A Guide to Qatar Trademark Laws

Posted on August 27th, 2014

Qatar, located on the Arabian Peninsula and bordered by Saudi Arabia in the south, is a country which abides by civil law. In some matters such as family law, inheritance and criminal acts, it applies the Sharia or the Islamic law. The Qatar trademark laws is rooted on the Law on Trademarks, Geographical Indications and Industrial Designs, which came into effect on 15th June 2002.

To prevent infringement within Qatar, companies can register their trademarks. But, a company should be commercially registered to qualify for this service. The period for which a trademark registration is valid is 10 years.

Process for Registering a New Trademark

1. Two application forms, namely, the trademark logo form and the trademark registration form, need to be filled.
2. All the necessary documents, including a letter of request and pictures of the trademark, should be attached to the documents.
3. The application should be submitted to the Ministry of Economy and Commerce’s Industrial Property Rights Section.
4. The appropriate fees for the all the procedures must be duly paid.
5. The applicant, if not a citizen of Qatar, must arrange for proper legal representation to complete all formalities related to the trademark registration.

The enforcement of the trademark rights is a major priority of the government. These rights can be enforced by filing a petition before the Industrial Property Tribunal, the civil courts or even the criminal courts.

Under the trademark law in Qatar, a trademark owner can resort to civil remedies if its mark is being infringed by a third party and to go forward this process, the mark owner can file a lawsuit before a court of civil jurisdiction.

The government in Qatar is planning to adopt an effective law to combat phishing and cyber squatting, but this plan is still awaiting approval from the ministry. As a result, cases related to online transactions, infringement of domain name and IP issues are being dealt with under different laws depending on the type of crime. For example, in case of domain name infringement cases, the registrant can file a complaint with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Centre, whose decisions may be enforced by the local domain name registry.

The provisions of this Law include regulations related to trademarks, service marks, commercial names, group marks, registration procedures, renewal of registration, indications of source and origin, transfer of property and the payable fees.

Under the law, the owner of a registered trademark is granted the exclusive right to prevent all third parties from using their trademark for trade usage. According to the local law, a registered mark can be cancelled only after five years of registration. One of the drawbacks of this law is that it does not explain if an individual has the right to apply for trademark registration or not. Another drawback is the lack of implementation regulations.

Al-Misnad Law provides comprehensive services regarding Qatar law for virtually every aspect of business. Call +974 4016 7020  for law and legal consulting services.