A trademark is anything which takes a distinctive form whether in words, signatures, letters, figures, drawings, symbols, titles, seals, representations, engravings or any other mark or a combination thereof when used or is intended to be used in distinguishing goods or products for the purpose of indication that they are of the owner of such mark by virtue of manufacture, selection, trading or offering for sale.
In Kuwait, trademark registration is essential for enterprises to establish their rights over brands, logo designs, and so on. Brand owners who wishes to undertake trademark registration in Kuwait should be well-versed in the registrability of their trademarks.
The law providing for trademark registration is Decree-Law Number 68 of 1980 (Trademarks), as amended by Decree-Law Number 10 of 1987 and Law Number 1 of 2001.
The law also provides for temporary registration of trademarks for applicants interested in displaying their products at domestic.
1. Trademark search:
Conducting a proper and comprehensive search about the trademarks is advisable before filing the application for trademark registration in Kuwait. The trademark search can be conducted with the assistance of the best trademark agents in Kuwait.
2. Trademark registration
The trademark application can only be submitted for the registration of a trademark in one class. However, a single application may be submitted for a number of classes, provided that Kuwait Trademark Office permission is obtained in accordance with the Nice Classification (the International Classification of Goods and Services for the Purposes of the Registration of Marks published by the World Intellectual Property Organisation). Kuwait does not recognise alcohol-related trademarks under Class 32 or pork meat trademarks under Class 29. Kuwait has abandoned Class 33 entirely, while Class 34 has been assigned for tobacco items.
Priority claims: The system now permits the trademark applicant or its successor to claim priority based on a prior application filed in a state that is a signatory to a multilateral international treaty to which a Gulf Cooperation Council ('GCC') State is a member.
3. Trademark examination
After the trademark application is filed, the trademark office examines whether the mark is valid for registration or not. If the Registrar accepts the trademark application, then it will be published three times in the Official Gazette called Al-Kuwait Al-Youm. If the trademark is found to violate the regulations, the applicant is required to file an appeal in the court within 60 days of the official notification.
The Registrar will examine all the opposition claim statements submitted to the Trademark Office. All the trademark applications will remain pending in the office and a Trademark Certificate will be issued until the Registrar makes a decision or a verdict from the court in favour of either party is received. The certificate will also be issued if both parties reach an amicable settlement or no opposition is filed by any party.
After accepting the trademark application, any interested party can oppose the filing within a 60-day period, which is called the trademark opposition period in Kuwait. Those who want to oppose the trademark application citing a likelihood of confusion or any other reason can submit a statement of opposition to the Registrar within the opposition period. The statement should be submitted in 60 days from the date of the third publication of the notice in the Official Gazette.
Legacy Partners has a team of highly experienced trademark agents who are well-versed in Kuwait Trademark Law. Foreigners can register their trademarks in Kuwait only through qualified trademark agents. Legacy partners offers services including trademark search, trademark registration, trademark renewal etc.
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