GNcareers, from Gulf News

How to start a business in Dubai - Trademark your company name

Company trademarkImage Credit: Supplied

From the multi-tired Michelin Man to the Nike swoosh, Google sign and Apple, trademarked logos are everywhere. Trademarks for companies can vary from being a symbol to a name, or even a phrase or image that consumers can use to identify them and make associations with value, trust, quality or any other distinct features that the company wants to portray.

Contrary to popular belief, trademarks are not always officially registered, and they don’t need to be. A ‘TM’ sign next to the company name or logo denotes an unregistered trademark for a company dealing with goods. An asterisk sign (*) beside the company name or logo denotes an unregistered trademark for a company dealing with services. A circled ‘R’ or the ® stands for a registered trademark.

The benefits of registering your company’s name, symbol, design or logo outweigh the disadvantages in terms of time or money spent in doing so. The chance of an intellectual property dispute becomes non-existent because of the thoroughness with which the pre-registration process is undertaken. It negates any overlap or cause for concern for the trademark being registered.

The UAE’s Trademark Law is very holistic in its approach. It even includes a ‘sound’ as part of a trademark if it accompanies a logo, name, title, symbol, or signature. The application to register a trademark can be made at the Ministry of Economy. In case an application gets rejected on grounds of not fulfilling the criteria, an appeal must be filed by the applicant within a month. Upon registration, the trademark is entered in the Trademark Journal.

Handy Hints:
· In UAE, a trademark can be a figure, a seal, etc.
· Registered trademarks protect a firm from conflicts
· Companies can register at the Ministry of Economy

Source: Bushra Hameduddin, Special to Classifieds
The writer is a freelancer