Lessons for UAE Brand Owners to Protect Sound Trademarks

Trademark registration in the UAE is often thought of as registering combinations of words and/or images representing a brand. However, the UAE also allows brand owners to register sound trademarks associated with their brand. Even though the UAE Trademark Law has provisions for protecting sound trademarks, only a few brand owners have attempted to register their sound marks.

This is mainly due to the lack of awareness about the process and requirements associated with registering a sound trademark in the UAE. Trademark agents in the UAE can assist you in registering your sound trademarks. Read the following article to know more:

What Qualifies as a Sound Mark in the UAE?

The Federal Decree-Law (36) of 2021 is the governing Trademark Law in the UAE which has amended the previous Federal Decree-Law (37) of 1992. Article (2) of the New Law provides the following definition for a trademark:

“A Trademark is everything that takes a distinctive shape of names, words, signatures, letters, Symbols, numbers, addresses, seals, Drawings, Pictures, Engravings, packaging, graphic elements, forms, colour or colours or a combination thereof, a sign or a group of signs, including three-dimensional marks, Hologram Marks, or any other mark used or intended to be used to distinguish the goods or services of a facility from the goods or services of other facilities, or to indicate the performance of a service, or to conduct monitoring or examination of goods or services. A distinctive sound or smell may be considered a Trademark.”

In line with this definition, any distinctive sound used to distinguish the goods or services of a business from the goods or services of other businesses may qualify as a sound mark. Trademark agents in the UAE can help you assess the registrability of your sound marks.

What are the Sound Trademark Requirements in the UAE?

An application for sound trademark registration in the UAE should contain certain requirements and information. Trademark agents in the UAE can advise you on how to meet these requirements. Consider the below list of information and requirements while preparing a trademark application:

  • A musical note if the trademark is related to an audio
  • Accurate description of the sound
  • Substantial physical evidence to show the sound has sufficiently acquired distinctiveness

Types of Sound Trademarks            

Sound branding is gaining more popularity among brands and they use them to associate their products or brand with a specific sound, chime or tune. These sounds can define a trademark such as the brief but impactful sound you hear when the logo of Netflix appears on the screen. Sound branding helps in brand awareness, product differentiation and even enhancing sales due to familiarity. The following list describes various categories within sound branding that may represent the majority of trademark applications:

  • Sound logos: A short, distinctive musical sound you can hear at the beginning or end of a product commercial
  • Environmental sound designs: A custom ambient soundscape that creates or transforms an experience such as the sounds used by retailers to create a shopping experience for their customers.
  • Branding sound technology: These are sounds that add to the user experience such as the sound you can hear in ringtones, chimes and on-hold messages played for customers.

Benefits of Registering a Sound Trademark in the UAE

Trademarks that associate a sound with a product or service can trigger a much more elevated response from consumers. It is because people can easily form an emotional connection with a melodic sound than with an image. Distinctive audio clips that serve as a sound trademark can touch the listener’s auditory senses, facilitating brand recognition. You can benefit from the following benefits of sound trademarks in the UAE:

  • Sound trademarks are highly memorable
  • Sound trademarks are more persuasive
  • Sound marks stimulate familiarity and emotional connection

Register a Sound Mark Through Trademark Agents in the UAE

Sound marks are granted protection through trademark registration in the UAE if they possess distinctiveness. Trademark agents in the UAE, such as Jitendra Intellectual Property (JIP) can advise you on whether your proposed mark qualifies as a sound trademark. JIP offers bespoke trademark services in the UAE for your logos, slogans and brand name. Our agents can guide you on the process and requirements associated with registering a trademark in the UAE. JIP’s services include trademark search, registration & renewal, trademark watch etc. We also offer assistance with the Madrid Protocol of International Trademark Registration. Get our services today to enjoy continued brand protection in the UAE, GCC areas and countries covered by the Madrid Protocol.

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