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Patent Protection and registration in the UAE

With the acceleration of technological progress, access to the intellectual property, and even theft thereof, is becoming easier every day.

Thus, the need for legislation guaranteeing the protection of creative products. And ideas and inventions has become more urgent than ever.  Accordingly, Intellectual Property Protection, Patent Registration and other laws began to develop in recent times.

The UAE has always recognized the importance of the robust and effective protection of intellectual property to ensure the rights of others, and the Ministry of Economy is the body responsible for, amongst others, the implementation and regulation of such intellectual property protection legislation as well as the registration of various forms of intellectual property.

This article will consider the steps for submitting an application to the Ministry for the legal protection of an idea, invention, creative work, trademark or any other form of intellectual property in accordance with the UAE intellectual property laws.

What are Patent?

A patent refers to the document issued by the Ministry providing the holder thereof, for a prescribed period, with the absolute right in respect of an invention he/she has created. The patent provides the holder with the right to prevent other parties from manufacturing, selling or utilizing the invention in the country or jurisdiction where the patent was issued.

In order to obtain a patent, the product invented must be new, useful, and original. Inventions may include machines, new methods, manufactured products, configurations, improvements etc.

The patent represents a legal mechanism to protect the inventor's idea from theft, production, reproduction, or the amendment of the idea in a way that infringes the rights of the original owner of the idea. It is an instrument that serves to guarantee the preservation of the creator’s material rights in respect of the innovation or invention.

To Whom Patents are Granted

A patent may granted in respect of a new invention or any original, innovative creative idea that has its own tangible scientific and practical usefulness, or any work that greatly improves or modifies an existing invention. Furthermore, the invention must be effective for industrial use and based on valid scientific principles and foundations.

Non-Patentable Areas

Despite the presence of many innovative and new ideas, there are those that cannot be patented, including:

  • Biological, plant and animal products and research in general, with the exception of the means, methods and products of microbiology;
  • Means of diagnosis and treatment, whether for humans or animals, where this knowledge must be made available for the public benefit and for the benefit of society;
  • Scientific principles and theories, and mathematical methods;
  • Methods and means of practicing certain commercial activities, a specific business, game, or mental practices;
  • Any invention that may cause a breach of public decency, public morals, or public order.

How do I Register a Patent?

Should an inventor have an idea for an exclusive and innovative invention. Which complies with the conditions as set out above. They may apply for a patent registration through the website of the Ministry of Economy.

What is a Trademarks?

Article 2 of the Federal Law No. 37 of 1992 Concerning Trademarks defines a trademark as anything that takes a distinctive shape composed of names, words, signatures, letters, numbers, drawings, symbols, addresses, hallmarks, stamps, pictures, engravings, advertisements, packages or any other mark or a combination thereof if used or meant to be used either in distinguishing goods, products or services of whatever origin, or establishing that the goods or products are owned by the owner of the Trademark because he manufactures, selects or trades therein, or that a service has been rendered.

A sound shall be considered part of the Trademark if it is accompanying it.

How to Register a Trademark?

The trademark registration UAE application is submitted on the website of the Ministry of Economy website, and the following documents are required:

  • Image of the trademark;
  • A copy of the trade license;
  • Legal agency;
  • Priority document;
  • A copy of the applicant’s passport;
  • Any other documentation which may required by the Ministry from time to time.

Who is Permitted to Register a Trademark?

There are four types of applicants entitle to register their own trademark, namely:

  • Citizens of the UAE, whether a natural or legal person, as long as such person engages in commercial, professional, or industrial work.
  • Foreigners who are in the UAE, whether a natural or legal person, as long such person carries out commercial, professional, or industrial work.
  • Foreigners who are natural or legal persons and engage in any business, industry, craft, or service business in any of the countries holding a reciprocal relationship with the UAE.
  • Other legal persons.

What is an Intellectual works?

Intellectual works refer to literature, arts, science, or any creative composition that allows for the innovative expression.

Read More: What is an Intellectual Property and how can we protect it?

What is Protected by Intellectual Property Laws?

  1. Books, Magazines and Articles;
  2. Software, Applications, Databases, and other programmed innovations;
  3. Speeches, Lectures and other innovative audio items;
  4. Movies, TV series and Commercials;
  5. Music and Songs;
  6. Engineering Drawings and Architectural Plans;
  7. Drawings, Sketches, Sculptures, Engravings, and Engraving on metals, woods, and stones;
  8. Photographs and video clips.

How to Register Workbooks?

The workbooks registered with the Ministry of Economy of the UAE. And the application for registration submitted on the Ministry’s Website to protect the rights of authors of such workbooks.

How Long Does Patent, Trademark or Intellectual Property Protection Last?

The protection period for authors' works approved for a period of fifty years after the death of the author, and starts from the beginning of the calendar year following their death. In respect of applied arts, protection extends for only twenty-five years after the death of the author, and approved from the beginning of the calendar year following their death.

Through our review of the intellectual property rights laws relating to patents, trademarks and other forms of intellectual property. It is clear that the UAE government has a keen interest in the protection of innovative ideas in all scientific, literary and industrial fields.

The Ministry of Economy’s website is simple, user friendly and avoids complex administrative procedures by allowing the applicant to navigate the site with ease via a single service window, thus encouraging innovators to record and preserve their ideas, writings, and inventions more than ever before.

We at Farahat and Co - UAE have a team of Trademark specialists in protecting and registering patents and trademarks. Contact Us today!

Shahnaz Kaushar is a senior Trademark and Intellectual Property (IP) Expert. She has handled some of the firm’s complex, high-profile cases – many involving the protection of trademark and IP rights.