img_qatar

Introduction

Qatar is a member of the GCC Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT). Patent Regulations of GCC have been approved in 1992 by the Supreme Council of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf. Intellectual property legislation includes Law No. 9 of 2002 on Trademarks, Geographical Indications and Industrial Design Law, and law No. 7 of 2002 on Protection of Copyright and Related Rights. Qatar is a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and is a signatory of Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Right (TRIPS) as of January 1996. Intellectual Property matters are administered by the Industrial Property Office which is under the supervision of the Ministry of Economy and Commerce. Qatar is member of WIPO Convention since September 3, 1976 and is signatory to the Paris Convention as of July 5, 2000 and the Berne Convention (Literary and Artistic Works) as of July 5, 2000

Affiliations

Bodies: World Intellectual Property Organization, World Trade Organization, Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

Conventions: Paris Convention, Berne Convention, Nairobi Treaty, WIPO Copyright Treaty, WIPO Performances & Phonograms Treaty, GCC Patent Law, Patent Cooperation Treaty.

Country Information

Capital: Doha

Location: Middle East, peninsula bordering the Arabian Gulf and Saudi Arabia.

Languages: Arabic (official); English widely understood.

Currency: 1 U.S. $= 3.64 Qatari Riyal (January 2014)

Timezone: GMT + 3

Copyright Introduction

Qatar is a member of the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works. The provisions to provide legal protection to the copyright- related issues have been incorporated in Qatar in the shape of Qatari Copyright Law No. 25 of 1995 and the Law No. 7 of 2002 but implementing regulations are yet to be promulgated. Fee structures and other details pertaining to copyright matters are yet to be decided. However, it is possible to deposit a copyright work with the Copyright Protection Office for further action. The office will merely issue a letter for safe acknowledgement and in case of any issues, the said letter will be taken into consideration.

Scope of Protection:

The copyright law provides protection for original intellectual works of art in literature, science, arts and culture in general. The law provides protection irrespective of the value, type, manner of expression or purpose of the work. The protection includes written works, phonographs and cinematographic films, theater and musical pieces, television and radio works for publication, paintings, sculpture and architecture, maps and speeches. Law on the Protection of Copyright and Related Rights (Law No. 7 of 2002) considers software as a literary work and as such a fifty years protection is provided. Protection under the copyright law ends fifty years after the death of the author. However, if the copyrighted substance is owned by a legal entity rather than a natural person, the fifty years protection shall begin on the date the material was first published. The author may assign the rights granted to him subject to prescribed terms and conditions. Infringements are presided over by the Copyright Tribunal.

Copyright Requirements

  • Name and address of the applicant including his nationality, domicile and the address of his place of business
  • A power of attorney duly legalized from Qatar consulate
  • A duly executed and legalized deed of assignment, if the author is not the applicant
  • Six copies of the work for which protection is sought to be lodged with the Copyright Office under the supervision of the Department of Economy and Commerce-Ministry of Economy and Commerce

Domain Name Introduction

The Qatar Telecom (Q-Tel) is the local registry for the Top-Level Domain Name: (TLD) .qa in Qatar. The second- level domain names available under .qa are as follows:

  • .com.qa for commercial use
  • .gov.qa for governmental entities
  • .edu.qa for educational institutions
  • .net.qa for Internet activities
  • .org.qa for non-for-profit organizations

All registrations in this regard are done through the method of “first-come, first-serve” basis.

Registration is for economic and commercial companies in Qatar. Foreign companies are allowed to register domain names through a local agent.

Trustee Service

Local Presence: Yes

Trustee Service (this satisfies most registration requirements; some domains may require additional information, per year fee): $ 249.96

Note: Registration for 2 years may be required on some extensions

Patent Introduction

As there are no statutory patent laws in force in the State of Qatar, the only available means for protecting designs is publishing cautionary notices in Arabic and English in local newspapers. Nevertheless Qatar is a party to the Gulf Cooperation Council Patent Law, which strives for the effective protection. Hence any patent application filed under GCC Patent Law is completely valid in Qatar.

Cautionary notices define the owner’s interest in the industrial property, announce the ownership thereto, and alert the public against any possible infringement. Such publication of notices could be of considerable assistance in case of litigation.

A cautionary notice is not as effective as a registration and is not deposited with any government department; therefore, re-publication of cautionary notices at reasonable intervals should be issued to act as a reminder against infringement.

New Info:

The Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization welcomed the deposit of the instrument of accession of Qatar to the Patent Cooperation Treaty on May 3, 2011. The said treaty will enter into force on August 3, 2011.

Qatar is now bound by the Treaty and consequently any “international” patent application may include the designation of Qatar under its country code “QA”. Furthermore, nationals and residents of Qatar may file “international” patent applications under the Treaty. It is also worth noting that Qatar may be elected for the purpose of International preliminary examination, as it will be bound by Chapter II of the Treaty.

The instrument of accession, however, declares that pursuant to Article 64(5) of the Patent Cooperation Treaty, Qatar does not consider itself bound by the provisions of Article 59 of the Treaty. According to Article 59, any dispute between two or more countries of the Treaty concerning the interpretation or application of the Treaty or its regulations, not settled by negotiation, may, by any of the concerned countries, be brought before the International Court of Justice unless the countries concerned agree on some other method of settlement. Therefore, with regard to any dispute between Qatar and any other country of the Treaty, the provisions of Article 59 shall not apply.

However, the Qatari authorities must first amend the law to include provisions related to national phase PCT applications and should complete the set up of Patent Office in order to receive patent applications. A quick enquiry with the Qatar officials did not however, reveal as to when the desired changes will come into effect in Qatar. However, Alpha & Co.IP will keep a close watch on this matter and shall post any updates in the coming days.

Trademark Requirements

Trademark / Service Mark Applications

  • A power of attorney duly legalized from the Qatari Consulate or any other Arab consulate and stamped with the company’s seal;
  • A simple copy of the certificate of incorporation of the applicant company or an extract of the entry of the applicant in the commercial register;
  • The list of the goods to be covered. The protection of the class cannot include all goods and services; one item must always be excluded
  • The name, address, nationality and legal status of the applicant including the nature of its business
  • A certified copy of the priority document, if claimed

Renewal of Trademark / Service Mark Registrations

  • A power of attorney legalized from the Qatari Consulate or any other Arab consulate and stamped with the company’s seal;
  • The name, address and nationality of the applicant and the nature of its business
  • The trademark’s filing number.
  • The trademark’s filing number.Scanned copy of the original registration certificate (just for verification purpose)

Registered user/ licensee Agreement Application

  • An authenticated license agreement in writing signed by the concerned parties and legalized with the Consulate of Qatar or any Arab Consulate at the seeker’s end
  • A power attorney by the licensee duly legalized from the Qatar consulate
  • Legalized certificate of incorporation or extract from the commercial register of the registered user company

Change of Name and Address Application

  • A power of attorney in the new name and/ or address duly legalized from Qatar Embassy
  • A legal certificate duly attested, mentioning the changes to be done

Assignments Applications

  • A power of attorney legalized with the Qatari Embassy or any other Arab consulate by the assignee and stamped with the company’s stamp
  • A deed of assignment signed by both parties, authenticated, notarized and legalized with the Consulate of Qatar
  • A legalized copy of the certificate of incorporation or any equivalent document of the assignee company.

Trademark Summary

Qatar which has won the rights to host the FIFA 2022 World Cup, today is surging ahead in all the spheres throwing open vast investment opportunities in various sectors.

The State of Qatar follows the International Classification of Goods and Services for the Purposes of the Registration of Marks under the Nice Agreement.  However, classes 1, 4 to 7, 10 to 14, 16 to 22, 29 and 31 are not granted entirely under the Qatar Trademark Law. Products covered by class 33 and alcoholic drinks and beverages in class 32 are not registrable as per the existing norms of Qatar.

Qatar does not follow the multi-class filing system and hence each trademark must be filed in each class separately. The prints of a trademark originally in colours can be submitted in black and white, but the colours should be depicted by means of hatching as prepared according to the Heraldic Code.

Once the trademark is filed, an application number is allotted immediately. The trademark then goes through the examination period during which the viability of the mark is examined in substance and form. If accepted, the mark is published in the monthly Official Gazette of trademarks. Once published, the mark is open for the scrutiny and opposition of any interested party, within 120 days from the date of publication.

Opposition could be filed the TM Registrar. However, if the case is not settled with the Registrar, the either party could move the civil court by means of appeals. On the other hand, if the trademark does not face any opposition, it is registered upon the completion of the 120-day-long opposition term and the registration certificate is issued.

A trademark registration is valid for 10 years from the date of filing the application and it could be renewed for further period of 10 years. The desired trademark could be renewed anytime during the last 12 months of the protection period by settling the relative official fees. The Qatar TM Law also allows a grace period of 6 months from the date of expiry of the original deadline and a trademark can be renewed at this stage but with the penalty.

Qatar TM Law has room for effectuating assignment for the registered trademark with or without the goodwill of the business concern. Accordingly till the assignment is recorded in the register and published in the Official Gazette of Trademarks, it shall not have any effect vis-à-vis third parties. Amendments such as change of name and/or domicile of the applicant, non-substantial amendments to the trademark (as long as they do not affect or alter the identity of the original mark), limitation of goods as well as services covered by a trademark registration can be recorded.

While the use of the trademark in the Qatari market is not the pre-requisite for filing an application, it must be noted that, registration of trademark is highly recommended before the use. Meanwhile any interested third party may move the local court requesting the cancellation of a registered mark on the basis of non-use. However, in this scenario the pleader must prove the non-use of the mark by the registrant for 5 consecutive years from the date of registration. Nevertheless such a cancellation action based on non-use shall not be deemed accepted, unless the owner of the trademark is served with a one-month notice informing them that their trademark is subject to cancellation owing to continued non-use.

Unauthorized use of a trademark registered under the law, a replication of such a trademark applied on goods and/or used in respect of services of the same class, sale, storing for the purpose of sale, exhibiting for sale of goods bearing a counterfeit mark, or using a mark duly registered under the law by another person to serve the purpose of unauthorized promotion of goods and/or services of the same class is considered offensive and such a person/entity invites penalization.