Bodies: World Intellectual Property Organization, World Trade Organization, Gulf Cooperation Council.
Conventions: Paris Convention, Berne Convention, GCC Patent Law, Patent Cooperation Treaty, Patent Law Treaty.
Location: Middle East, bordering the Arabian Gulf and the Red Sea, North of Yemen.
Languages: Arabic (official); English widely understood in business circles.
Currency: 1 U.S. $= 3.75 Saudi Riyal (January 2014)
Timezone: GMT + 3
Trade/service mark Filing Requirements
- Power of Attorney duly notarized and legalized up to the Saudi Consulate. One Power of Attorney is sufficient for filing simultaneous and any future applications
- In case of claiming priority, a certified copy of the priority application is to be filed within six months from the filing date of the foreign application.
- Power of Attorney notarized and legalized up to the Saudi Consulate (Not applicable for existing clients)
- The original Saudi registration certificate of the trademark for the endorsement purpose
- Power of Attorney notarized and legalized up to the Saudi Consulate.
- Legalized deed of assignment executed by the assignor and the assignee
- The original Saudi registration certificate of the trademark for the purpose of endorsement
- Power of Attorney notarized and legalized up to the Saudi Consulate
- A legalized certificate or merger or a copy of the license agreement.
- The original Saudi registration certificate of the trademark for the purpose of endorsement.
Collective and Quality Mark Applications
- Power of Attorney filed with the full name and address of the applicant, duly notarized and legalized up to the Saudi Consulate
- Two certified copies of the Articles of Association duly legalized up to the Saudi Consulate
- Two certified copies of the system to be adopted by the applicant in controlling or examining the products along with a statement on the conditions and requirements to be available therein and the method of using the mark thereon duly legalized up to the Saudi Consulate
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a member of the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property. The International Classification of Goods and Services (9th Edition) is followed. However, class 33, alcoholic goods in class 32, pork meat in class 29, and Christmas trees and related products in class 28 cannot be registered in Saudi Arabia. A separate application is required for each class.
Once the application is filed, the mark is examined in order to establish its availability and registrability. If the registrar has any reservation either with the appearance of the mark or scope of goods, he might issue an objection in writing, instructing the applicant to either modify the mark or to amend the goods. In the case of written objection, the applicant has 90 days’ time to abide by the Registrar’s instructions. However once the formal rejection is issued, the appeal can be filed before the Minister of Commerce, within 60 days from the date of the notification of the rejection. The Minister’s decision may be appealed before the Board of Grievances (First Instance Court).
Once the trade or service mark applications are accepted, they are published in the official gazette for public scrutiny for a period of 90 day. The aim of the publication is to give an opportunity for the general public to oppose the trade or service mark if it conflicts with their trade interests. Those who have any objection towards this mark must submit their appeal before the Board of Grievances with 90 days from the date of publication. In the absence of any objection, the trademarks will proceed for registration and a certificate is issued at a later stage.
Trademark registrations are valid for 10 Hijri years (approximately 9 years and 8 months) from filing date and are renewable for like periods. There is a grace period of 6 lunar months for late renewals with payment of a surcharge.
Use of a trademark is not required for registration or renewal of a mark. However, a trademark is vulnerable to cancellation by any interested party if there has been no effective use of the mark for a period of 5 consecutive years before the interested party goes ahead with the cancellation action in the court of law.
Change of name of the applicant or change in applicant’s address must be recorded with the registry and only once it is recorded will it be valid in the country. On the other hand recordal of licence is not compulsory but it is always better to record it in order to be effective against the third parties. Merger can be recorded to the trademark applications.
The assignment of a trademark or a service mark can be recorded only after the mark is registered. However recordal of assignment is must and unless an assignment has been entered against a trademark or a service mark in the register and published in the Official Gazette, it shall not be effective vis-à-vis third parties. Claim of goodwill of the business concerned is not necessary.
A trademark is vulnerable to cancellation by any interested party before the Board of Grievances if it can be established that the mark was not rightfully registered. Similarly unauthorized use of any registered trademark, counterfeiting or use of a mark registered by another person to for the unauthorized promotion of goods or services of the same class are considered to be grievous offence and it is punishable under the Law of the land.