Trademark Law of Oman
History of Trademark Law in Oman
The first trademark law in Oman was issued in the year 1987 and was the very first intellectual property law to be passed in the country. This law was replaced by the Law of Trademarks, Trade Data, Trade Secrets, and The Protection Against Unfair Competition in the year 2000 which was issued as part of the process of Oman's accession to the WTO. This law was later repealed by the current comprehensive Industrial Property Law issued in 2008 as part of Oman's prerequisites for the entry into force of the Free Trade Agreement signed with the USA.
Definition of a Trademark
Article one of the Industrial Property Law states that a mark is any mark capable of graphical representation in a definite manner and capable of distinguishing the goods and services offered by an establishment with those of offered by another. The law explicitly provides that the mark may be made up of words, drawings, letters, colors, collections of colors, numbers, product shape or the shape of its content, geographical indications, sounds, scents, flavors, and slogans if not long enough to be protected by copyright.
Requirements for Registration
A mark has to be capable of distinguishing the goods and services it is applied to from those made by another establishment. Marks which are incapable of being distinguished will not be registered. If the attribute that makes the mark distinguishable is an attribute derived from the normal formation of the good (such as its smell or taste), that attribute will not be sufficient for satisfying this requirement. However, the court may decide that a mark has acquired a secondary meaning sufficient in making the mark capable of distinguishing the goods or service through the continuous use of that mark in the market. Words which are commonly used by the public to refer to the type of good or service, and words of a technical nature used to describe the good or service, cannot satisfy the requirement for a mark to be capable of distinguishing the good or service from those of another establishment.
Marks Banned From Registration
The Omani Industrial Property Law bans the registration of the following kind of marks:
- Marks that are scandalous or immoral.
- Marks that may confuse or mislead the public.
- Marks that are identical to an official emblem or logo adopted by any government or international organization.
Duration of Protection
Trademark registration lasts for an initial period of 10 years which may be renewed indefinitely.
Rights of the Trademark Owner
The owner of a trademark has the following rights:
- The right to stop others from applying a similar or identical mark to goods or service related to those for which the mark has been registered, if there is a chance for confusion in relation to that use.
- The right to take legal action against anybody using the trademark without his permission or takes any action that may lead to the violation of his trademark.
The Omani law defines collective marks as any mark for a groups such as cooperative groups, associations, or industrial, producers, or trade unions. The same rules that apply to regular trademarks apply to collective marks. The application for a collective mark must provide the conditions for using the mark if such conditions exist.
The Omani law defines certification marks as any mark or group of marks that disclose a unique attribute such as the type, origin, or production method used by others under the supervisions of the owner of the mark. The same rules that apply to regular trademarks apply to certification marks. Any person who satisfies the conditions and technical standards for using the certification mark has the right to use that mark.
- "Industrial Property Law". Royal Decree No 67/2008. Ministry of Legal Affairs. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
- "Amending Some Provisions of the Industrial Property Law". Royal Decree No 131/2008. Ministry of Legal Affairs. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
- Issuing the Trade Marks and Data Law, Royal Decree No 67/1987, issued on October 5, 1987.
- Issuing the Law of TradeMarks, Trade Data, Trade Secrets, and The Protection Against Unfair Competition, Royal Decree No 38/2000, issued on May 21, 2000, published in issue no 672 of the Official Gazette.
- Article 36(2)(b) of the Industrial Property Law, Royal Decree No 67/2008.
- Article 36(3) of the Industrial Property Law, Royal Decree No 67/2008.
- Article 36(2)(c) of the Industrial Property Law, Royal Decree No 67/2008.
- Article 36(2)(d) of the Industrial Property Law, Royal Decree No 67/2008.
- Article 41 of the Industrial Property Law, Royal Decree No 67/2008.
- Article 39 of the Industrial Property Law, Royal Decree No 67/2008.
- Article 1o f the Industrial Property Law, Royal Decree 67/2008
- Article 43(1) of the Industrial Property Law, Royal Decree No 67/2008.
- Article 43(2) of the Industrial Property Law, Royal Decree No 67/2008.
- Article 44(1) of the Industrial Property Law, Royal Decree No 67/2008.
- Article 46 of the Industrial Property Law , Royal Decree No 67/2008.
- Industrial Property Law, English translation of the law.
- Industrial Property Law, Original text of the law in Arabic (Does not include amendments).
- Oman IP Laws and Treaties, World Intellectual Property Organization
- Ministry of Commerce and Industry of Oman
- Ministry of Legal Affairs of Oman