitted under the practice of the Omani Trademark Registrar to file trademark applications and obtain filing number and date as well as the official filing certificate, renewal, recordal of change of name, address, assignment or license agreement without the complete required documents which should be submitted within 60 days from the date of filing at no additional cost; otherwise, a penalty of official fees of USD 55 will be due after the said 60 days term without a time limit.
Trademark Requirements for Individuals:
- A power of attorney, with an Apostille certification if the country of the applicant individual is a member of the Hague Convention; otherwise the power of attorney should be legalized up to an Omani consulate abroad.
- A certified copy of a letter in any form; a declaration or an attestation proving that she/he is engaged in business, trade or industrial activities and such document can be obtained from the Chamber of Commerce or from any equivalent official party such as the Ministry of Economy, Commerce or Industry where the applicant resides. Alternatively, the applicant can submit a copy of the mark home application or registration certificate in the home country if available which is preferable or of any other country in its absence.
- A certified copy of the hone or foreign application/registration (priority document) in case priority is to be claimed
Bahrain is set to become the third Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member state to introduce a VAT system. The Bahrain parliament has voted to approve a draft law that will lead to the introduction of the new taxation system on January 1, 2019. The VAT will apply to goods and services at the standard rate of five percent, with some limited exceptions which are expected be clarified in due course.
As per the unified GCC VAT agreement (Unified VAT Agreement for The Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf), to which Bahrain is a party each member state of the GCC is expected to establish their own separate national legislation concerning the VAT and as such the detailed compliance requirements and set of rules will be outlined in each respective legislation. GCC member states were mandated that any 2-member states should to implement VAT law within 1 year; accordingly, UAE and Saudi Arabia introduced VAT on January 1, 2018. The process of introduction of VAT in other GCC countries is at various stages of preparation with Bahrain likely to implement first followed by Oman, Kuwait and Qatar.
The Sultanate of Oman has announced that VAT would be introduced in 2019, most likely mid-2019. The Kuwaiti parliament is yet to vote on the VAT bill which should be introduced in the upcoming session before the year-end. Accordingly, the expected timeline of introduction of VAT in Kuwait is late 2019 or even 2020. We await the announcement of Qatar in this relation in due course.