Trade Mark Hearings in the UAE

Having recently attended a Hearing at the Trade Marks Office in Abu Dhabi, I thought it would be useful to pass on a few tips.

  • The notice period is short. We received our summons 6 days before the Hearing, and it is not possible to postpone so decide or seek instructions early and prepare way in advance.
  • It is not a platform for a lengthy adversarial debate. It is an informal meeting to allow each side an opportunity to present new evidence, respond to an argument or summarise its case.
  • The window to present your case, submit further arguments or evidence is small. Since this needs to be typed up by the Hearings Officer, bullet points rather than long-winded paragraphs are best.
  • All further evidence needs to be translated into Arabic so factor this in to the preparation time.

It is not mandatory to attend a Hearing and there is time and cost involved with preparing for and attending one. The Trade Marks Office will allow a written submission in place of attendance and this may be worth consideration if there is no new evidence or arguments to present. That said, it is an opportunity to hear the other side and comment on any additional information that may be adduced. Since also, it is standard practice to attend a Hearing, overall, it is a worthwhile exercise.