Pursuant to Royal Decree No. M/51/1435, the GCC Trademark and its implementing regulations have been implemented in Saudi Arabia w.e.f September 27, 2016. The implementation of the law as whole remained pending on the effective date as explained in our earlier published news on http://kadasa.com.sa/news/The-GCC-Trademark-Law-is-published-in-Saudi-Arabia.
For the first time in Saudi Arabia, the trademark law is amended providing possibility to register sound marks and smell marks for interested parties. The trademark office is obliged to issue decision on acceptance or rejection within 90 days period post-filing. Since trademark filing system in Saudi Arabia is online, the examination of trademarks is usually very fast, which in some cases can two to three days as well. Unless there are conditions imposed by Examiner or additional documents are requested, the mark is sent to publication immediately after acceptance. Usually acceptance and publication of accepted marks are made on the same day.
The new law creates a significant shift in Appeal process against refusal decisions of Saudi trademarks office. Article 13 of law provides right to appeal against refusal of trademark and also against imposition of condition by trademark office on applied trademark.
The new law changes the jurisdiction of first Appeal from Administrative court of First Instance to Trademark Committee. The implementing regulations provides that Minister Incharge shall form Committee through a Ministerial Decree and this decree will also clarify number of members and other membership rules etc. As of today, Ministerial Decree is not issued.
According to the new Appeal process, as explained in flow chart, Applicant has 60 days to appeal refusal decision or imposition of condition by the Trademark office to the Trademark Committee. Decision of Trademark Committee can be further appealed to Administrative Court within 60 days period of issuance of decision by committee.
Under the Law of Procedure in Saudi Arabia, aggrieved party will be able to file final Appeal against decision of Administrative Court with the Court of Appeal within 30 days period. Decision of Court of Appeal will be final and enforceable.
The new law also provides shorter publication period i.e 60 days period. Under old law, the period to file opposition was 90 days.
It is expected that new trademark law in Saudi Arabia will further streamline the trademark practice in Saudi Arabia due to substantial changes it has brought in the new law. To understand more about amendments in law, please access our article in http://kadasa.com.sa/files/GCC-Article-final.pdf.
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