Trademark application Saudi Arabia

Trademark registration Saudi Arabia

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What are the costs of a trademark registration in Saudi Arabia?

The costs of trademark registration in Saudi Arabia depend on the number of Nice classes that are relevant to the trademark. Most marks need 1 to 3 classes, but it is possible to get  protection in all of classes 1 through 45 of the Nice classification.


How do you get a trademark registration in Saudi Arabia?

Saudi Arabia has a first-to-file jurisdiction. This means that it is necessary to register a trademark in Saudi Arabia in order to claim exclusive trademark rights. Only in very exceptional cases can an unregistered trademark enjoy protection. It is not necessary to actively use your trademark in this country before submitting the application. Foreign applicants should submit their application through a local trademark attorney. Submission of a power of attorney is mandatory; without this document your request cannot be processed.


Do you need to be represented by a local trademark attorney?

Just like in many other countries, you also need to provide a power of attorney if you want to register a brand in Saudi Arabia. This is the only way you can be legally represented as a trademark owner before the trademark authority of that country. The power of attorney must be signed by an authorized notary and legalized by the Saudi consulate in the Netherlands. The law in Saudi Arabia has recently changed, which has resulted in, among other things, that a power of attorney is only valid for five years. This means that when you renew your trademark registration, you must again provide a new power of attorney.


Classification of goods and services according to the Nice Classification

Saudi Arabia is a member of the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property. This means that whoever wants to apply for a trademark in Saudi Arabia must adhere to the international Nice Classification for goods and services. In this country it is not possible to register alcoholic products. Retail and wholesale services are also excluded. It is not possible to register a trademark in Saudi Arabia that includes multiple classes. You must submit a separate application for each class.


What is the procedure for applying for trademark protection in Saudi Arabia?

Anyone wishing to register a brand name in Saudi Arabia goes through a standard procedure consisting of steps that are the same for every applicant. Once you have submitted the application, it will be assessed on formal grounds. If things need to be adjusted, you will be notified and you will be given three months to make adjustments. If your application is again rejected, you can lodge an objection.

Provided you pass the formal assessment, your application will be published in the trade bulletin. There is a subsequent period of sixty days for third parties to submit an objection. Previously, this was a three-month period, but this was shortened not long ago. If there are no objections, your application can be completed within three to five months. If there is opposition, this time can be up to twelve months.


What can you register as a trademark in Saudi Arabia?

Under Saudi Arabia’s trademark law since September 2016, a trademark can be anything that is distinctive. You can use names, words, signatures, letters, symbols, numbers, titles, stamps, drawings, images, inscriptions, the packaging of a product, figurative elements, shapes, colors and color groups. Sound and scent brands have also been added to this list of options.


Important Information for Combined Trademark Owners

If you want to register a combined trademark in Saudi Arabia, the exclusive protection you obtain with this only applies to the combination of trademarks as you submitted them with the application. Do you also want to be able to use one of the elements separately to promote your product or service? Then it is strongly recommended to also go through a separate registration for this element in question.

Elements for which you do not go through a separate registration procedure can be used by third parties. You cannot do anything about this, unless the goods and services that this party offers are so similar to yours or even the same that a confusing resemblance occurs for consumers. This is therefore the basis of your objection.


Trademark protection with a duration determined by the Islamic calendar

The trademark has a validity of ten hijra or hegira years. These are the years according to the Islamic calendar. This corresponds to about nine years and eight months of the following Gregorian calendar, the calendar used by most of the world. The hegira calendar is eleven days shorter than the Gregorian year. Trademark protection in Saudi Arabia can be extended indefinitely. Extensions also have a duration of ten hegira years and can be requested from twelve hegira months before the end date of the current term.


When the grace period expires

Are you too late to renew your trademark registration? There is still a grace period of six hegira months. You then pay a higher price to renew your brand. When the grace period has expired, there are no options to restore the original trademark protection. A expired or discontinued trademark may not be used by any other party for the same or closely resembling products or services for three years from the expiration date.


What happens in case of non-use after registration?

If you want to register a trademark in Saudi Arabia, it is not necessary to have it already in use prior to the application. However, once registered, it may not remain unused for more than five consecutive years. If this does happen, third parties can lodge an objection on the grounds of non-use and you run the risk of having your trademark canceled. To avoid this, use should be on a commercial scale. Non-use is condoned only in a few cases. As an entrepreneur, you must have very convincing reasons for this.


Is only national registration possible in Saudi Arabia?

Saudi Arabia is not yet one of the countries that are members of the Madrid Protocol. With the exception of Oman and Bahrain, no country belonging to the Gulf Cooperation Council is actually a member of the Madrid Protocol. Because you cannot use the Madrid System, international expansion via WIPO is not possible for this country. For that reason, to register a trademark in Saudi Arabia, you always contact the local responsible intellectual property agency in this country.

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Trademark registration Saudi Arabia