A trademark is a type of intellectual property consisting of a recognizable sign, design, or expression which identifies products or services of a particular source from those of others, although trademarks used to identify services are usually called service marks. The trademark owner can be an individual, business organization, or any legal entity. A trademark may be located on a package, a label, a voucher, or on the product itself. For the sake of corporate identity, trademarks are often displayed on company buildings. It is legally recognized as a type of intellectual property.
A trademark is a name, word, phrase, logo, symbol, design, image, or a combination of these elements. There is also a range of non-conventional trademarks comprising marks which do not fall into these standard categories, such as those based on colour, smell, or sound (like jingles). Trademarks which are considered offensive are often rejected according to a nation’s trademark law.
A trademark identifies the brand owner of a particular product or service. Trademarks can be used by others under licensing agreements. The unauthorized usage of trademarks by producing and trading counterfeit consumer goods is known as brand piracy. The owner of a trademark may pursue legal action against trademark infringement. Most countries require formal registration of a trademark as a precondition for pursuing this type of action. The United States, Canada, and other countries also recognize common law trademark rights, which means action can be taken to protect any unregistered trademark if it is in use. Still, common law trademarks offer to the holder, in general, less legal protection than registered trademarks.
The essential function of a trademark is to exclusively identify the source or origin of products or services, so a trademark, properly called, indicates source or serves as a badge of origin. In other words, trademarks serve to identify a particular entity as the source of goods or services. The use of a trademark in this way is known as trademark use. Certain exclusive rights attach to a registered mark. Trademarks are used not only by businesses but also by non-commercial organizations and religions to protect their identity and goodwill associated with their name.
Trademarks in Qatar
In Qatar, trademarks are registered with the Industrial Property Protection Office, which is under the direct supervision of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Qatar. Before going for trademark registration, it is good to verify their signs and logos with the respective offices whether those items are already registered or legally accepted by the Qatar Government.
How to register Trademark in Qatar
Qatar follows the International Classification of Goods and Services for the Purposes of the Registration of Marks under International Nice Classification – 11th Version. The registration of trademarks in Qatar is protected by Law no. 9/2002 referring to commercial indications, industrial designs, and models, trade names, etc.
Products like alcoholic drinks and beverages are not registrable. A separate application should be filed with respect to each class of goods or services. And should do verification of trademark, which you want to register. You have to submit documents including logo/symbols and all other papers. You can submit only a single application, in The Industrial Property Protection Office. Qatar. Another important point which has to be noted is that, if you are a foreign investor, you have to appoint an agent Office with a legalized power of attorney for trademark registration in Qatar. Prior verification before starting trademark registration is intended to avoid duplication. So, every trademark application should be unique. Otherwise, it would fail in the verification process itself and will be unable to go for registration. You can submit print in colour or black and white along with specifying which colours you are claiming.
Once your application for registration of trademark accepted by the official authority of The Industrial Property Protection Office, they will verify and publish in the Official Gazette of Trademarks. If there, any kind of complaints or opposition can be raised, withing 4 months from this. If any complaints raised by filing an opposition against the registration, the applicant has the right to file a counter opposition and in due course to fix a Hearing by filing appropriate applications. The registrar will do a hearing of both parties or any one of them and a decision will be issued by the IPO. If the case is not settled, then either party can move to civil court.
Once the registration process completed, The Intellectual Property Protection Office will issue a certificate which includes the date of the registration, the serial number of the trademark, the name of the trademark owners, the list of products or services for which the trademark registration is made, and the specimen of the trademark. Trademark registration in Qatar is valid for 10 years from the date of application, which can be renewed from 12 months before the expiry date and within 6 months after the expiry with a penalty.