Qatar: Adoption of the GCC Trademark Law by Qatar1
Qatar has now become the fifth Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) country to implement the GCC Trade Marks Law (the TM law) making a steep climb in the development for trade mark practice and cooperation in the Country.
The adoption of the GCC Trademark Law in Qatar marks a significant milestone in the world of intellectual property rights, which will promote a more efficient and harmonized system of protection within the GCC.
It has to be understood that the GCC Trademark Law, does not act as a unified Legal system to the members, but it provides unified framework of set of rules that are consistent for the member Countries. Hence, there is no unified registration system. This means that the applicants will have to file trademark applications to the Trademark Offices of the respective GCC members Countries separately in order to obtain protection in the particular jurisdiction.
Major changes in the practice, upon the adoption of the GCC Trademark Law by Qatar: As opposed to the previous Qatari Trademark Law, some of the notable major changes are as follows:
- Rise in the official fees for all trademark-related matters,
effective from August 10, 2023.
- Applications will now be scrutinized within 90 days from the
- The deadline to respond to an office action will be shortened
to one month instead of two months.
- Publication period (opposition period) has been reduced to 60
days from 4 months.
- Notably, Article 2 of the Law now encompasses color marks,
sound marks, and smell marks as
eligible trademarks, enabling the possibility of securing registrations for such distinctive marks across the entire GCC.
- Article 4 of the GCC Trademark Law provides more clarity and possibility of protecting what would be called a well-known trademark.
- Article 9(1) of the GCC Trademark Law explicitly permits trademarks to be registered for one or more classes, and this provision is further elaborated in the Implementing Regulations. Hence, we can mention that multi-class filing is a possibility. However, please also note that none of the other Gulf members (who have already implemented the GCC Trademark Law) have chosen to adopt multi-class filing as yet.
In conclusion, we may state that the adoption of the GCC trademark law promises, more effective procedures and a reduction in the currently lengthy time periods for examination, publication, and the processing of registration certificates which would in turn be helpful for enforcement purposes. Hence it definitely is a welcome move for the Country.
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