Trade and Service Marks
– Ministerial Decree No. 500 of 2015 (on the sanction of the Executive Regulations of Law No. 13 of 2015 approving the unified GCC Trademark Law and Implementing Regulations).
The Minister of Commerce and Industry having perused:
– Law of Commerce promulgated by Law-Decree No. 68 of 1980 and its amendments.
– Law No. 44 of 1981, approving the GCC Articles of Association.
– Law No. 5 of 2003, approving the GCC unified Economic Agreement.
– Decree No. 191 of 2015, on Regulation of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
Membership in International Conventions
– WTO’s TRIPS Agreement, since January 1, 1995.
– Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), since July 14, 1998.
– Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, Stockholm Act, since December 2, 2014.
Foreigners and nationals not living in Kuwait: are eligible to apply for registration.
Novelty: not required.
Definition: the trademark is anything which takes a distinctive form such as words, signatures, letters, figures, devices, brands, headings, seals, drawings, engravings, pictorial elements, color combinations, any sign that is perceivable by sight, audio signs and signs related to the sense of smell or any other mark or combination of marks, when used or intended to be used to distinguish goods or products, to indicate that they belong to the owner of the mark, by reason of manufacturer, selection, trading in or offering for sale such goods or products.
Exception to protection: the following may not be trademarks, nor registered as such (1) marks which are not capable to distinguish products or services of a project from the same of other projects; (2) marks in violation to the public order or morals; (3) marks likely to mislead the public or commercial centers, especially, as regards the geographical origin of the pertinent goods or services or as regards its nature or characteristics; (4) trademarks identical to an honorary emblem, flag or other ensigns, name, abbreviated name, initials, pictorial mark or a certified stamp of any state, governmental international organization or any organization which was established by virtue of an international invention or if income tax is an imitation thereof or if income tax includes the same as one of its elements unless it is so permitted by the competent authorities of such state or organization; (5) trademarks identical or similar to an extent raising a confusion towards famous trademarks or trade names in the State of Kuwait or which constitutes a translation for it regarding the identical or similar goods or services of other project. The trademark may not be registered if it is connected with non-identical or different goods or services whenever its use may create the impression that there is a connection between them and the reputable trademark or trade name in a way that is detrimental to the owner of the mark; (6) a trademark identical to the trademark of other respective owner which is already registered or to an application prior to the application of registering the concerned trademark as regards the date of filing or priority date in relation to the same goods or services, or goods or services closely connected therewith or if they are similar to a degree that causes confusion or misleads; (7) trademarks which Israel Boycott Office decides that they are identical or similar to an Israeli trademark, emblem or logo.
Priority: priority rights can be claimed under the Paris Convention as of January 1, 2015.
Classification: identical with the International Classification of Nice (11th Edition) (except class 33 “alcoholic beverages” which is strictly prohibited in Kuwait). It is possible to file service mark applications in classes from 35 to 45. A separate application is required for each class.
Filing requirements for an application (to be sent to resident agent):
1. Power of attorney legalized up to the Kuwaiti Consulate;
2. Certificate of Incorporation or extract from the Commercial Register (legalization is not required);
3. Certified copy of the priority document legalized up to the Kuwaiti Consulate if claiming priority.
Notes: late filing of above documents possible, within three months from the filing date. All documents, if not in Arabic, should be translated from English into Arabic, and attested by the official translator at the Ministry of Justice. Legalization of documents must be made up to a Kuwaiti Consul, or in its absence, by any Arab Consul. Documents other than in Arabic or English should be accompanied by certified and legalized English translations from which Arabic translations are to be prepared locally.
Electronic filing: available.
Examination: formal, within ninety days of filing and as for acceptance of the application. The Registrar may impose limitations or modifications he may deem necessary for defining and explaining a trademark in order to prevent confusion with another mark already registered, or for any other reason he may think fit. Where the decision of the Registrar is one of refusal or conditional acceptance of the registration, the applicant may appeal it within the prescribed period; the court may either uphold, quash or amend the Registrar’s decision.
Letters of consent: are not accepted.
Rights of prior user: no provision.
Opposition: any interested person may, within sixty days from the date of the advertisement, file a written notice of opposition against the registration of a mark.
Publication: in the absence of objections against an application, within the prescribed period, the mark is published on the official website of the Trademark Office (https://trademark.moci.gov.kw) as per the new GCC Trademark Law adopted in Kuwait.
Issuance of certificate: within the following few months.
Duration: the term of a trademark registration is ten years from the date of application.
Renewal: renewal for subsequent periods of ten years may be applied for during the last year of the registration.
Assignment: with or without the goodwill of the business; will not be published in the Official Gazette.
License: recordal is not compulsory, but recommended in order to be effective against third parties; must be recorded at the Commercial Registry and not the Trademark Office if the licensor or licensee is a Kuwaiti national.
Refusal of Protection after Granting
Use: the court may, upon application by any interested person, order to delete the registration if it is established that the mark had not been effectively used for five consecutive years.
Re-filing of invalidated marks: where the mark is struck out from the Register, it can be registered again, for the same products/services in favor of a third party.
Revocation: the Registrar, as well as any interested party, may request the court to remove any trademark improperly registered, and the Office will expunge the mark on receipt of a final judgment to that effect.