Trademark According to Saudi Law

The Saudi trademark law punishes anyone who forges a registered trademark or imitates or uses it without the consent of its owner.

In implementing the provisions of this Law, trademarks shall be names of distinct shapes, signatures, words, letters, numbers, drawings, symbols, stamps and protruding inscriptions or any other sign or combination thereof which can be recognized by sight and suitable to distinguish industrial, commercial, vocational or agricultural products or a project to exploit forests or natural resources or to indicate that the object upon which the trademark is put belongs to the owner of the trademark on grounds of manufacture, selection, invention thereof or trading therewith or to indicate the rendering of a certain service.

The importance of registering a trademark

The importance of registering a trademark is that it ensures the protection of ownership for its owner and the exclusive rights to use or authorize others to use it on an agreed amount of money. The protection period differs according to the nature, type and scope of the registration required to protect the trademark. The geographical scope may be extended to protect the trademark by registering the same in other states against paying additional fees, thus the trademark owner shall have the right to protect it and to prevent others from encroaching on his trademark rights worldwide.

The protection of Trademark under Saudi Trademarks Law

The Saudi trademark law punishes anyone who forges a registered trademark or imitates or uses it without the consent of its owner, whereas the 43 articles states that:

Without prejudice to any harsher punishment, the following shall be punished with imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year and a fine not less than fifty thousand riyals and not exceeding one million riyals or with one of these punishments: k. Anyone who forges a registered trademark or imitates it in a way that misleads the public, and anyone who uses in bad faith a forged or an imitated trademark. l. Anyone who puts or uses, in bad faith, a trademark owned by another on his products or services. m. Anyone who offers, puts up for sale, or sells or possesses with intention of selling products carrying a forged, an imitated, or unlawfully put or used trademark, despite his knowledge thereof as well as anyone who offers to render services under such a trademark despite his knowledge thereof.

We think that even if such article protects the trademark from encroachment and punishes the encroacher, however requiring the encroacher's knowledge that the trademark is owned by another and registered in his name may enables him to get out of paying compensation even if he receives the punishment stipulated by law. Therefore, knowing that the trademark is owned by another and registered in his name should be virtual, because using a registered trademark owned by another causes harm to the owner of the imitated or used trademark without his permission, in another words, proving the fact of trademark encroachment should be sufficient to impose a sentence.

Mechanism of trademark registration

You can apply to register more than one trade mark on one application, each application shall be examined separately.
The applicant may submit the application for trademark registration as follow:

- In his personal name;
- In the name of the commercial corporation owned by him;
- In the name of a corporation in which he has a right to be a partner;
- In the name of an entity where he is authorized or mandated to submit the application on its behalf.

The current fees of registering the trademark in Saudi Arabia according to the last amendment (for one trademark) as follow:

- SAR 1000 for submitting trademark application;
- SAR 1500 for publishing the trademark;
- SAR 5000 for registering the trademark.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Abdul Haleem Ammar
Abdul Haleem Ammar is a legal consultant.

Copyright Mohammed Al Khiliwi Law Firm Attorneys and Legal Consultants

Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.
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