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German Legal Expertise in the Middle East since 1981

At a Glance -Trademark Registration in Saudi Arabia

Guiding Principle

Trademarks in Saudi Arabia may be registered by Saudi citizens or entities; Saudi and foreign residents licensed to reside and practice commercial or handicraft business in Saudi Arabia; citizens of countries treating the Kingdom by reciprocity or citizens or residents of countries which are member of the relevant multilateral international conventions.

A.  Trademark Definition under the Saudi Laws
The Saudi Trademark Law (“SA-TML”)[1] has defined the trademark as “the names with a distinguish figure, signatures, words, letters, drawings, symbols, stamps, reliefs, or any other indication or group of indications. This name can be recognized by sight and used for distinction of the industrial, commercial, handicraft, agriculture products or the project of benefiting from the forests or natural resources, or to indicate that the object holding the trademark is owned by the owner of the trademark as its manufacture, the one who preselected, invent it, trading it or to distinct its services”.

B.  Registering the Trademark for Categories of Products or Services
In line with the above definition, the trademark may be register for a single or multiple category of products or services. These categories are determined in line with the Nice Agreement concerning the International Classification of Goods and Services for the Purposes of the Registration of Marks[2]. This Agreement has established a classification of goods and services for the purpose of registering trademarks and service marks internationally. The concerned authorities at the member states must indicate, in official documents and publications in connection with each registration, the numbers of the classes of the classification to which the goods or services for which the mark is registered belong.

C.  Priority
Priority is the right of getting benefit of registering the trademark based on the date of a prior request submitted at a country member of a multilateral international convention or at a country treating Saudi Arabia with reciprocity. Such right expire by the lapse of six months from the date of submitting the prior request.
D.  Objection of Registration
Objection to registering a trademark should be submitted before the Saudi Board of Grievances (“SA-BoG”) within 90 days from the date of publishing the trademark at the website of the Saudi Ministry of Commerce & Industry (“SA-MoCI”).

E.  Registration Effects
If the request for registering the trademark is approved, it will be registered from the date of submitting the request and for the period of 10 years and may be renewed latest before the lapse of six months following the last year. No one except the owner could use it without obtaining his/her/its approval first.

Not using the trademark for five subsequent years allows the SA-MoCI or anyone having interest to request canceling the registration. The SA-BoG is the concerned authority of considering such requests. If a cancelation order is issued, the canceled trademark may not be used for the same or similar products/services it used to be registered for, until the elapse of 3 years from the date of cancelation.

F.   Registration Procedures
The process for registering a trademark may be done only through a local licensed agent. This is done totally electronically through the website of the SA-MoCI. After submitting the request electronically, the SA-MoCI will study it and within 60 days it should give its decision. If the request is approved, the trademark will be published for 90 days at the Ministry’s website. By the lapse of this period with no objection against the registration, an electronic certificate of registration will be issued in the name of the owner.

G. Penalties
Article 43 SA-TML stipulates that infringing the rights of the trademark owner shall be punished by a fine no less than SR 50,000[3] and no more than SR 1,000,000.

[1] The Saudi Arabian Trademark Statute (Law) promulgated by the Royal Decree No. M/21 dated 28.05.1423 A.H. corresponding to 07.08.2002.

[2] The Nice Agreement Concerning the International Classification of Goods and Services for the Purposes of the Registration of Marks of June 15, 1957 as revised at Stockholm on July 14, 1967, and at Geneva on May 13, 1977, and amended on September 28, 1979. The date of Egypt’s accession is 18.06.1999.

[3] € 1 = ريال Saudi Riyal 3.98.

December, 2015 Hany Kenawi
Meyer-Reumann & Partners, Tehran Office
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