United Arab Emirates: Trademark Registration

The trademark registration in United Arab Emirates includes the following steps:

First, checking whether the trademark being registered is entitled to protection in United Arab Emirates (absolute grounds of refusal). Not all trademarks can be registered as trademarks. For instance, merely descriptive terms for the respective goods and services may not be registered as a trademark.

Second, after search, your trademark could be applied for registration in UAE Ministry of Economy (UAE Patent Office) through the local patent attorneys.

Copyright could be registered in UAE only after creation the copyright object in accordance with UAE Federal Law No. (7) of the Year 2002 Concerning Copyrights and Neighboring Rights.

There two main requirements – copyright object should be: result of intellectual work (not plagiarism) and expressed in any objective form.
You can register your copyright object in UAE by filing a simple form and depositing one sample of the work with the one of following organizations:

  • UAE Ministry of Economy (Copyright Department) – within 1 – 3 months
  • Dubai Copyright Office(official representation of International Online Copyright Office INTEROCO, European Union) within 10 days
  • U.S. Copyright Office (by the post)

Is registration of my company/product logo or brand mandatory in UAE?

Registration of trademark or copyright object in UAE is voluntary right of author (or rightholder). But in case of using trademark or copyright objects on the market as a designation of goods/service selling to customers – registration the trademark (or copyright) is mandatory to avoid penalties for cheating and deception of UAE consumers according to UAE Executive Regulation to the Consumer Protection Law.

There are 2 legal ways to register your brand – as a trademark or as a copyright. The trademark and copyright certificates have an equal legal power and both certificates are protecting your brand as an intellectual property object. The difference is in process of brand registration, registering bodies and law enforcement.

To choose the proper legal form of brand registration, your should determine the main target of brand using. If you want to participate in state tenders and work mostly with ministries and official authorities, we recommend to you register brand as a trademark. But for the businessmen, who sale goods and services on the open market for consumers (B2B, B2C) more efficient, cheaper and faster is register brand as a copyright.

Registration process10 – 12 months
Ministry of Economy
6 months –
US Copyright office

10 days – INTEROCO
European Copyright Office
Certificate validity time10 years
(further extension needs additional fees)
During the life of author and 50 years after his death
Region covered by certificateOnly UAE167 countries members
of Bern Convention
(UAE is member of Bern Convention since 2004)
Economy branches covered by certificatesOnly registered
in certificates classes/ branches (total 45 classes,  for each class should be paid  additional official fee)
For all branches/classes of economy
Who can be an authorAuthorship for trademarks not possibleAuthor could be
private individual
Who can be right holderOnly legal entity (company, organization)Private individual or legal entity (simultaneously partially ownership by physical persons and companies is allowed)
Price of registration6 000 – 10 000 USD4 000 USD
Registering organizationUAE Ministry of EconomyInternational Copyright Office (INTEROCO) US Copyright Office
Official state body for intellectual property rights protection1. Competition
Regulation Committee (Ministry of Economy)
2. Dubai Courts
Dubai Courts
Responsibility for intellectual property right violationPenalties and
product confiscation
1. Penalties and product confiscation
2. Criminal responsibility (imprisonment)

Registration Process

The Ministry of Economy and Commerce is responsible in UAE for trademark registration.

Copyright could be registered through:

  • UAE Ministry of Economy (Copyright Department) – within 2 – 3 months
  • Dubai Copyright Office (official representation of International Online Copyright Office INTEROCO, European Union) within 10 days
  • U.S. Copyright Office (by the post), 6-12 months

There are costs for intellectual property registration in UAE:

  • One trademark – 6 000 – 10 000 USD
  • One copyright – 4 000 USD

The period of time for registration process are following:

  • For trademark registration 10 – 12 months
  • For copyright registration in INTEROCO (office in Dubai) – 10 days
  • For copyright registration in US Copyright office 6-12 months

For trademark registration following documents should be prepared:

  • Application
  • Sample of trademark design (brand name)
  • Confirmation of official fee payment
  • Power of attorney
  • Trading license
  • ID or passport of person who will sign application
  • List of goods and services to be protected
  • Contact details of applicant

For copyright registration:

  • Application
  • Sample of copyright work
  • ID or passport of person who will author
  • Information about right-holder (owner)
  • Confirmation of official fee payment
  • Contact details of applicant

Benefits from intellectual property in UAE

The most interesting thing with capitalization is the fact, that valuated IP-assets could be used as a pledge for receiving bank credit or investment loan in UAE.
Wide recognition of brand by customers, high-rated web-sites and mobile applications are representing today real values, and stimulated sales and growth of the business in UAE.
But the most common problem is lack of knowledge by IP-owners – they absolutely do not know how to present their money-generated intangible assets as collateral for receiving the credits from financial institutions or loans from investors in UAE.

After increasing value of business through the capitalization of IP-assets owner on case of sale its business to new owner can receive additional profit comparing to selling only physical assets.
According to UAE laws such intangible assets as a corporate/product brand, clients data-base, trade secrets, web-site or mobile application could be sold only if they have properly formalized documents with valid protection of IP-rights.

Every successful business project attract not only investors/partners, but also unfair competitors, who want to duplicate efficient working ideas/works and immediately start sales with the aim to quickly pick up the market share and consumers.
In such cases high value of IP-assets (corporate or products brands, package designs, web-site or mobile applications) allows to right-holder receiving increased reimbursements from unfair competitors for IP-rights violations.

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