Trade mark important for advertisement of products and services
The Intellectual Property Department of the MOCI said that a trademark was important for a trader or a manufacturer to be placed on their products and services so that it is distinguished from others. It is not possible to purchase products such as foodstuffs, cars, electrical materials, etc. to avail services like those of restaurants, banks, commercial centres, etc. without a trade mark which normally attracts consumers to their products or services. The trademark is saleable and can be used by others with the permission of its owners.
Ali bin Hamad bin Saif Al Mamari, head of the industrial property department in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, said: "Recently, some traders have been found using trademarks without protecting them through the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. This is a reason for violation of their rights by others. Some trademarks are designed like those of other famous entities. Therefore, such applications for their protection are being rejected by the ministry. Some commercial agents also try to register a trademark owned by a non-Omani company. Therefore, they get the response saying that there is no objection if the trademark is used in the Sultanate Oman. But this use does not give the second party the right to own. It is only for use.
Al Mamari said that some of the people were also in a hurry, which is also a mistake. They want to use it before initial decision or getting a registration certificate without the trademark is protected after completion of its process. Without the completion of the entire process, the trademark is not considered as protected, can also be rejected either by the inspection department or by objection of others.
The Chairman of the Industrial Property Department also said that there were certain conditions which have to be adhered for obtaining and accepting the trademarks. They include that the trademark should not be contrary to public order, morality and Islamic shariah, and should not contradict a trademark for which application has been filed earlier. They have to be new, innovative and distinguished from others and it should not be descriptive of products or services. The name should not be misleading for the public such as words like new, excellent, healthy, quality as these words cannot be monopoly for anyone. The trademark should also not have the name of others, their nicknames, photos or are not the quality of non-monolingual words, and should not contain public logos, country names, flags or symbols.
Al Mamari said that there were essential prerequisites for registering a trademark. Samples of the trademark must be submitted, and the application must be printed and complete. It requires procedures of approximately five months to link these procedures to legal periods. Before applying, one should ascertain if the trademark is worth registering and it is innovative.