TRADEMARKS FILING AND PROSECUTION IN KUWAIT
A trademark is a distinctive sign or indicator used by an individual, business organization, or other legal entity to help consumers indentify that its products or services with which the trademark appears originate from a unique source, and to help distinguish its products or services from those of other entities.
Trademark in Kuwait may be designated by the following symbols:
- ® (for a registered trademark)
- ™ (for an unregistered trademark)
A trademark is typically 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 standards categories, such as those based on colour, smell, or sound.
A trademark provides protection to the owner of the mark by ensuring the exclusive right to use it to identify goods or services, or to authorize another to use it in return for payment. Trademark protection also hinders the efforts of unfair competitors, such as counterfeiters, to use similar distinctive signs to market inferior or different products or services.
The owner of the registered trademark may initiate legal proceedings for trademark infringement to prevent unauthorized use of that trademark. In Kuwait protection of trademarks is regulated under Articles 61-95.
|Relevant office||Ministry of commerce and industry trademarks and patent department|
|Nice classification||Yes (10th edition)|
|Multi class system||No|
|Documents required for filing a trade mark application||Legalised Power of Attorney, Applicants details, copy of the certificate of incorporation or commercial register, representation of a trademark|
|Prosecution process||Filing publication of the mark in the trade mark journal opposition(within 60 days from the last publication in official gazette) registration renewal|
|Registration term||10 years from the filing date|
|Renewal term||10 years|
Trademark searches in Kuwait
It is advisable to conduct a trademark search prior to filing a trademark application to ascertain the availability of trademarks, existence of prior identical/similar marks on the register etc., so as to avoid any objection and opposition with respect to the mark.
A trademark search in Kuwait can be conducted for word marks, device marks, numeral and labels. There is no option available for conducting an official search. There is only way for conducting an unofficial search through the records of the registry.
Trademark word search edition of Kuwait follows the Nice Classification and trademark applications can be filed for goods in classes 1-34 and services in classes 35-45.
It is advisable to conduct comprehensive trademark clearance search in Kuwait to ascertain availability of the proposed mark and also to overcome any objection and opposition with respect to mark later on.
It is not possible to conduct a search for the device.
Filing trademark application in Kuwait
A person may file single class trademark application in Kuwait.
Trademark application can be filed in the following categories:
- Ordinary Applications
- Convention application (claiming priority from a convention country)
Ordinary applications in Kuwait
Ordinary trademark applications filed in Kuwait are applications without claiming any priority. Ministry of commerce and industry of Kuwait provides for an online filing of the ordinary application for the registration. On the official website of the ministry there is option available Automated Trademark registration Services for filing application for the registration. Multi class trademark applications cannot be filed in Kuwait. However, the trademarks act also lays down provisions regarding the filing of priority applications, wherein priority of the mark can be claimed in the said mark filed in a convention country.
Priority trademark applications in Kuwait/Convention trademark applications Kuwait:
A priority trademark application may be filed in Kuwait. A priority trademark application should be filed in Kuwait within 6 months after the date on which the application was made in the convention country.
The Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, signed in Paris, France, on March 20, 1883, established a Union for the protection of industrial property. It offers national treatment to the applicant residing in the member country of the union, in other words. National treatment is a very important concept and is essential for successfully achieving the fundamental aim of the Paris Convention. The idea is to provide equal treatment to applications from member countries, in a given member country and not to differentiate between the nationals of member countries for the purpose of grant, and protection of industrial property. Priority application can be filed in Kuwait within six months of after the date on which the application was made in the Convention Countries.
Trademark classes for goods and services
Kuwait follows the nice classification of classes. Kuwait uses the nice classification of classes that groups together similar goods or services into 45 different classes. Classes 1 to 34 are assigned for the goods and classes 35 to 45 are assigned for the services. Each class contains well defines list of terms and cover all the goods and services. The various classes have the different goods and services with defined terms for the users.
Excluding Class 32 and 33 covering alcoholic drinks and beverages are not registrable in Kuwait.
Trademark examination in Kuwait
Once the application is submitted for registration it then goes through the examination process. In this process registrar examines the application and impose restrictions and suggest modifications to clarify trademark to prevent confusion with early registered marks. In case registrar refuses to register the trademark he shall inform the same in writing to the applicant. The applicant can file an appeal to the court within 60 days from the date of notification.
Trademark opposition in Kuwait
When the application for registration has successfully completed the examination process, the application for the registration will be accepted by the registrar and will be published in three consecutive issues of the official gazette for the observation by the third parties.
Any person interested to oppose the application for the registration shall within 60 days from the date of the last publication has to submit to the registrar written notice of opposition. This notice will be served by the registrar to the applicant. The applicant will be given 60 days time to file the counter statement of the opposition.
The registrar will hear both the parties before giving decision on the opposition.
Trademark registration in Kuwait
The application shall proceed to registration where there is no opposition or where the opposition was filed and was decided in favor of the applicant. The mark is registered for a period of 10 years from date of filing of the application and the registration certificate is issued.