Trade and Service Marks

– Qatar Trade Mark Law No. 9 of 2002, amending the Law No. 3/1978.
– Implementing Regulations issued under Ministerial Decree No. 30/80 on June 11, 1980, in force since January 25, 1981 is applicable to this Law. Implementing Regulations of Commercial Indications, Trade Names, Geographical Indications and Industrial Designs are yet to be issued.

Membership in International Conventions

– Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), since September 3, 1976.
– WTO’s TRIPS Agreement, since January 13, 1996.
– Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, Stockholm Act, since July 5, 2000.

Filing

Applicant: any person who is involved in business of any kind, or legal entity.

Foreigners: may apply for registration of marks on the basis of reciprocity; must be represented by an agent residing in Qatar.

Excluded from registration: marks contrary to morality or public order; State emblems or hallmarks; symbols similar to the Red Crescent or the Red Cross; geographical names; portrait of a third party without his consent; marks which are identical or similar to a mark which is already applied for or registered for the same or similar goods or services; signs which are apt to deceive the public or which contain false indications of origin; marks similar to a mark, symbol or emblem from Israel.

Marks in color: acceptable.

Service marks: registrable.

Collective marks: registrable.

Series of marks: registrable, provided the marks are basically identical. They may not be transferred independently from each other. Three-dimensional marks are considered as series marks.

Novelty: the Law does not provide for novelty in respect of trademarks and service marks.

Priority: no Convention priority, but based on reciprocity: six months.

Classification: the Trademark Office follows the 11th Edition of the Nice Classification and the services in classes 43, 44 and 45 are accepted as of February 12, 2017 except in class 32 alcoholic drinks and beverages, and class 33, which is not registrable.

Filing requirements for an application (to be sent to resident agent):
1. Power of attorney, legalized up to a Qatari Consulate. In the absence of a Qatari Consulate legalization can be obtained in any GCC Consulate;
2. Certificate of Incorporation or extract from the Commercial Register, legalized up to a Qatari Consulate;
3. 5 prints of the trademark;
4. List of goods and classes pertaining thereto;
5. The name, address, nationality, activity and legal status of the applicant and the goals and nature of its business;
6. Certified copy of the priority document (if priority is claimed).

Notes (late filing of documents is not possible):
1. A separate application for each class is required.
2. If documents are in another language, an Arabic translation is required.
3. If no Qatari Consulate exists, the legalization can be carried out by any GCC Consulate or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of a country having a consulate in Qatar.

For a change of name or address:
1. Power of attorney, legalized up to a Qatari Consulate;
2. Certificate of change of name or address, legalized up to a Qatari Consulate.

Examination, Registration and Protection

Examination: as to form and registrability; absolute and relative grounds.

Objections of the Registrar: are notified by official letters.

Amendments: modifications are accepted if they do not enlarge the application, whereas amendment of the form of the mark is only possible if the new form does not change the identity of the mark. The term for replying to an official letter is six months if the mark is accepted with conditions or two months if the mark is rejected.

Rights of prior user: no provision.

Disclaimers: available. 

Letters of consent: are accepted, must be legalized up to a Qatari Consulate.

Publication: when an application has been accepted, it will be published in the Trade Mark Journal.

Opposition: possible during four months after publication.

Registration: at any time after the opposition period. The registration certificate is issued in paper format.

Duration of protection: ten years from the date of application.

Renewal: can be effected for further periods of ten years during the last year of protection; grace period: six months with fine.

Rights of the owner: he is solely entitled to use the mark.

Assignments: only possible together with the enterprise (business) which produces the goods or services for which the mark is registered in Qatar.

Licenses: must be registered and published in the Trade Marks Bulletin in order to have effect against third parties.

Use: not required, however, if a mark has not been used for five consecutive years, any interested person may request its cancellation before the court.

Marking: not compulsory.

Infringement and penalties: provided for. Infringement action is to be carried out by filing a lawsuit in the civil court and penalties are decided by the court.

Modification of Protection after Registration

Contestation of a registered mark: only possible during the first five years. Provided the mark has been used during that period, the ownership of the mark can no longer be contested.