Protection of Trademarks in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Protection of something you have created, whether it is a gadget, piece of technology, or artwork, is an incredibly important thing to remember. Not only does it prove you are the legal owner of the item in question, it also helps should someone try and steal it away from you.
Protection in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia is taken very seriously and every aspect has been looked at extremely carefully. The laws surrounding trademark protection provides economic advantages for the country as well.
The Commercial Court Law of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has set out five basic laws concerning protection of trademarks. Article 5 says that “Every merchant shall, in his commercial activities, behave in accordance with the (tenets of) religion and honour and shall not therefore cornmit any cheating, deception, fraud unfairness, aleatory or revocation nor shall commit anything that runs contrary to religion, or honour, in any way whatsoever. And if he does so he shall be liable to deterrent punishment as per the penalty provided for in this Law”.
The Trademarks Law has taken consideration in the matter of the laws of Shari’a, as this is the first and primary source of legislation in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabi, and so was instrumental in the consolidation and dissemination of the Trademarks law.
Article 49 in the Trademarks Law states that: “Without prejudice to a more severe punishment, there shall be penalised by a term of imprisonment not exceeding one year and by a fine not exceeding SR 50,000, or by one of these two penalties:
1. Anyone who forges or imitates a registered mark in a manner, which results in misleading the public, and any person who, with bad intention, uses a false or imitated trademark.
2. Any person who, with bad intention, puts on his products, or uses with regard to his services, a trademark which is owned by another party.
3. Any person who knowingly offers for sale, or who possesses with the intention to sell, products bearing a false or imitated trademark or which is put on or used unlawfully and also any person who offers his services under such a mark knowing it to be so”.
Trademark protection is a law that is taken very seriously in Saudi Arabia. It aims to protect the consumer against fraudulent activities and merchandise and to combat exploitation.
Garoub, Majed M. (1999) Protection of Trademarks in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Arab Law Quarterly, BRILL.