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Trade Mark Protection - Dubai Court’s Ruling


Following a civil claim over the owership of a trade mark, The Cassation court issued a verdict the following: In order to protect a trade mark in the UAE, the trademark must either be registered at the Ministry of Economy and Commerce, or used in commerce in the UAE market.

Registration vs. Ownership

·      A trade name (TN) is aspecific name that a merchant or a commercial company takes to distinguish his shop or company from others. To protect such name, it must be registered in the respective register at the Dubai Economic Department (DED).


·      A trademark (TM) is everything that is used or intended to be used to distinguish products or services which belong to an individual or a company that manufacture, produce, sell such product/service.


·      An innovative TM may be treated, all or any part of it, as a TM. A TM must be registered in the Trademarks Register at the Ministry of Commerce and Economy in the name of either an individual or a company who/which will be considered as owner of the TM. Protection commences from the date of application for registration. In general, registration doesn’t create the right of ownership of the TM but merely establish its existence. However, the ownership is recognized for the person who first used it in Dubai.


 Protection of The World-Renowned Trademark.

·      The protection granted to a world-renowned trademark is an exception to the general rule which limit the TM owner’s monopoly right within the territory of the country in which it is became known and does not extend outside such country. However, if the TM became internationally known, it may not be registered in any country outside the country of origin unless upon the request of its original owner.  


·      In this respect, the Dubai Court has defined a world-famous TM as the TM which has spread outside its territory of origin and has gained worldwide reputation and was subject to a wide spread distribution over a broad geographical. Thus, being associated with a wide range of users and consumers worldwide, it would not be unacceptable that such TM is allowed to be used on any other similar products or goods.


·      In addition, it won’t not be required for such world-famous TM to be registered in such countries where it has been extended to as it enjoys such legal protection even though not registered in the respective country(ies).


·      Meantime, mere registration of a TM in more than one country doesn’t establish in any way such world-famous status for such TM.

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