In today's fast-paced world, innovation is a critical component of intellectual property that contributes to a company's long-term survival and success. It is vital to protect a trademark because it assists a company in protecting and distinguishing its brand name. To defend their trademark rights, trademark owners must remain vigilant at all times. All trademark infringement cases must be reported as soon as possible, without giving the competitor any chance to win the suit. If your Trademark has been infringed upon, trademark enforcement will provide you with a competitive advantage over your competitors by protecting your brand and distinguishing you from your competitors.
What is a Trademark?
A trademark is a distinctive mark that distinguishes the products or services of one company from those of other businesses or organizations. The UAE Federal Law No. 37 of 1992 on Trademarks under Article 2 defines a trademark as "anything having a distinctive form, such as names, words, signatures, letters, figures, drawings, logos, titles, hallmarks, seals, pictures, engravings, advertisements, packs, or any other mark or group of marks, used to distinguish goods, products and services from those provided by competitors. A trademark can also indicate that a particular company has manufactured a product or service.
Law applicable to Trademark in the UAE
In the United Arab Emirates, trademarks are protected by the Federal Trademark Law No. 37 of 1992 (as amended by Federal Law No. 8 of 2002), which is the primary trademark law (after this referred to as "Trademark law").
Significance of detecting Trademark Dispute or Infringement
A competitor can pass off its products as yours if they use a similar trademark. Two issues arise as a result of this situation.
- First and foremost, your competitor is exploiting your goodwill to steal your customers.
- Second, if your competitor sells inferior quality products, it will negatively impact your company's reputation.
As a result, you must keep a close eye on using confusingly similar trademarks by other businesses on an ongoing basis. It can be accomplished through the following methods:
- conducting trademark searches;
- monitoring the Internet and your usual marketing outlets;
- educating your employees about trademark rights and encouraging them to be on the lookout for Infringement; and
- utilizing the services of a Professional IP Firm to detect trademark infringement (s).
Factors Constitutes Trademark Dispute/Infringement
When a competitor uses the same or a confusingly similar trademark for the same or similar products in a country where your Trademark is protected, your trademark rights are violated. To establish Infringement, you must prove that a particular trademark is so similar to yours that consumers are likely to be confused. Confusion may arise because the competitor's products are identical to yours or because the competitor's business is associated with, authorized, or sponsored by, your business. The following factors contribute to Trademark dispute or Infringement:
- Use of Trademark without consent:
A trademark is said to be infringed only when it is used without the owner's consent. Nonetheless, if a trademark is used with the permission of the registered trademark holder, it is not considered to be violated.
- A mark that is identical or confusingly similar to a registered trademark
The unregistered individual's brand must be identical to or deceptively similar to the registered Trademark. The phrase 'deceptively similar' implies that the average consumer may become confused between the brands, believing they are identical and owned by the same entity.
- To deceive the public through the use of forgery or imitation marks.
Anyone who maliciously creates a registered trademark or uses a counterfeited or imitated Trademark in a way that misleads the public is guilty of trademark infringement.
- Intention to sell, offer to sell, or acquire goods bearing a forgery of the Trademark
Anyone who knowingly sells offers for sale, negotiates, or acquires for sale products bearing a forged, imitated, or illegally placed Trademark, or knowingly provides or offers to provide services under a forged, imitated, or illegally placed Trademark, is guilty of trademark infringement.
- Unlawful acts against a trademarked product
The Act protects only trademarks that have been registered under UAE federal law on trademarks.
- Misrepresentation of registration of a trademark
A person is guilty of trademark infringement if he falsely claims that his mark or business documents have been registered.
- Trademark registration on a variety of goods
Trademark infringement occurs when the Trademark is used unauthorized on unlisted goods not mentioned in the register.
Enforcement measure to curb Trademark Infringement
Listed below are some measures to combat trademark infringement.
- Seek the advice of a Trademark Expert:
It is always prudent to seek expert advice if you believe that your Trademark has been infringed. An IP lawyer will inform you of your options for initiating action against counterfeiting and Infringement and will advise you on how to enforce your rights. He or she will notify you of any civil or administrative remedies that may be available to you.
- Cease and Desist letter or Legal Notice
If you believe your trademark rights have been violated. In that case, you may choose to send a letter referred to as a "cease and desist letter" to the alleged infringer, informing them of the possibility of a conflict. It is recommended that you seek the assistance of a trademark attorney when writing such a letter.
- Search and Seize order
Suppose your business believes the Infringement is intentional and knows the location of the infringing activity. In that case, it may wish to take surprise action by obtaining a search and seizure order, typically from a competent court in the UAE or the police authorizing a raid without prior notice to the allegedly offending business/person. Criminal proceedings may be instituted in cases of willful trademark counterfeiting.
- Court order of Disposal and Destruction of Infringing goods
The infringer may be compelled by judicial authorities to disclose the identities of those involved in the manufacture and distribution of the infringing goods or services and their distribution channels. As a deterrent to Infringement, the judicial authorities may order the destruction or disposal of infringing goods and materials outside the channels of commerce without compensation.
- Settlement outside of court – Arbitration and Mediation
Arbitration or mediation is frequently effective in resolving Infringement. in some instances.
Arbitration, in general, is a less formal, quicker, and less expensive procedure than court proceedings, and an arbitral award is more easily enforced internationally.
A benefit of mediation is that the parties retain control over the process of dispute resolution. As such, it can aid in the maintenance of positive business relations with another enterprise with whom your business may collaborate in the future.
Why Choose HHS Lawyers and Legal Consultants
It is prudent to report the trademark infringement to ensure that no one else impersonates the owner. It is recommended that you file your infringement complaint immediately upon becoming aware of the Infringement to protect and enforce your trademark rights in the UAE. It enables your business to develop a sustainable brand identity capable of enhancing its reputation.
As one of Dubai's leading law firms, HHS Lawyers and Legal Consultants provides our valued clients with trademark enforcement services. Our trademark attorney possesses extensive experience prosecuting trademark infringement lawsuits. Our knowledgeable and experienced trademark representatives can assist you with the following:
- Bringing an action for trademark infringement by drafting cease and desist letters or legal notice in advance of the lawsuit.
- Any questions about the validity and infringement of third-party trademarks.
- Resolving your dispute with the other party amicably and out of Court.