A trademark under Omani law is defined as “A mark that may be subjected to topography in a specific manner that allows the distinguishing of goods (trademark) or services (service marks) produced by a particular establishment from those produced by other establishments. The mark may, in particular, be words (including personal names), drawings, letters, colours, group of colours, numbers, shape of goods, their canning, three-dimensional pictures, geographical indicators, voices, fragrance or taste.”
The Law of Industrial Property Rights promulgated pursuant to Royal Decree 67 of 2008 (the “IP Law”) is the legislation that governs trademarks in Oman and Ministerial Decision 105/2008 sets out the Executive Regulations for the IP Law (the “Executive Regulations”).
Registration of a Trademark
The trademark registration application is to be submitted to the department of intellectual property (the “Department”) at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (the “MOCI”) in accordance with the terms and conditions specified in the Executive Regulations for the IP Law. The application should include a description of the mark and a list of goods and/or services for which the registration of the mark is required provided they are included in the well-known category or categories in the international classification.
The registration application will then be examined by the Department to ascertain if the trademark can be registered. The Department, during the examination of the application, will issue its objections in writing to certain aspects of the trademark, such as the scope of goods or services, or direct the applicant to modify the trademark. The applicant will be granted the opportunity to respond to the objections of the Department. Once the objections have been resolved and the trademark application is accepted for registration by the Department, the same is published in the Official Gazette and in a local daily newspaper.
Publication in the Official Gazette and local newspaper is aimed at inviting any interested party to oppose the registration of trademarks conflicting with its interests. An opposition to the registration of a trademark or service mark should be made in writing within the term of the opposition period, i.e., within ninety days from the date of publication in the Official Gazette, and after the payment of the prescribed fees. The applicant will be provided a further period of ninety days, from the date of receipt of the objections, to submit a written reply to the objections specifying the grounds and defenses in support of the acceptance of the application.
The Department will furnish a copy of the reply submitted by the applicant to the persons who raised the objections. After hearing both parties, the Department will decide on the objection by either acceptance or rejection of the application.
Documents and Costs for Registration of a Trademark
As regards the documents required and costs involved for the registration of a trademark, an indicative list is set out:
- Power of Attorney to the concerned trademark attorney in Oman, authorising it to act on behalf of the applicant.
- Copy of the applicant’s commercial registration documents.
- Copy of the trademark proposed to be registered in Oman in its original colour.
- Details of goods, products and services for which the trademark will be registered.