According to recent reports, KSA is home to numerous local and international businesses, with a steadily growing economy and foreign investment. Given the developing business landscape in the KSA, entrepreneurs and business owners need to understand the trademark registration process in Saudi Arabia.
In this article, we’ll look into the requirements, procedures, and pitfalls of trademark or brand registration in Saudi Arabia, giving you a comprehensive guide to safeguarding your brand in this thriving market.
1. What can be registered as a trademark in Saudi Arabia?
One of the crucial things about registering a trademark in the KSA is that it must be distinctive from existing trademarks. You also must ensure that the trademark does not violate local laws or regulations.
In Saudi Arabia, the following can be registered as a trademark:
- Words (including personal names)
- Logos and graphics
- 3D graphics
- Sound marks
- Color combinations
- Combinations of the above.
Proper classification of goods and services is another crucial requirement. This classification is based on the International Classification of Goods and Services, a widely recognized system that provides globally consistent trademark registration.
However, it’s important to note that in Saudi Arabia, you need to obtain separate trademarks for different groups of goods and services like in the UAE, as multi-class trademark applications are not permitted.
2. Why can you be refused to register a trademark in Saudi Arabia?
You can get a refusal when registering a trademark due to both absolute and relative reasons. Absolute reasons are based on objective criteria, while relative grounds consider the possibility of confusion between the new trademark and an existing one.
Relative reasons for rejecting a trademark in Saudi Arabia include:
- Similarity to a previously filed or registered trademark for similar goods/services;
- Infringement of a trademark with an international reputation unless approved by the trademark owner.
Absolute grounds for refusal can be the following:
- Marks with no distinctive character or consisting only of goods/services name or image;
- Signs violating public morals or order;
- State emblems, flags, and other symbols without permission;
- Red Crescent or Red Cross logos and similar symbols;
- Religious symbols;
- Confusing geographic names or data;
- Names, titles, images, or logos of a third party used without their consent;
- Information on honorary degrees without proof of entitlement;
- Misleading or distorted information marks;
- Marks belonging to prohibited persons or entities;
- Marks that undervalue other goods/services;
- Reproductions, imitations, or translations of a well-known mark for homogeneous or any goods/services;
- Marks containing the words ‘concession,’ ‘concessionaire,’ ‘registered,’ ‘registered drawing,’ ‘copyright,’ or similar terms.”
3. The process of trademark registration in Saudi Arabia
The trademark registration process in Saudi Arabia involves several steps, including filing an application, examination, publication, and final approval. Before applying, it’s recommended to conduct a Saudi Arabia trademark search to determine if the desired trademark is already in use or registered. For example, you can use this global online search tool.
The next step is to file a trademark application with the Saudi Arabian Trademark Office. The application should include the trademark, a description of the goods and services it will cover, and the applicant’s details.
After filing, the trademark office will examine the application to ensure it meets all requirements and is not similar to existing trademarks. If any issues are found, the office may request additional information or make changes to the trademark. This step can take anywhere from 1-3 months.
If the trademark meets the requirements, it will be published in the official gazette. This allows third parties to raise any objections they may have to the registration of the trademark within 60 days of the publication date. In this case, you will have to go through the opposition process.
If no objections are raised or if they are resolved, the trademark office will issue a certificate of registration. This certificate grants the trademark owner exclusive rights to use the trademark in Saudi Arabia for the goods and services listed in the application.
A registered trademark is valid for 10 years, according to the Hijra calendar. In the Gregorian calendar, this period equals 9 years, 8 months and 13 days. You can renew the registration an unlimited number of times for 10 years.
The person or organization applying for trademark registration in Saudi Arabia will need to provide certain documents in order to complete the process. This could be either a private individual or a business:
- Trademark application form: this is the official application form that must be completed and submitted to the Saudi Arabian Trademark Office.
- Trademark specification: this document describes the trademark and the goods/services it will protect.
- Power of attorney: a notarized power of attorney from the trademark owner or their authorized representative.
- Copy of the priority document (if applicable).
You must also pay the required fees for trademark registration when filing.
To claim priority, you must submit a certified copy of the priority document and its Arabic translation within 6 months of the filing date. You might present the legalized power of attorney at filing or later.
5. Trademark opposition process in Saudi Arabia
Any interested parties have a 60-day period from the publication date to file an opposition. If an opposition is filed, the Trademark Office will review the evidence and arguments presented by both the trademark applicant and the opponent and decide whether the trademark registration should be granted or not.
This process might take a few months to complete, and if the opposition is successful, the trademark will not be registered. It’s important to note that if a party is dissatisfied with the decision of the Trademark Office, they may file an appeal to the Board of Grievances within 30 days of the decision.
6. Trademark registration costs in Saudi Arabia
Government fees of trademark registration in Saudi Arabia:
Official filing fees
Official publication fees
Official registration fees
Official renewal fees
The trademark registration cost in Saudi Arabia via the iPNOTE platform starts from as low as $2,100 ($350 – attorney service charge and $1,750 – official fees), which includes all government fees as well as document preparation. Find the best Saudi Arabia trademark attorney on iPNOTE.
7. Final thoughts
It’s important to note that all these requirements and timeframes may vary depending on each case’s specific circumstances. Therefore, it is always best to consult a professional trademark attorney for guidance on your application.
With the right advice and preparation, trademark registration in Saudi Arabia can be a smooth and straightforward process.
The iPNOTE platform features more than 700 IP law firms that cover more than 150 countries, so you can always find the right direct service provider using our flexible filtering system.
Look at our directory of trademark attorneys in Saudi Arabia.
Sign up for free, and we’ll help you solve any IP-related problem.