MoCI reiterates need to register trademarks

November 27, 2018

The Intellectual Property Department at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MoCI) has reiterated that it is important for traders and manufacturers to place trademark on their products and services in order to distinguish these from others. 

According to the ministry, it is not possible to offer products such as foodstuffs, cars, electrical items, etc or services like those of restaurants, banks and commercial centres without a trademark. MoCI also stated that trademarks can be sold and used by others with the permission of the owners.

Ali bin Hamad bin Saif al Mamari, head of the Intellectual Property Department, said, “Recently, some traders have been found using trademarks without protecting these through the ministry. This is a violation of the rights of others. Some trademarks are designed like those of other famous entities. MoCI rejects such applications.

“Some commercial agents also try to register trademarks owned by non-Omani companies. They are told there is no objection if the trademark is used in the sultanate but it does not give the second party the right to own it. It is only for use.”

Mamari cautioned against hurrying with the application procedure. “This is also a mistake. Some people want to use it before initial decision or getting a registration certificate for the trademark. Without the completion of the entire process, the trademark is not considered protected and can be rejected either by the inspection department or through the objection of others.”

Mamari said there are conditions to be met to obtain trademarks, such as not being contrary to public order, morality and Islamic Sharia’a. Additionally, it should not contradict a trademark for which an application has already been filed. It should be new, innovative and distinct from others and not be descriptive of products or services.

The name should not be misleading for the public; words like ‘new’, ‘excellent’, ‘healthy’, ‘quality’# etc are unacceptable. Also, the trademark should not include the name of others, nicknames, photos, non-monolingual words, public logos, country names, flags or symbols.

Mamari said there are essential prerequisites to register a trademark. Samples of the trademark must be submitted and the application must be printed and complete. The application and legal procedure is of approximately five months duration. Prior to applying, one should ascertain if the trademark is worth registering and if it is innovative.