Qatar follows the International Classification of Goods and Services for the Purposes of the Registration of Marks under the Nice Agreement, yet classes 1, 4 to 7, 10 to 14, 16 to 22, 29 and 31 are not granted entirely under the trademark law. Products covered by class 33 and alcoholic drinks and beverages in class 32 are not registrable. The law has been amended so that a separate application should be filed with respect to each class of goods or services.
The prints of a trademark originally in colours can be submitted in black and white but should specify the colours to be claimed.
Once a trademark application is filed, the trademark is examined as to form and substance, as Qatar follows the anteriority examination system. Accepted trademark applications are published in the Official Gazette of Trademarks. Any interested party may, within 4 months from the date of publication, oppose the registration of a published trademark.
Opposition cases are referred to the civil court, if not settled by the Registrar, or if either party appeals the Registrar’s decision. In the absence of opposition, a published trademark is registered and the relative certificate of registration will be issued.
A trademark registration is valid for 10 years from the date of filing the application, renewable for further consecutive periods of 10 years each. The renewal fees of a trademark registration can be paid during the last 12 months of the current protection period. There is a 6-month grace period within which a late renewal application can be filed, but such a late renewal application is subject to the payment of additional fees. A separate application for the renewal of a trademark registration or any recorded is needed in respect of each class of goods or services as far as trademarks are originally registered in more than one class.
The ownership of a registered trademark can be assigned with or without the goodwill of the business concern. Unless an assignment has been recorded in the register and published in the Official Gazette of Trademarks, it shall have no effect vis-à-vis third parties. Changes in the name and/or address of a registrant, amendments not substantially affecting the identity of the trademark and limitation of the list of goods or services covered by a trademark registration can be recorded as well.
Use of trademarks in Qatar is not compulsory for filing applications or for maintaining trademark registrations in force. Any interested party may request the court to order cancellation of a trademark registration, if the owner fails to use such a trademark in Qatar within 5 consecutive years from the date of the registration. The cancellation action for non-use of a registered trademark cannot be accepted unless the owner of a trademark is given a one-month notice that his trademark is subject to cancellation for non-use.
Unauthorized use of a trademark registered under the law, an imitation of such a trademark applied on goods and/or used in respect of services of the same class, sale, storing for the purpose of sale, exhibiting for sale of goods bearing a counterfeit mark, or using a mark duly registered under the law by another person to serve the purpose of unauthorized promotion of goods and/or services of the same class are offenses punishable under the law in Qatar.
Note: Trademark Law No. 9 of 2002 was issued on June 8, 2002, and published in the Official Gazette, but its Implementing Regulations have not yet been issued.