How to Acquire Copyright and Trademark Protection for Business in the UAE?

Posted by Al Rowaad Advocates & Legal Consultants on September 15th, 2022

Trademark and Copyrights are part of the larger intellectual property family and are protected under different laws and through different measures in the UAE.

Trademarks and copyrights are important considerations for businesses all over the world and form part of the key assets of a company. Accordingly, it would be important for businesses operating in the UAE to understand how to acquire the registrations for their trademark and copyrights in the country. In this article, we provide a broad view on the registration process for trademarks and copyrights in the UAE.

Applicable Laws for Trademarks and Copyrights in the UAE

The applicable law for trademarks in the UAE is the Federal Decree Law No. 36 of 2021, which is the law on trademarks (Trademarks Law), read with its implementing regulations, i.e., Cabinet Decision No. 57/2022 On Executive Regulations of the Federal Decree- Law No. 36/2021 on Trademarks (Trademarks Implementing Regulations).

The applicable law for copyrights in the UAE Federal Decree Law No 38 of 2021 on Copyrights and Neighbouring Rights (Copyrights Law) and its implementing regulations. The implementing regulations for copyright are the Cabinet Decision No. 47 of 2022 On the Implementing Regulation of Federal Decree-Law No. 38/2021 on Copyrights and Neighbouring Rights (Copyrights Implementing Regulations).

What is the meaning of trademark and copyright? 

Trademarks: In common language, trademarks are those marks or signs which distinguish or are intended to distinguish goods and service of an entity from goods and services of another.

Under the Trademarks Law, “trademark” has been defined under Article 2.

Article 2 defines trademark as “everything that takes a distinctive shape of names, words, signatures, letters, Symbols, numbers, addresses, seals, Drawings, Pictures, Engravings, packaging, graphic elements, forms, colour or colours or a combination thereof, a sign or a group of signs, including three-dimensional marks, Hologram Marks, or any other mark used or intended to be used to distinguish the goods or services of a facility from the goods or services of other facilities, or to indicate the performance of a service, or to conduct monitoring or examination of goods or services.. A distinctive sound or smell may be considered as a Trademark.”

Copyright: Similarly, copyright is generally understood to mean as protection which is enjoyed by certain works, including literary works, audio, visual or audio-visual works, architectural works, photography, etc.

Article 2 of the Copyrights Law describes the works which are provided protection under the Copyrights Law. These are:

1- Books, brochures, articles, and other written Works. 

2- Smart applications, computer programmes and applications, databases, and similar Works determined by a decision of the Minister. 

3- Lectures, speeches, oral and written sermons and other Works of a similar nature. 

4- Theatrical Works, musical shows, and pantomime. 

5- Musical Works, either with or without words. 

6- Audio, visual, or audio-visual Works. 

7- Architectural Works, and engineering drawings and plans. 

8- Works of drawing with lines or colours, sculpting, engraving, and printing on stone, fabrics, wood, or metals, and any other similar Works. 

9- Works of photography and similar Works. 

10- Works of applied and plastic arts. 

11- Illustrations, geographical maps, sketches, and three-dimensional Works related to geography, topography, architecture, and others. 

12- Derivative Works, without prejudice to the protection granted to the original Works from which these Works were derived. 

Protection shall cover the title of the work, if innovative, as well as the written innovative broadcast program.”

How to register trademarks or copyrights in the UAE? 


If you are looking to register your trademark in the UAE, you would need to follow the procedure set out in the Trademarks Law and its implementing regulations. The procedure is broadly explained below.

  1. Under Article 6 of the Trademarks Law, a physical or juristic person has the right to register its trademark by filing an application with the Ministry of Economy. Under Article 2 of the Trademarks Implementing Regulations, the trademarks registration application will be submitted by the owner of the trademark (provided it has a domicile in the UAE) or by an agent registered with the authorities. The application should contain all the relevant information, including the description of the trademark, evidentiary documents, certified translations, etc.
  2. It should be noted that the trademark should not be identical or similar to a previously registered trademark. On reviewing the application for the registration of the trademarks, the Ministry may accept it and before its registration, publish the trademark in the Ministry’s bulletin under Article 6 of the Trademarks Implementing Regulations. Objections may be raised by any person under Article 7 of the Trademarks Implementing Regulations, within 30 days from the date of publication in the Ministry’s bulletin.
  3. Once the competent department has heard the objections to the trademark and the arguments of the applicant, a decision on the trademark registration will be issued under Article 7/6 of the Trademarks Implementing Regulations, which can be appealed under Article 7/7 of the Trademarks Implementing Regulations.
  4. The resolution to accept the registration of the trademark will be considered final under Article 9 of the Trademarks Implementing Regulations: (a) after 30 days from the date of publication of the trademark in the bulletin in the event there has been no objection; or (b) upon the issuance of the final judgment on the trademark by the court, where there has been an objection.
  5. In accordance with Article 17 of the Trademarks Law, the registration of the trademarks will be effective from the date of the filing of the application for registration of the trademark.


Under Article 2 of the Copyrights Implementing Regulations, an author or a right holder may apply for the registration of a work with the Ministry on its website along with the required documents and fees, such as data and details of the work, the author’s details, etc.

The Ministry will review the application under Article 2/7 of the Copyrights Implementing Regulations and verify, amongst other things, that the work can be protected under the Copyrights Law.

The Ministry may accept or reject the application. A rejected application may be appealed before the grievance committee under Article 2/10 of the Copyrights Implementing Regulations.


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Joined: February 3rd, 2021
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