As of October, the Saudi Arabia Trade Mark Office (SATMO) has implemented a new e-filing system in which all new trademark applications must be submitted online.
Filing requirements in respect to the new procedure
A power of attorney (PoA) must be locally legalised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Consulate stamp must be authenticated aboard. After that, the PoA must be uploaded on the SATMO website and the owner details have to be provided in a designated form. After approval of the uploaded PoA by the examiner, applications for the same owner can be filed through the online system.
Validity of the PoA
Any PoA relating to any trademark application is valid for 10 Hijri years; 1 Hijri year is 11 days less than the Gregorian year, so the validity of the PoA will last 10 Gregorian years minus 110 days.
All notices issued by SATMO relating to the applications filed online (e.g. acceptance, office action, or rejection) will be sent to the representative of the trademark via e-mail.
Acceptance and Publications
All accepted applications will be advertised through the SATMO website and not the Trademark Journal “Umm Al Qura” as per the previous practice. However, these publications will be removed from the website after the expiration of the opposition period.
Pros of the new system
- It is possible to monitor the application and is progress online;
- The examination has been speeded up;
- Official filing fees can now be paid within 30 days from the application date and after receiving the official notification of payment by the system along with the filing number, which is generated automatically; failing to do so, will result in the application lapsing. Previously, payment of fees had to be made before obtaining the filing number and filing date;
- Since there is no possibility of amending the application after its submission, in case of discrepancy, it is possible to abandon the application by refraining from paying the official filing fees. In this case, the application will lapse and the applicant can file a new application immediately. Note that Saudi Arabia adopted 10th Nice classification system of list of goods and services, however, Class 33, alcoholic goods in class 32, pork meat in class 29, and Christmas trees and related products in class 28 cannot be registered, and
- It is expected that the e-filing system will be applied on searches, renewals and recordals shortly.
Cons of the New System
- Late filing of the PoA or advanced copy thereof by e-mail is not accepted any more, and
- General items in the list of goods and services are not acceptable; applicants are required to choose from the available list of goods and services provided on the SATMO website without the possibility of making any changes or amendments. This requires extra time and effort by agents to get approval from the applicant.
For more information, you can contact our KSA office at [email protected].