The trademark and patent registration laws of Qatar are not so different from what are implemented in other parts of the world but it doesn’t mean that issues concerning trademarks and patents are not common in the country. In fact, some can be hard to avoid, especially between international and local entities.
One case that proves this point is the case between a Swiss watchmaker and another trademark holder. Upon the publication for opposition for the former’s application for trademark for the brand’s symbol and company name, an objection was filed claiming that the symbol in the application bears resemblance to a trademark they own.
The objection was upheld by the Registrar of the Ministry of Business and Trade’s Industrial Property Rights Office but was contested by the applicant on the following grounds:
The Court of First Instance rejected the claim saying that the trademarks were similar in appearance and that consumers can confuse the imageries of the two brands. The date of the registration of the trademark holder was also taken into consideration as they were first to register their trademark in Qatar even if the applicant already had registered theirs in Switzerland and internationally.
The applicant appealed the decision to the Court of Appeal, arguing that the Court of Cassation should compare the trademarks in their entirety and not just on specific features of the images they contain. The initial decision was later overruled by the Court of Appeal by viewing the trademarks in their entirety. It was also determined that the contested symbol is generic and that the defendant cannot claim exclusivity over it. This allowed the applicant to pursue their trademark registration in Qatar.
In need of filing a trademark or patent registration and protection in Qatar? Follow the guide below for the procedure.
Patent applications in Qatar are now possible online. Prior to filing an application for a patent protection, always check for inventions of a similar nature to avoid patent infringement cases. You can check in WIPO’s international database here. You may need to sign up before you access their services.
Step 1: Register a MOCI account.
The Ministry of Commerce and Industry oversees all patent registrations and intellectual property rights acquisitions. An online account lets you check that status of your application and is a channel for communication between the applicant and MOCI.
Step 2: Specify if your application type is for PCT (International) or Paris Convention.
PCT allows for delayed payments, but also a delayed examination.
Paris Convention means you will get your patent applications examined earlier, hence, granted faster, but also require you to pay sooner.
Step 3: Enter all details into the form.
The following information are required:
Qatar only allows attorneys or lawyers registered in Qatar as representatives.
Step 4: Provide a write-up of the invention.
The write-up is also known as the abstract. An Arabic translation is required for the application to be considered for national entry. The translation is to be provided in both physical and electronic forms. The write up should have a description, claims (the specifications of the patent protection, or the coverage), drawings or illustrations of the invention with corresponding textual descriptions.
Step 5: Mail a physical copy of your application to MOCI.
An electronic copy is also required. This includes other documents necessary for the application.
Step 6: Wait for MOCI examiner’s response.
The examiners at MOCI will review your application. If any objections are made by 3rd party observers during this time, a rejection is likely.
If in any case that your application is rejected, you are given 15 days from the date of notification to appeal for MOCI’s rejection.
Step 7: Pay the fees.
MOCI only requires you to pay after an initial review is approved. Payments are to be made in the Patent Office. Documents attached with payments should indicate:
Individuals or SME’s only need to pay 50% less, and students are not required to pay anything.
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