Trademark Registration in Oman

In Oman, the regulation, application, and enforcement of trademarks are governed by the Law of Industrial Property Rights, established under Royal Decree No. 67/2008, also known as the IP Law. The Ministry of Commerce and Industry has established the Executive Regulations of the IP law through Ministerial Decision No. 105/2008, which outline the application and provisions of the law.

Additionally, Oman ratified the GCC Trademark Law through Royal Decree No. 33/2017, but it only became effective after its publication. Despite this, there are no implementing regulations, and the GCC Trademark Law has not officially replaced the IP Law. In cases where the GCC Trademark Law is unclear, the IP Law will still be considered applicable according to the Royal Decree No. 33/2017. It is advisable to have a clear understanding of both laws when handling trademarks in Oman to avoid any ambiguity.

The IP Law does not clearly define what constitutes a trademark, but according to the GCC Trademark Law, it is considered that a trademark can be anything with a distinctive form, such as names, logos, pictures, and even sounds or smells, as long as it is used to distinguish goods or services or to indicate the rendering of a service.

It should be noted that trademarks that go against public order or morality are not eligible for registration.

In addition to the governing laws, the Sultanate of Oman is a party to several international conventions and treaties relating to intellectual property rights, including the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the Paris Convention, the Berne Convention, the Madrid Protocol, the Hague Conventions, and the Patent Cooperation Treaty.

Furthermore, as a member of the Madrid Agreement, trademark owners can secure trademark protection in Oman by filing a single application in another member state and designating Oman. On the other hand, applicants who are residents or nationals of any member state can file an international registration application in Oman and choose to designate any of the member states. This process allows for a single fee to be applied for protection across multiple jurisdictions, and any necessary amendments or renewals can be carried out through a single administrative process.

The Importance of Trademark Registration

It is also critical to have your trademark registered in other countries so that you can contest other potentially infringing trademarks. It should be emphasized that established trademarks have more leeway under Omani law. For example, if a well-known trademark is not registered in Oman and a rival desires to register a similar trademark to that well-known brand, the applicant of that well-known trademark has the right to oppose the proposed registration under the following conditions:

  • Provides proof that the user has been using the mark lawfully for at least six months previous to the filing date or priority date, as appropriate.
  • Offers evidence that he or she has garnered clients and that the clientele attributes some repute to the mark.
  • Prior to delivering the notice of opposition to the register, he or she submits an application for registration of his or her own mark.

Document required for Trademark Registration in Oman

The documents required for registering a trademark in Oman is as follows:

  • A power of attorney from the country of origin and notarised by the Omani embassy.
  • A copy of the certificate of incorporation of the applicant company or an extract of the entry of the applicant in the commercial register.
  • a soft copy of the proposed trademark;
  • Name and address of the company wishing to register the trademark
  • A description of goods and services along with the Nice Classification.

It should be noted that in, practice, the above documents must be submitted to the trademark office in Arabic. Also, an applicant can initially proceed in filing for a trademark without submitting a power of attorney or certificate of incorporation; however, once the trademark is approved, the approval will only be based on the condition of submitting a power of attorney or certificate of incorporation.

Trademark Registration process in Oman and the required documents

To register a trademark in Oman, you must file an application with the Intellectual Property Department at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MOCI) in person. The goods and services must be classified according to the Nice International Classification System, 11th edition. A separate application is needed for each class of goods or services. Alcohol and pork products in class 33 and 29 respectively are not allowed.

The required documents for the application include a Power of Attorney and a Certificate of Incorporation (both of which may need to be apostilled or legalized), copies of the trademark, a list of goods or services to be covered, and a certified copy of the priority document if priority is claimed. Apostilled documents are accepted if the applicant’s place of domicile is a member of the Hague Convention.

The IP department will examine the application on absolute and relative grounds, and may permit the trademark to be published, reject the trademark, or prescribe an amendment. In case of rejection or amendment, the applicant has 60 days to appeal.

Once accepted, the trademark is published in the Official Gazette and a daily newspaper, and a 60-day opposition period begins, during which any interested party may object to the trademark registration. If an objection is filed, the applicant has 60 days to respond. If a hearing is requested, a session will be set to hear both parties and a decision will be made. If neither party requests a hearing, a decision will be issued to both parties.

If the MOCI accepts the trademark registration, the applicant can obtain a trademark certificate after paying the fees. Trademarks filed under the Madrid System should also obtain a local certificate from the MOCI.

A trademark registration in Oman is valid for 10 years and renewable for 10-year periods thereafter.

MOCI-specified fees

The MOCI specifies the registration of trademark fees, which must be paid before obtaining the trademark certificate. According to current practice and legislation, the following table elaborates on the service and its formal fees/disbursements:

ServiceFees (OMR)Fees (USD)
Filing the application before MOCI.50135
Publishing the trademark in the official gazette and Ministry of Trade.100275
Publishing the trademark in a daily newspaper40100 (Estimate)
Obtaining the trademark certificate50135

*note: these fees are for each application

Trademark violations under IP law

  • A registered trademark owner has the right to prevent a third party from using identical or similar trademarks for products and services connected to those for which the mark has been registered if such use is likely to cause confusion.
  • Unauthorized or illegal use of a registered trademark, such as using a counterfeit mark, imitation of a trademark, misleading the consumer by using a similar registered trademark, etc., is considered infringement and is punishable administratively and criminally under the IP Law and the GCC Trademark Law.
  • The owner of the trademark may petition the court to provide compensation proportionate to the resulting injuries and damages, as well as the gain lost and profits earned by the offender. The value of the items or services subject to infringement must be considered by the court. In extraordinary situations, the court may also order the destruction of the products without requiring compensation.
  • If infringing products are imported into the Sultanate of Oman, the trademark owner may request that the customs department block the shipments based on evidence presented by the trademark owner that an infringement is occurring. If illicit behavior is detected, the customs service has the authority to detain the merchandise and examine it.

Frequently Asked Questions and Its Answers about Trademark Registration in Oman

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