Trademark registration in Qatar is governed and regulated by Law No. 9 of 2002 on Trademarks, Trade Indications, Trade Names, Geographical Indications, and Industrial Designs and their subsequent amendments. In Qatar, trademark registration is territorial in nature and is valid for a period of 10 years. Any natural, legal, local or foreign person can go for trademark registration in Qatar. This article will talk about everything related to trademark registration in Qatar and the benefits of trademark registration.
Legal Provisions Related to Trademark Registration in Qatar
The Intellectual Property Rights in Qatar are legally governed and regulated under Law No. 9 of 2002 (Trademark Law). It covers trademarks, trade names, geographical indications and industrial designs and their protection. Qatar is also a signatory to so many trademark-related international conventions, including the Paris Convention on the Protection of Industrial Property, the Nairobi Treaty on the Protection of the Olympic Symbol etc. Trademark protection in Qatar is jurisdictional, and trademark registration is valid for a time period of 10 years from the date of trademark registration. The opposition period for trademarks is 4 months, which means the third party can file for opposition within the stipulated time. This period is not extendable.
What can be Constituted as a Trademark?
In Qatar, the following marks can be registered as trademarks. These are mentioned below:-
- Signs including words including personal names, letters, numbers etc.
- Figurative elements such as logos, symbols, designs etc., can also be registered as trademarks in Qatar.
- Three-dimensional shapes, such as product packaging or shape of the product itself, can also be registered as trademarks in Qatar.
- Different types of colours, colour combinations, holograms, and unconventional trademarks such as sounds, jingles, musical tunes, smells and tastes etc. These types of marks can also be registered as a trademark. However, registering these unconventional marks can be really challenging and tricky.
Types of Trademarks that cannot be registered
The following types of marks cannot be registered as trademarks under the trademark law in Qatar. These are mentioned below:-
- Trademarks that are generic and descriptive in nature and do not have any sort of distinctive character. These types of marks cannot be registered as trademarks in Qatar.
- Marks that are immoral and against moral and public policy or marks that are offensive and derogatory in nature cannot be registered as trademarks in Qatar. Trademarks that are discriminatory in nature also cannot be registered.
- Trademarks that are deceptive and misleading in nature, such as marks that misrepresent the quality, nature or geographical origin of any goods and services, cannot be registered as trademarks in Qatar.
- National flags, public emblems of Qatar or flags of any other country or symbols, names and denominations of any international society such as the Red Cross or Red Crescent and other symbols of any third party etc. These signs and symbols are prohibited from registering as trademarks in Qatar.
- Last but not least, signs and symbols that are identically similar to the already existing and already registered trademark and marks that violate third-party rights. These marks cannot be registered under the trademark law in Qatar.
Benefits of Trademark Registration in Qatar
Trademark registration in Qatar provides several benefits and advantages. These benefits are mentioned below:-
- Trademark registration provides an exclusive right to the trademark owner. It means it gives the owner of the trademark the exclusive right in relation to goods and services for which the trademark is registered. Exclusive right means no one else can use the same or similar trademark in Qatar for the same or similar types of goods and services.
- Trademark registration provides legal protection against the potential infringers of the trademark. The owner of the trademark has the legal right to sue any person who uses the trademark without taking prior approval and permission from the owner of the trademark.
- A registered trademark enhances and increases the brand value, and it also helps the owner of the trademark to stand out in the market. It gives the owner a unique identity and also helps in distinguishing the owner’s products from other similar types of goods and services in the market.
- Another benefit of registering the trademark in Qatar is trademark registration allows the owner to license or franchise their brand in the market, and this can prove to be a beneficial or valuable source of revenue for the business.
Qatar is a member of the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property and the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO). This means that trademark registration can be used as the basis for the international registration of trademarks in the countries that are members of these international organisations.
Documents Required for Trademark Registration in Qatar
The following documents are required for trademark registration in Qatar. These documents are given below:-
- For trademark registration in Qatar, a signed and notarized power of attorney is mandatorily required that authorises a local agent or a local attorney that will represent the applicant in the trademark registration process in Qatar.
- A complete and properly filled pre-defined and pre-specified trademark application form, including a crystal clear image of the trademark, a list of goods and services that the trademark covers, and the name and address and other personal details associated with the owner of the trademark etc., is required.
- If the trademark is already in existence and in use in another country, then a priority document and a certified copy of an earlier application are also mandatorily required.
- A certified copy of the incorporation or copy of the registration is required if the trademark is in already in use or in existence in Qatar.
- Last but not least, an authorisation letter authorising an agent to file the trademark application on behalf of the trademark’s owner is required and also granting them the rights to act on the applicant’s behalf.
However, one thing is important to note is that the application form must be in Arabic in Qatar or translated into Arabic, which is the official language of Qatar if some words or phrases are there in foreign languages.
Procedure for Trademark Registration in Qatar
The following procedure is required for trademark registration in Qatar. This procedure is given below:-
- Before going for the registration of trademarks, the first and foremost step is to conduct a comprehensive trademark search of the Qatar Trademark Register and relevant databases to ensure that the proposed trademark is available for registration and is not already in existence. Qatar recently has accelerated its trademark search database, and now the official results are obtained within 2 to 3 working days.
- Once the trademark search has been conducted, the second step is to file the trademark application with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MOCI) in Qatar. The application form must contain a copy of the trademark and the goods or services for which the trademark will be used. In Qatar, two types of trademark applications can be filed. These are ordinary applications that don’t claim any priority. Other ones are conventional applications which can be filed within 6 months after the date on which the application was made in the convention country.
- After filing the trademark application, the MOCI (Ministry of Commerce and Industry) will conduct an examination of the submitted trademark application to ensure that the application adheres to all the local rules, regulations and provisions. If there are no objections, then the trademark application will be published in the official gazette for a period of four months and will be open to opposition from the third party.
- In case there is no opposition, the trademark application will be proceeded forward for registration and will be decided in favour of the applicant. After this, the MOCI will issue a certificate of trademark registration in the name of the applicant. The trademark registration will be valid for a period of 10 years from the date of the issue of the trademark registration certificate. The application after the expiry of the said period can be renewed prior to the expiration date.
Overall, trademark registration in Qatar is a critical step for businesses and organisations that want to protect their brands legally. It also gives legal protection to them against the infringers, and it also helps in protecting their brands in the market from competitors and also helps in building their brand reputation in the market.
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Seep is a lawyer by profession. She has done BA LLB and now shifted to full-time legal writing. She has extensive prior experience of freelance content writing and has worked for both Indian and international clients. She is vehemently curious and overtly passionate about so many things like blogging, reading, writing and travelling. She always wanted to explore the domains of the unconventional field of law. She has extensive experience in the area of corporate law and in drafting both Indian and International agreements as well. Her driving force is versatility and flexibility. She doesn’t restrict herself only to the field of law.