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What Type of Trademark is Not Registrable in UAE?

What Type of Trademark is Not Registrable in UAE

The UAE is a promising business environment. However, for any business, it is important to have a unique brand identity and have it well protected. Trademark registration means that exclusive rights are given whereby no other person or company can be allowed to use a brand name other than the one that is registered. It is important to note that UAE laws and regulations will not allow every kind of trade name to be eligible for trademark protection.

Essentials for Trademark Registration in the UAE

The legal regime surrounding trademark registration is governed by The Federal Decree-Law no. (36) of 2021 on Trademarks, which stipulates the requirements and limitations for acquiring trademark protection. Some important concepts to know include:

  1. Distinctiveness: The trademark that has been chosen must clearly show the distinction that one entity’s goods or services have from those offered by competitors. Terms that are generic or purely descriptive and have no distinctive character are generally not registrable.
  2. Compliance with Law and Morality: The trademark should not violate the general moral principles of public order or Islam. Trademark applications that promote illegal activities or other offensive material will be refused.
  3. Accuracy: The trademark should not mislead consumers about the nature, quality, or geographical origin of goods or services.

Types of Trademarks Not Registrable in UAE

Article 4 of Federal Law No. 23 of 2019 expressly excludes particular categories of marks from trademark registration. Let us look at the categories in detail:

  1. Descriptive Marks: These terms merely describe the quality, characteristics, function, or intended purpose of the goods or services. For example, “Refreshing Beverage” for a drink or “Comfortable Chair” for furniture would tend to be descriptive and therefore without the required distinctiveness.
  2. Geographic Names: Country, city, or region names can never be trademarks unless they develop a secondary meaning that identifies the brand. For instance, while “Dubai Dates” might be descriptive, the addition of a unique logo or design element with the name may establish distinctiveness.
  3. Official Symbols and Emblems: No protection can be given to national flags, emblems of government agencies, or symbols of international organizations as trademarks. The unauthorized use of these symbols also attracts legal consequences.
  4. Immoral or Deceptive Marks: Trademarks that promote activities considered offensive to Islamic values or public morality will be rejected. Likewise, marks that are most likely to deceive the consumer about the origin or quality of a product will not be registered.
  5. Titles and Emblems Protected by Other Laws: Public seals, official titles of medals, or degrees cannot be registered as trademarks as they are protected under special laws.
  6. Imitations of Well-Known Marks: Trademarks that are either identical to or confusingly similar to existing well-known marks, even for unrelated goods or services, are likely to be refused.
  7. Marks Lacking Graphical Representation: The trademark application should be in a form capable of visual representation. Sounds or smells, or conceptual ideas per se, cannot register, although they might be protectable under other regimes of IP.
  8. Marks Lacking Distinctiveness: In general, letters, numerals, or common shapes lacking inherent distinctiveness are not eligible for registration. However, such elements combined with other design features to create a unique mark may gain registrability.

Additional Considerations

  • Third-Party Rights: Trademarks that are considered an infringement on prior registered trademarks or violate the rights of a third party will not be accepted.


  • Prior Use: Subject to a mark having fallen in one of the excluded categories, a party with prior use rights may be in a position to oppose the application of a conflicting trademark, but the burden would be on the party claiming prior use.

How to Avoid Issues with Trademark Registration in the UAE

  1. Conduct a Trademark Search: Conducting a trademark search will help one identify any other similar trademarks that would conflict with the one proposed. This helps to avoid chances of rejection and potential legal battles.
  2. Seek Professional Guidance: It is useful to have qualified IP lawyers with UAE trademark law experience, as the advice they will provide can prove useful in guiding you through the application process, assessing the registrability of your mark, advising on any potential difficulties that might be encountered, and ensuring your application meets all legal requirements.


These are just some of the types of trademarks not eligible for registration in the UAE, but understanding them is crucial for any business to make a strong brand presence in the region. Knowing the legal context and possible restrictions, you will be able to navigate the trademark registration process more effectively and reduce the chances of trademark infringement. Remember, a well-chosen and protected trademark can be a valuable asset for any business in the competitive UAE market.

Register your UAE Trademark with Farahat & Co.

Trademark registration in the UAE can be confusing, with lots of legalities involved. Farahat & Co. is a reputed firm dealing with intellectual property issues, and it would be glad to provide all necessary services for the protection of your brand.

Our highly experienced staff is ready to serve you during all trademark registration steps starting with:

  • Trademark Search: We make an extended search for identical and similar trademarks already filed or approved.
  • Assessment of Registrability: We appraise your chosen mark and advise on the possibility of its registration.
  • Application Preparation and Filing: We manage all the procedures regarding the filing of your application, ensuring that all the documents are correctly filled out.
  • Overcoming Objections: If the Trademark Office finds any objections to your application, we guide you in providing all the answers to get it registered successfully.

Let not your brand lose its identity and fame. It is about time to contact Farahat & Co. to have your brand firmly registered in the UAE

Read More: Trademark Registration in Dubai, UAE | Cost, Procedure and Benefits