The protection of trade names is crucial for companies and trade name owners. The illegal use of these names by unauthorized entities reflects bad faith and negatively affects the business operations of the trade names and their owners. This illegal use may also put the brand and its owner in danger of losing their good reputation and goodwill. According to the Cassation Courts of Dubai: A trade name is a name that has been chosen by a trader or a company in order to distinguish his shop or company from other ones (Judgment No 268-2008 Commercial Cassation).

The recourse to the Civil Court in order to file cases to cancel the trade names of others, similar to yours, is also considered as one of the most common legal ways to protect your trade names from unfair use and competition.

How to protect your trade name?

To protect your trade name in the UAE, you should register it in the economic departments. It should not be misleading to the consumer by being similar to other trade names in the same field of trade (Judgment No 268-2008 Commercial Cassation).

It should also be registered in one of the countries that have signed the Paris Convention for the protection of the industrial and intellectual property (Judgment No 194-2010 Commercial Cassation).

Which laws protect trade names?

If there is bad faith in the use of a trade name, or it is being used in a misleading way, the Civil Court has the power to rectify any disputes by the analysis and determination of the trial court. Any awards to be granted may also be estimated by the same court, at the discretion of the presiding judge. While a lot of power is in the hands of the courts, there are laws that also guide the protection of trade names, these are:

The Federal Trade Transactions Act No. 18/1993: The law requires that one must not mislead the consumers by the use of the trade name of others, particularly when the two trade names can easily be mistaken for each other. Article 57 of the Federal Trade Transactions Act No. 18/1993 and its amendments, state that: '' The trade name shall be identical to the truth and shall not mislead or prejudice public order or morals''.

Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property is considered to be one of the most important references on the protection of the names and trademarks. The UAE is a signatory to this convention and it became internal legislation by the accession of the United Arab Emirates, Decree No. 20 of 1996. Article 8 of the latter Decree states that: ''A trade name shall be protected in all the countries of the Union without the obligation of filing or registration, whether or not it forms part of a trademark''.

The Legal Group 's expertise in trade name cancelation.

By dint of  the efforts and expertise of the lawyers and the legal consultants of the Intellectual Property Litigation Department, TLG was able to win many trade name cancellation cases. Each case has had different documents, evidence , and conditions. Nevertheless, TLG was able to persuade the Dubai courts' Judges about the bad faith of the traders when using the trade names of its clients. Moreover, TLG stands with its clients until the favorable judgment has been duly executed, and the infringing trade names have been removed from the means of advertisement that belong to the opponents, by following up with the execution court as well as the perspective authorities. 

Furthermore, TLG was able to persuade the commercial appeal court in Dubai to dismiss and reject a case that was filed by a restaurant against its client to cancel his trade name. TLG was successfully able to prove that its client did not act in bad faith and his activities did not impact the activities and reputation of the claimant.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.