Trademarking Checklist for Businesses in the Hospitality Industry
As with any other services or products, the trademarks in the hospitality industry help the brands communicate with the consumers about the quality of their services. However, the trademarks are more important for the hospitality sector as most of the branded hotels have their roots in different jurisdictions across the world. This means the brands need to compete with their rivals in different jurisdictions and therefore branding is highly critical for the hotel chains. Conducting trademark registration in Dubai, UAE is indispensable for the global hospitality brands because it is an international tourist destination and the trademarks become recognisable to travellers from all parts of the world. In this tightened business environment, the hospitality sector should consider the following checklist to protect their Intellectual property rights:
1. Geographical Considerations for Trademark Registration
Geographical considerations play the most important role in the hospitality industry as far as brand protection is concerned. Most of the hotels are operated by the companies that are based in a single jurisdiction and the parent entity of many of these hotels are outside the UAE. However, these global brand names are famous and customers easily recognise them as Dubai is a global tourist destination. Unfortunately, many of these well-known brands fail to conduct trademark registration in the UAE, leading to trademark disputes later.
What trademark agents in Dubai recommend for such well-known hotel brands is that they should perform trademark registration in Dubai, UAE even if their IP assets are already registered somewhere else. If they fail to perform trademark registration in the UAE, some other companies may register their brand here and the hotel would be forced to pursue legal actions, which would be a waste of time and resources and inflicts damage to the brand. Efficient trademark search and trademark monitoring services in Dubai may help the hotel brands identify the presence of conflicting trademark application. If that is the case, the hotel brand case raises an opposition during the opposition period but they need to register their trademark in the UAE at the time of moving the opposition.
2. Registering Trademarks under Appropriate Classes
While registering their trademarks in Dubai, many hotel brands fail to file their brands under appropriate trademark classes. The UAE follows the NICE Classification of trademarks and the brands need to file for registration in each class that appropriately defines their goods or services. Multi-class filing is not allowed in the UAE and therefore the trademarks should be filed separately in multiple classes.
Class 43 is the NICE Classification of services that is relevant to the services offered by the hotels in general. Under Class 43, the hotel brands can protect services including but not limited to temporary accommodation, hotel, and food & drinking services. However, the global brands should understand the requirements as per the UAE Trademark Law while filing for trademarks under different classes as some classes should mandatorily be avoided in the UAE. For example, the NICE Classification recognises services such as bars, clubs, casinos, and related services, but the UAE Trademark Office considers such services are contrary to the public order and are not registrable here. Trademark agents in Dubai can offer expert assistance in filing the trademarks under appropriate classes.
3. Trademark Registration and Franchise
The hotels often sign a franchise agreement with other parties and permit the others to provide services under their registered trademarks. The hotels use the trademark license agreements to facilitating the franchise agreements. The owner of the UAE registered trademark can license one or more persons to use the trademark by signing a written and notarized contract. The trademark can be licensed for all or some of the products or services under which the trademark has been registered in the UAE.
While signing such license agreements, the trademark owners should be vigilant enough to deal with the rights associated with the trademarks. The agreement should contain the scope and limitations of the rights of the trademark owner. Consult with the best trademark agents in Dubai to understand the legalities involved in the trademark licensing agreements.
Hire the Best Trademark Agents in Dubai
The trademark considerations for the hospitality industry is a highly sensitive area of knowledge as the hotels enjoy brand recognition in multiple jurisdictions. Failing to conduct trademark registration in Dubai, UAE is undesirable for international hotel brands due to the potential risks of trademark disputes arising from brand confusion. The hotels should ensure that they have conducted trademark registration in Dubai, UAE under multiple classes. Also, they should bear in mind that the services related to alcohol and casino are not eligible to be protected as they are not considered registrable in the UAE.
International hotel brands seeking to conduct brand registration in Dubai, UAE must hire the services of the best IP firms such as Jitendra Intellectual Property (JIP). JIP has a team of highly qualified trademark agents in Dubai who would guide the brand owners in all the processes of registration. Also, the foreign parties mandatorily require the assistance of trademark agents in Dubai to register their brands as per the rules of the Trademark Office. Apart from trademark registration, JIP’s trademark agents in Dubai assist the brand owners with trademark search, trademark watch, and also provide legal assistance in moving an opposition. JIP ensures that the IP assets of the brand owners are secure in countries including UAE, Bahrain, Egypt, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Israel etc.