Gulf Cooperation Council's trademark law coming soon

Author:Saba Al Sultani - Rob Deans
Position:Associate - Partner, Clyde & Co LLP, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Pages:37-40
 
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p. 37WIPO | MAGAZINE
GCC
TRADE MARK LAW
coming soon
By Saba Al Sult ani, Associat e,
and Rob Deans , Partner,
Clyde & Co LLP, Dubai , United Arab Emirate s.
The reality of a regiona l trademark law in the Middle East came
a step closer with the approval in May 2014, by the Cabinet of
Ministers in Saudi Arabi a of the revised draf t of the Trade Mark
Law of the Gulf Cooperation Co uncil States (the GCC Trade
Mar k Law).
Initially schedule d for enactment in 2006, the draft law was
put on hold while a numbe r of its provisions were renegotiated.
This process is now compl ete and a revised draft of the law has
been published.
ENACTMENT AND TIMING
The GCC Trade Mark Law has been draf ted on the basis that it
will apply in the six states that ma ke up the GCC, namely, Bahrain,
Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emi rates.
The publication in the GCC Ga zette states that the law will
become effective si x months after the GCC Trade Cooperation
Committee (comprising th e Trade Ministers of each GCC mem-
ber state) issues the law’s implementing regulatio ns. However, it
will also need to be enacted by the leg islature of each GCC state.
To date, only Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and, more recently, Qatar,
have taken steps to enact the law, but the other GCC states are
expected follow suit. If they do, the law could beco me a reality
within a few months.
A UNITARY OR A UNIFYIN G LAW?
The GCC Trade Mark Law is a unifying, not a unitary law in that
it sets out a single set of provisions w hich will apply uniformly
across all GCC states with respe ct to the registrability, registra-
tion and enforcement of tradem ark rights. It does not, however,
provide for a single (unitar y) registration or enforcement system.
The Trade Mark Ofce of each GCC state will c ontinue to receive
applications and register trad emarks on a national basis. Reg-
istering a trademark in all s ix GCC states will still require ling
six separate national tradema rk applications.

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