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How Much Does Trademark Registration Cost in the Middle East?

Published on 7 March 2018

In one of our previous articles, The GCCPO: A Valuable Gateway to Patenting in the Middle East, we delved into the question: "How Much Does it Cost to Obtain a Gulf Cooperation Council Patent?" In this article, we shall discuss trademark filing and registration costs in the member countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council ("GCC").

Gulf Cooperation Council

The GCC is a regional organization founded in 1981, which is comprised of the member states of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, and Kuwait. It is a significant regional player in the Middle East, with the collective GDP of the six economies being estimated to exceed a whopping $1.5 trillion in 2017.

Trademarks in GCC Member Countries

As per the ‘Statistical Country Profiles' published by the World Intellectual Property Organization, close to 54,000 trademark applications were filed in the GCC member countries in 2014, with the UAE and Saudi Arabia accounting for two-thirds of the filed applications.

GCC Trademark Law

Unlike patents, for which the GCC has a unitary law and a centralized GCC Patent Office (GCCPO) located in Riyadh, the GCC Trademark Law is merely a unifying law that seeks to harmonize the procedures across the six member states. As a result, there is no centralized GCC Trademark Office, which, in turn, means that registering a trademark in the GCC countries will require the filing of six separate National trademark applications.

To date, the GCC Trademark Law has been completely implemented in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Kuwait, with the implementation resulting in a substantial increase in official fees in each of the three jurisdictions. Though Qatar, and, more recently, Oman, have published legislation to ratify the law, the implementing regulations are yet to be published. The UAE, on the other hand, has yet to ratify/publish either the law (as amended in 2013) or the implementing regulations.

GCC Trademark Costs

Let us now discuss the costs involved in filing trademark applications in the GCC member countries and, subsequently, getting them registered. Typically, there are three categories of costs involved: official fees, attorney charges, and translation costs.

As is the case with the other types of trademark costs, the costs are generally dependent on the number of classes of goods and services under which the trademark applications are filed. For the purposes of this article, we shall consider trademark applications for protection under two classes.

The estimated costs of a GCC trademark registration under two classes add up to approximately $30,000 (Table 1). These costs are inclusive of the fee to translate one page into Arabic in each of the six jurisdictions, which is between $35 and $53, in addition to the costs of legalizing the Power of Attorney (where applicable).

Oman and the UAE are the cheapest and the costliest jurisdictions, respectively, in which to get a trademark registered, with the estimated costs in the UAE ($10,437) being around 4 times greater than that of Oman ($2,651). However, the costs in Oman are expected to increase once the regulations governing the implementation of the GCC Trademark Law come into force.

The figure below depicts the stage-wise split-up of the estimated costs in each jurisdiction.

For the above scenario, the basic official application fee to be paid in each of the six jurisdictions ranges from $260 in Oman to $545 in the UAE, while the official registration fee ranges from $260 in Oman to $5,445 in the UAE.

With the exception of Kuwait, in which the publication charges are to be paid at the registration stage, the official fees for publication are to be paid at the filing stage in the other five jurisdictions. In addition to the publication in the respective National Trademarks Journal of each jurisdiction, it is also mandatory to publish in local newspapers in the UAE and Oman.

Trademark Cost Calculator

Interested in getting such costs calculated? The Global IP Estimator is Quantify IP's flagship software that can be used as an international trademark cost calculator to instantly and accurately calculate the worldwide trademark costs for a single trademark family. The cost estimates are calculated based on our meticulous research of trademark legislations in 150+ jurisdictions. Specific stages of the trademarking process can be included or excluded from the cost estimates.

The Intellectual Property budgeting capabilities of many law firms and Fortune 500 companies have undergone a significant transformation since the addition of the Global IP Estimator to their toolbox. To see what we can do for you, email us at qipcontact@quantifyip.com, or call us at +1-808-891-0099.

Venkatesh Viswanath (Senior Analyst, Quantify IP) contributed to this article.
Exchange Rates Used: 1 US Dollar = 3.67 UAE Dirhams, 0.38 Bahraini Dinars, 3.31 Kuwaiti Dinars, 0.38 Omani Riyals, 3.72 Qatari Riyals, and 3.75 Saudi Riyals.

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