5 Things Every Startup in the UAE Need to Know About Trademarks
The UAE’s thrust on innovation, technological advancements and pro-active business policies have resulted in the rise of startup entrepreneurs in the country. However, startup entrepreneurs focus more on establishing fancy offices and attracting potential investors and often ignore the critical need for protecting their key assets like trademarks. The availability of limited investment and resources forces them to give less focus on protecting their intellectual property rights. However, the thought that they are not Amazon or Apple to invest in intellectual property rights is wrong.
Startups need to register their trademarks right from the start and the investment for trademarks would help them in effective brand building in later stages. Securing brand protection in the initial stages would also keep them protected from potential trademark battles in the future.
Here is a step-by-step breakdown of the key things that a startup should know about trademarks:
1. Don’t Confuse Tradenames With Trademarks
Startups should bear in mind the crucial difference between a trade name and trademark. Just by registering a trade name to start a business doesn’t mean the brand is protected. The trade name registration is a mandatory requirement while incorporating the company in Dubai or the UAE. It is a legal prerequisite that allows the business person to conduct business in the country. The startups need to register the trademark at the UAE Trademark Office to gain exclusive rights to the brand name, logos or designs of the company.
2. Register Trademarks Right From the Start
Startups often ignore to invest in intellectual property rights at the beginning since they are yet to establish their name in the market. And they don’t give priority to trademark registration thinking that they are yet to build a reputation that needs protection. Also, they won’t be having much resources and money in the initial days and therefore they decide not to invest in protecting intellectual property rights. However, registering the trademarks would give them an edge in the event of any legal disputes. They can also avoid the future expenses that they may incur while trying to enforce an unregistered trademark.
3. Conduct Efficient Trademark Search
The startups should conduct an efficient trademark search before registering their marks in the UAE. Registering trademarks without proper search may increase the chances of facing opposition. The startup entrepreneurs need to conduct a search to ensure that their trademarks don’t infringe the intellectual property rights of any third-party right holders. It is tough for the entrepreneurs to conduct trademark searches on their own and normally the best trademark agents in Dubai, UAE does this job for the companies.
4. Understand Infringement
The startup entrepreneurs often lack knowledge about how their brand names are infringing the third-party right holders. The startup entrepreneurs often resort to fanciful logos, words to stand apart in the market. In this pursuit, they should also ensure that their trademarks are not confusingly similar to the marks of existing brands. It is often noted that startups take care to avoid trademarks that are an exact reproduction of other marks but ignore the fact that even confusingly similar marks lead to infringement. If such trademarks have enough potential to make the consumers confuse them with registered marks of other well-known brands, then it is regarded as infringement. In such cases, the brand owners of the existing trademarks can sue the startup entrepreneurs for infringement. Consulting the best trademark agents to understand what are the grounds for infringement in the UAE of other GCC countries.
5. Know What Trademarks Can’t be Registered
The startups should be aware of the types of trademarks they can legally register in the UAE and what they cannot. In the UAE, any marks that are considered to be against public morals or order cannot enjoy trademark protection. The flags, emblems logos of a country or organisations cannot be registered as trademarks. Trademarks that have only a purely religious nature cannot be trademarked as per the UAE law. It is also not possible to register marks that do not have a distinctive character. The startups should also understand they cannot register marks that bear similarities to national coins, notes, medals and official emblems. Trademark agents in the UAE are well-versed in the UAE trademark laws and it is always better to hire their services before registering trademarks.
Seek Help From Intellectual Property Firms in the UAE
Trademarks are among the most important assets of every business that needs valid legal protection through registration. Big brands and the companies are well aware of the significance of trademark registration and they invest their money and resources to protect their trademarks. However, the startups often show laxity towards registering their trademarks right from the go. Since startups begin with limited resources, they allocate their money into other resources but often fail to protect their trademark assets. Considering the factors mentioned above, startups are advised to register their trademarks right from their inception with the help of the best trademark agents in Dubai, UAE.
Jitendra Intellectual Property (JIP) is one of the leading intellectual property service provider in Dubai, UAE with a commendable reputation in helping out clients from a variety of industries. JIP’s highly qualified trademark agents will help the business people register their trademarks in compliance with the UAE Trademark Law. JIP offers effective UAE trademark registration & search to ensure that the proposed trademarks would not infringe the existing trademarks thereby reducing the chances of opposition. JIP’s trademark agents are experts in highly robust market monitoring to ensure that others are not infringing the registered UAE trademarks of the clients. With ample experience and commendable efficiency, JIP will ensure that the trademarks of the clients remain protected in the UAE and other GCC countries.