Brand owners in the region and internationally will be pleased to hear that the UAE Trade Mark Office has reduced the official fees for the registration and renewal of trade marks by 33%. These reductions are now in effect.
As many brand owners are aware, the 2015-2016 period saw official fees for trade mark matters rise in the UAE and other countries in region. The increases in the UAE and Saudi Arabia were significant, with the official fees for trade mark filing, publication and registration in the UAE effectively doubling.
These fee increases, combined with the fact that the UAE is a single-class jurisdiction (each class requires a separate application), meant that the trade mark budgets of brand owners came under increasing pressure. As a result, this initial round of reductions will be welcomed by brand owners.
Overview of the reductions
For our regional colleagues, the AED summary is:
For our international colleagues, the USD summary is:
Please note these are the official fees of the UAE Trade Mark Office only. In the UAE (as with many countries in the region), publication must also take place in two local newspapers for which separate charges are payable.
Are further reductions likely?
At this point, the reductions only apply to the registration and renewal official fees and other official fees remain unchanged. However, the reductions apply to the most expensive official fees and, as seen in the tables above, the savings are considerable.
Earlier this year, Saudi Arabia announced that significant reductions would also apply to their official fees but, at the time of writing, these reductions had not yet been implemented. We will keep you updated on the position in Saudi Arabia and on any other changes to official fees in the UAE or elsewhere region.
What does this mean for brand owners?
It has now become considerably cheaper to secure trade mark registrations in the UAE and to maintain any existing registrations that may already be in place.
The benefits of registration are numerous, including the wider range of options that are available to enforce trade mark rights against others, and greater control of a trade mark when part of a license, distribution or other agreement with a third party.
For those brand owners considering trade mark registration in the UAE but who had, to date, been deterred by the official fees, these reductions are an opportunity to reconsider the trade mark protection strategy in the UAE.