A Trademark Protection Guide for Digital Health Startups

The demand for digital healthcare products has surged, especially after the Covid-19 pandemic, which requires the brand owners to carry out trademark registration in the UAE as well as other relevant jurisdictions. Fitness tracking wearables, blood pressure monitors, telemedicine services etc form the core of the digital health spectrum. Brands associated with such products or services should consider trademark protection as their top priority to tame the competitors and increase their visibility among the general public and consumers.

However, the procedures and requirements related to trademark registration can be complicated for startups and SMEs engaged in the digital health segment. Such brand owners can consult with trademark agents in the UAE before making any brand-related decision. If you want to know key aspects such as what to trademark, how to apply for registration and other key requirements, keep reading the below article.

Ensure You Have a Strong Trademark

Before applying for trademark registration in the UAE, you must ensure that your trademark is not easily imitable. Only strong and distinctive trademarks are inimitable and hence enjoy the highest level of protection. Selecting a strong trademark bolsters brand recognition and easy registration. Weak trademarks will disqualify for registration and it is advisable to talk with trademark agents in the UAE before choosing a trademark.

A strong trademark can be formed using invented terms that have no connection with the product or service they represent. Such trademarks are called Fanciful trademarks and the diet app NOOM is a top example of a Fanciful trademark. However, you need to avoid Generic words and descriptive marks that offer the least protection for your trademarks. Generic marks include terms that are too commonly used (eg: HEALTH APP) and descriptive marks describe the features, quality, result or any attribute of a product or service (eg: DIABETES TRACKER for a product that tracks blood sugar).

Make Sure No One Has Registered a Similar Mark

After selecting a strong trademark for your digital health brand, it is essential to ensure that your proposed trademark is not similar to previously registered marks. If your mark is confusingly similar to an already registered trademark, you may face opposition from the other trademark owner which may eventually lead to rejection of your application. For example, if you want to trademark a fitness tracking devise FIT BOT, you may face opposition from the owner of the trademark FITBIT.

There is no other way for you to know the existence of similar trademarks than to conduct a trademark search in the UAE. By using trademark search services in the UAE, you can see if someone else has already registered a trademark that is identical or similar to your proposed mark. Trademark agents in the UAE will search the official trademark database to check such similar registrations.

Properly Classify the Goods or Services

You need to file your trademarks under proper classes of goods or services as per the Nice Classification system. You need to list your trademark against the proper goods and services depending on the nature of the product or service. The Nice Classification system lists 45 classes of goods and services from which you must choose a primary class and relevant coordinated classes. The trademark classes relevant to digital healthcare brands are Class 9 (Scientific, weighing, measuring, signalling, detecting, testing, inspecting, life-saving and teaching apparatus and instruments) and Class 10 (Surgical, medical, dental and veterinary apparatus and instruments etc).

Apply for Trademark Protection Worldwide

Digital health brands with an international presence must apply for global trademark protection through the Madrid Protocol system administered by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO). The Madrid Protocol has more than 120 member countries and you can obtain protection in those countries through a single filing. Moreover, trademark registration under the Madrid Protocol involves only a single set of fees and you can file the application in a single language. Trademark agents in the UAE can help you to register a trademark as per the Madrid Protocol.

Police your Trademarks in the UAE

Conducting trademark registration in the UAE doesn’t mean your trademark is safe from infringement. You need to monitor the marketplace to see if anyone is using logos, brand names and slogans that are similar to your registered trademarks. You can avail of trademark watch services in the UAE to detect trademark infringement directed at your brands. Consult with trademark agents in the UAE to avail of robust trademark watch services.

Top Five UAE-based Digital Health Startups

The UAE is a fertile ground for digital health startups as the country is a mix of health-conscious citizens and residents. Some of the UAE-based digital health startups are listed below:

  1. Vezeeta (digital healthcare booking platform)
  2. Altibbi (digital Health platform, 24/7 telehealth service)
  3. Valeo (personalized mobile health tracker)
  4. Prognica (smart screening solution to detect breast cancer)
  5. ProvenMed (urinary incontinence wearable device)

Consult with the Best Trademark Agents in Dubai, UAE

Conducting trademark registration in the UAE should be a top priority of digital health startups to gain exclusive rights over their brands. Registering your trademarks with the help of trademark agents in the UAE is essential to stop competitors and counterfeiters from misusing your valued brand identity. Jitendra Intellectual Property (JIP) offers bespoke trademark services in the UAE to help you increase your brand visibility and to gain customer loyalty.

We offer services such as trademark registration, renewal, trademark search & watch services. JIP can also ensure worldwide protection for your brand by helping your register a trademark as per the Madrid Protocol of International trademark registration.

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