Trademark registration and protection of tradenames in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have become imperative for cosmetic industry owing to the highly competitive business environment. The global beauty and personal care brands are seeing optimistic growth prospects here as estimates indicate that the people in the UAE will spend AED 8.8 billion on personal care by 2022. Several international brands have set foot in the UAE considering this increased demand and growth prospects.
How the UAE Regulates Cosmetics Sector with Clearly Defined Laws
The UAE strictly regulate the cosmetic sector by introducing specific laws regarding the personal care industry. There is Cosmetics Law and Fragrance Law to monitor and regulate cosmetics and fragrances respectively.
The Cosmetics Law defines cosmetics and personal care products as:
“any substance or mixture made for the use and contact of the external organs and parts of the body (such as the skin, hair, nails, lips, teeth, genitals or the mucosa of the oral cavity) for cleaning or perfuming them, changing their appearance, or enhancing their smell, or protecting or keeping them in the best shape.”
In this regard, the following goods that are often confused with cosmetics are excluded from the purview of this law:
- medical products used in the treatment of diseases
- devices and tools accompanying cosmetics
The Fragrance Law applies to all perfume products and defines fragrances as:
“any cosmetics and personal care products with a nice scent, composed of essential oils, fixatives, alcohol solution, water, permissible colourants, anti-oxidants, and solvents.”
Why Cosmetics Companies Should Register Their Trademarks in UAE?
Unlike any other industry, brand registration in UAE is highly crucial for businesses in the personal care sector because consumers make purchases solely based on the quality of cosmetics. Further, an overly crowded market and a higher risk of counterfeit products make a strong case of trademark registration for cosmetic products in the UAE. Cosmetic brands should consider the following factors to opt for registering a trademark in UAE:
1. Tackle Competition in Markets
Brands entering the UAE or any other foreign jurisdictions, as part of the expansion, must ensure that their trademarks are registered. This would ensure that companies can own trademark rights in multiple jurisdictions globally.
2. To Curb Counterfeit Products
Trademark registration is an effective tool while dealing with counterfeit products. In 2019, a warehouse full of counterfeit cosmetics products was seized by the Sharjah Economic Development Department (SEDD). The warehouse contained a total of 11,960 fake products of international brands. A year before that Dubai officials seized 22,000 fake cosmetic products worth AED 1 million from a warehouse. Considering this reason, brands must register their trademarks in regions that are vulnerable to the sale of counterfeit products.
International Classification for Trademark Registration of Cosmetics
As per the Nice classification, trademarks are classified into 45 classifications so that brands can register their trademarks in categories related to their core businesses. Cosmetic brands mainly register their trademarks in Class 03 which also includes cleaning preparations including soaps.
For online trading of cosmetics, Class 35 can be the best choice. However, there is a general misconception that creams and eye drops that are used for medical purposes fall under the cosmetics category. Such trademarks should be filed under Class 05 instead of Class 03.
Businesses can opt for Class 03 Trademark registration if their brands fall under:
- deodorants for human beings or animals
- room fragrance preparations
- Sanitary preparations for toiletries
The following product types cannot be trademarked under Class 3:
- deodorants other than for human beings or for animals
- chemical chimney cleaners
- degreasing preparations for use in manufacturing processes
Class 05 includes trademarks of sanitary preparations for medical preparations. Trademarks of face creams and eye drops used for medical purposes fall under Class 05 and not Class 03. There is a major misconception that such products fall under Class 03.
It is advisable for cosmetics companies to register their trademark under Class 35 for online trading.
Why Choose Jitendra Intellectual Property?
Jitendra Intellectual Property (JIP), as trademark agent in UAE, recommends that all local and international cosmetics businesses should register their trademarks in the UAE to protect their brand power against any possible infringement of trademarks and curb counterfeit products. JIP has a highly experienced team of trademark agents who will ensure that the trademark of cosmetics companies remains protected in the UAE. JIP assists cosmetics companies on any issues related to trademark search, registration process, from filing to publication in any class across the GCC countries.