September 26, 2016

Saudi Arabia: the GCC Trademark Law coming into force

On July 1, 2016, the GCC Trademark Law and its Implementing Regulations were published in the Saudi Arabian Official Gazette. The Law will be implemented after 90 days from the publication, i.e. on September 27, 2016.

Following the GCC Patent Law, the GCC TM Law is intended to bring IP legislation of all six GCC members to the uniform standard. Adopting the GCC Trademark Law is an important step for Saudi Arabia as it will replace the national trademark law and considerably enhance the overall trademark registration system.

One of the key points is significant broadening of the trademark definition. While the Saudi Trademark Law currently covers only conventional trademarks, the GCC TM Law makes such non-traditional trademarks as colour, smell and sound trademarks registrable as well.

An applicant willing to register a word trademark in a foreign language will be obliged to submit legalized translation into Arabic.

Another major change is recognition of prior use right, which, being one of important principles in TM registration, is not clearly described in the Saudi Trademark Law.

Under the new Law, applicants finally get the possibility to claim priority based on an earlier foreign application. The only requirement is that both the GCC state and the country where the prior application was filed must be members of the same international treaty.

The GCC TM Law implements standardized timeframes for particular registration procedures, i.e. 90 days for carrying out the examination, 60 days from publication of application for filing oppositions to a trademark and a 6-month grace period for late TM renewal.

To get an actual quote for registration of various IP types, please visit out quotation system. Fees for trademark protection in Saudi Arabia will be duly updated as soon as the GCC Trademark Law enters into force.

Author: Lynda Miller