In its constant follow up of updates in IP laws, regulations and practices JAH would like to advise our readers regarding the recent practice with respect to trademark filings in Qatar, renewals as adopted by the registrar in Oman and publication procedures as adopted in Iraq.
QATAR: Trademark Office Adopts The 11th Edition
We are pleased to inform you that Qatar Trademark Office has adopted the Nice Classification 11th Edition for filing of trademarks.
UAE: issuance of trademarks registration electronically.
The UAE Trademarks Office has recently sent circular informing local agents that starting from 27 November 2017 the registration official fees would be settled electronically and as such the trademarks registration certificate will be issued in electronic form only.
IRAQ: Trademarks publication in three publications Gazette issues.
Please be advised that the Iraqi Trademark Office has issued a verbal circular regarding the change in publication of trademark applications procedure as adopted by the registry. According to which trademark applications once examined and accepted will be published in the Official Bulletin for opposition purposes three times in short intervals; say one month and the opposition term of 90 days will be calculated from the third notice of publication. Any interested party may oppose the published trademark during this period.
The Iraqi Trademarks registrar started to implement the three publications system with the Official Bulletin no. 557 issued on 20 November 2017. That is to say, trademarks published in the Bulletin no. 557 will be republished on the Bulletin no. 558 and 559 and the opposition term of 90 days will be calculated from the Bulletin No. 559.
OMAN: Lapsed Trademarks for non-renewal Can Be Renewed At Any Time
As per Omani Trademark Law (Law on Trade Marks, Descriptions and Secrets and Protection from Unfair Competition (promulgated by the Royal Decree No. 38/2000), Section 41 the renewal fees of a trademark registration can be paid during the last 12 months of the current protection period. There is a 6-month grace period within which a late renewal application can be filed, but such a late renewal application is subject to the payment of additional fees. Technically any trademark that has crossed the late renewal deadline of 6 months would be considered lapsed and there shall be no restoration of lapsed registered marks; however, in order to assist trademark owners reserve their rights of their registered trademarks the registrar does accept renewing of lapsed trademarks anytime even if it has not been renewed during its term of protection or the subsequent 6 months grace period.
For better understanding we would illustrate this matter by the flowing two examples:
- If a registered trademark filed in 1997 and has not been renewed in 2007 it is still possible the renew the mark provided that we settle the official fees with penalty for the previous protection term of ten years from 2007 – 2017 and the official fees with penalty for the current protection term from 2017 till 2027.
- If a registered trademark filed in 2002 and has not been renewed in 2012 it is still possible the renew the mark by settlement of the official fees with penalty for the protection term from 2012 till 2022.
On a related note, according to the Trademarks Law and practice of the Omani Trademarks Registrar the registration by a third party of a similar or identical mark to one that has lapsed due to non-renewal shall be admitted only after a period of three (3) years from the date on which notice of the termination of the mark was published in the Official Gazette. However, since the Omani Trademarks Office does not publish notices of the termination of the lapsed marks, there exists a local practice whereby the registrar will contact the owner and request a late renewal of the non-renewed trademark if the same presents an obstacle to registration of similar or identical trademark in the name of other third party at the time of examination of the newly filed similar or identical mark. If no positive action is received for the late renewal request within one month from the date of notification the said trademark would be expunged from the records and the new trademark application that was rejected at the examination stage due to pre-existing rights would be approved at the time of appeal.
Kindly note that the above measures are not expressly stated in the trademark law and are adopted in practice by the trademark office to ensure existing rights.
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