SMEs: Trips & Tricks on How to Protect Trademarks in Dubai?
The small or medium-sized enterprises (SME) in Dubai often lack the wide market presence or name recognition that the big corporations or other established firms enjoy. However, that doesn’t mean such firms should overlook the importance of protecting their assets (brands, logos, designs) or other abstract creations. SMEs should ensure that they have established a strong Intellectual Property (IP) protection strategy in their organization to safeguard their team’s hard work. What SMEs need to do is safeguard their IP assets such as brands, logos, and designs by performing trademark registration in the UAE.
Reputed trademark agents in Dubai have designed a guideline for SMEs to effectively protect their trademarks.
1. Don’t Forget to Register your Trademarks
It is a common scenario that SMEs and startups often ignore filing a trademark application for their brand name, logo, etc. Small businesses often overlook the significance of trademark registration in the UAE thinking that they are just in the initial stage of the business and brand protection is only for established companies. This is a misconception as you cannot predict when will your small business grow and branch out into different territories and countries.
Most big businesses that enjoy a larger market presence and brand value started as small. Such companies enjoy a greater brand value as they didn’t ignore the importance of trademark registration. It may also happen that by the time your SME grows into a big enterprise, someone else might have registered a trademark in the UAE that is identical or confusingly similar to your brand name or logo. Performing trademark registration in Dubai right from the beginning saves you from future trademark disputes.
2. Safeguard your Trademarks with Customs Authorities
So, you have understood how trademark registration in Dubai helps to protect your brand. Now, you need to think about how to protect the trademark itself. You cannot sit relaxed after registering your trademarks with the help of reputed trademark agents in the UAE. This is because the infringers and counterfeiters could make a dent in your business by producing and selling fake goods by imitating your brand name, logos, and designs.
Fake goods are a menace to the economy and a danger to the health and safety of consumers. Fake goods also tarnish the value of your brand image in the market. However, Dubai has an efficient system to tackle the counterfeiters through the recordal process at the Customs Department. After registering your trademarks with the Ministry of Economy you can record the trademarks at the Dubai Customs with the help of trademark agents. The Customs Authorities will seize the consignments that are suspected to contain counterfeit goods and will alert you or the trademark agents in Dubai who helped you with the recordal process.
3. Monitor New Trademark Filings
Registering your trademarks is not the end of the journey for IP protection in Dubai as infringement may happen at any time. Logos and brand names of profitable businesses are always vulnerable to infringement. So you need to stay vigilant and monitor the market to see if someone else is registering a trademark that is identical or similar to your UAE-registered trademark.
If you find that another party has filed for trademark registration in the UAE which may infringe your IP rights, then you can raise opposition to the new registration. You can even proceed with legal proceedings like sending a cease & desist letter to stop the party from using your trademark. As a businessman, you will not have the time to monitor the market for potential infringement. This is where reputed trademark agents in Dubai come to your assistance with ongoing trademark monitoring services.
4. Maintain your Trademark Properly
There are certain situations where the already registered trademarks in the UAE face cancellation request citing ‘non-use.’ Thousands of trademarks are registered in the UAE Trademark Office every day and we cannot say all of them are active. Some brand owners perform the trademark registration in Dubai for their brand name, logos, etc, and fail to use it.
Any third party can oppose such trademark registrations and request for cancellation. To avoid such a situation you have to ensure that your trademarks remain active in the UAE. Always consult with the best trademark agents in Dubai to ensure that your trademarks remain protected.
5. Remember to Renew Trademark Registration in the UAE
Last but not the least, you need to remember the date of renewal of trademark registration in Dubai. The trademark you registered in the UAE remains protected for a period of 10 years only. To ensure continued protection you should renew the trademark registration in the UAE by submitting a renewal application. The application for trademark renewal should be filed within the last year of the expiry of the protection.
The trademark registration will lapse if you fail to renew it within a 3-months grace period and the UAE Ministry of Economy will remove the trademark from the register. Once the trademark has lapsed no other party except the previous owner can file for the same trademark within 3 years of the lapse. However, after three years from the lapse date, any party can apply for your trademark.
Consult With the Intellectual Property Firm (IP Firm)
Performing trademark registration in the UAE is equally important for SMEs as well as the big companies that enjoy higher brand recognition. SMEs often overlook the importance of protecting their IP assets and encounter trademark disputes later. To avoid such IP disputes and also to build a higher brand value right from the beginning, the SMEs should design strategies to safeguard their brands.
Trademark registration in Dubai, trademark renewal, recordal with Customs, and market monitoring are some of the top tips recommended by trademark agents in Dubai to protect the trademarks. To register and renew the trademark in Dubai, UAE, the businesses need the assistance of reputed IP services providers. Jitendra Intellectual Property (JIP) is a full-service IP firm with years of experience in assisting both small businesses, as well as big companies, to register their trademarks. JIP has highly qualified trademark agents who will ensure that the trademarks remain protected in the UAE as well as other GCC countries including Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain.