September 03, 2020

Saudi Arabia issued its first commercial audio trademark

The intellectual property office of Saudi Arabia has officially issued its first trademark for a commercial audio, marking the first certificate of its type in the Kingdom. Issued in August 2020, the mark was granted to the Saudi Telecom Company.

The introduction of a uniform trademark system in Saudi Arabia initially took place in 1939, or the year of 1358 as per the Saudi calendar. This became one of the most important aspects of intellectual property rights in the Kingdom, prompting an influx of trademark registrations filed through the new system.

Sound marks are a vital part of branding for companies and businesses across the globe. From the renowned McDonald's "I'm lovin it" to the Telecom Company's new mark, audience demographics have regularly been heavily influenced by catchy tunes and spoken phrases. A solidified intellectual property right over these sounds is a pivotal step for IP law in Saudi Arabia, allowing brand owners to utilize their trademarks more efficiently.

The introduction of the sound trademark came with the Saudi Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Trademark Law of September 2016, alongside the opportunity to register a smell mark. Trademarks registered in Saudi Arabia may also be in the form of words, symbols, numbers, letters, pictures, drawings and shapes and other representations, so long as the mark is distinguishable from others in the same class of goods or services.

In order to apply for a sound trademark, applicants must file a graphical representation of the sound mark by way of musical notes forming a melody and a sample of the sound mark in an MP3 format.

The first sound trademark registered for a commercial audio marks a new era for Intellectual property in Saudi Arabia. It is hoped to encourage further sound mark filings in the Kingdom, representing an ever advancing IP field across the world.

Author: Danielle Carvey