Bodies: World Intellectual Property Organization, World Trade Organization, Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
Conventions: Paris Convention, Berne Convention, Nairobi Treaty, WIPO Copyright Treaty, WIPO Performances & Phonograms Treaty, GCC Patent Law, Patent Cooperation Treaty.
Qatar is a member of the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works. The provisions to provide legal protection to the copyright-related issues have been incorporated in Qatar in the shape of Qatari Copyright Law No. 25 of 1995 and Law No. 7 of 2002 but implementing regulations are yet to be promulgated. Fee structures and other details pertaining to copyright matters are yet to be decided. However, it is possible to deposit a copyrighted work with the Copyright Protection Office for further action. The office will merely issue a letter for safe acknowledgment and in case of any issues, the said letter will be taken into consideration.
Scope of Protection:
The copyright law provides protection for original intellectual works of art in literature, science, arts and culture in general. The law provides protection irrespective of the value, type, manner of expression or purpose of the work. The protection includes written works, photographs, and cinematographic films, theater and musical pieces, television and radio work for publication, paintings, sculpture and architecture, maps and speeches. Law on the Protection of Copyright and Related Rights (Law No. 7 of 2002) considers software as a literary work and as such a fifty years protection is provided. Protection under copyright law ends fifty years after the death of the author. However, if the copyrighted substance is owned by a legal entity rather than a natural person, the fifty years protection shall begin on the date the material was first published. The author may assign the rights granted to him subject to prescribed terms and conditions. Infringements are presided over by the Copyright Tribunal.
Name and address of the applicant including his nationality, domicile and the address of his place of business A power of attorney duly legalized from Qatar consulate
A duly executed and legalized deed of assignment, if the author is not the applicant
Six copies of the work for which protection is sought to be lodged with the Copyright Office under the supervision of the Department of Economy and Commerce-Ministry of Economy and Commerce.
Domain Name Introduction
Qatar Telecom (Q-Tel) is the local registry for the Top-Level Domain Name: (TLD) .qa in Qatar. The second-level domain names available under .qa are as follows:
.com.qa for commercial use
.gov.qa for governmental entities
.edu.qa for educational institutions
.net.qa for Internet activities
.org.qa for non-for-profit organizations
All registrations in this regard are done through the method of “first-come, first-serve” basis.
Registration is for economic and commercial companies in Qatar. Foreign companies are allowed to register domain names through a local agent.
Local Presence: Yes
Trustee Service (this satisfies most registration requirements; some domains may require additional information, per year fee): $ 249.96
Note: Registration for 2 years may be required on some extensions.
A brief synopsis on the filing of the National Phase Patent Application in Qatar.
As a vision of encouragement by Qatar Government to accept Patent Application, Qatar became member of PCT on 11.08.2011 and it got a place as regional office for the GCC which comprises of 6 countries namely Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), United Arab Emirates (UAE), State of Kuwait, State of Qatar, Sultanate of Oman, and the Kingdom of Bahrain. Once the patent certificates are granted, legal protection is obtained by the investor’s right in the member states.
In Qatar Region, the Patent department accepting NPPA from September 2012.
The official fees of national phase applications are the same fees of regular applications.
The documents required at the time of filing are the patent text in English and Arabic in addition to the details of the PCT application.
The applicant or the agent of the applicant has to submit the following documents within 3 months from the date of filing duly translated in the Arabic language:
Note: The Patent department has the right to impose a penalty for the late submission of documents.
The applicant who files patent application shall be available for inventions either products/processes incomplete field of technology if there are any developments involved in new inventive steps which are capable of industrial application and also the patent may be applied in the form of material products, and industrial process or any of the manufacturing techniques.
In view of the law framed for Patent in Qatar, the following are not included in patentability:
National Phase Patent Application (NPPA) filed at the Qatar Patent Office are subject to substantive examination and are bound to meet the above-mentioned patentability criteria for receiving acceptance by the Patent Office.
Examiner of the Qatar Patent Office shall notify the applicant or it’s appointed agents whether the application, if rejected may be filed by the applicant or it’s appointed agents through petition to the competent authority in the Arabic language within 90 days from the date of notification.
There is a possibility of the interested party to file an objection within 60 days from the date of the published data sheet in Patent’s official gazette. The utility certificate will be issued to the applicant from the patent office is there is no objection raised by any of the opponents for the said patent.
Trademark / Service Mark Applications
A power of attorney duly legalized from the Qatari Consulate or any other Arab consulate and stamped with the company’s seal; A simple copy of the certificate of incorporation of the applicant company or an extract of the entry of the applicant in the commercial register; The list of the goods to be covered. The protection of the class cannot include all goods and services; one item must always be excluded The name, address, nationality and legal status of the applicant including the nature of its business A certified copy of the priority document if claimed
Renewal of Trademark / Service Mark Registrations
A power of attorney legalized from the Qatari Consulate or any other Arab consulate and stamped with the company’s seal; The name, address and nationality of the applicant and the nature of its business The trademark’s filing number.
The trademark’s filing number. Scanned copy of the original registration certificate (just for verification purpose) Registered user/ licensee Agreement Application
An authenticated license agreement in writing signed by the concerned parties and legalized with the Consulate of Qatar or any Arab Consulate at the seeker’s end A power attorney by the licensee duly legalized from the Qatar consulate
Legalized certificate of incorporation or extract from the commercial register of the registered user company
Change of Name and Address Application A power of attorney in the new name and/ or address duly legalized from Qatar Embassy A legal certificate duly attested, mentioning the changes to be done
A power of attorney legalized with the Qatari Embassy or any other Arab consulate by the assignee and stamped with the company’s stamp A deed of assignment signed by both parties, authenticated, notarized and legalized with the Consulate of Qatar A legalized copy of the certificate of incorporation or any equivalent document of the assignee company. Trademark Summary
Qatar which has won the right to host the FIFA 2022 World Cup, today is surging ahead in all the spheres throwing open vast investment opportunities in various sectors.
The State of Qatar follows the International Classification of Goods and Services for the Purposes of the Registration of Marks under the Nice Agreement. However, classes 1, 4 to 7, 10 to 14, 16 to 22, 29 and 31 are not granted entirely under the Qatar Trademark Law. Products covered by class 33 and alcoholic drinks and beverages in class 32 are not registrable as per the existing norms of Qatar.
Qatar does not follow the multi-class filing system and hence each trademark must be filed in each class separately. The prints of a trademark originally in colors can be submitted in black and white, but the colors should be depicted by means of hatching as prepared according to the Heraldic Code.
Once the trademark is filed, an application number is allotted immediately. The trademark then goes through the examination period during which the viability of the mark is examined in substance and form. If accepted, the mark is published in the monthly Official Gazette of trademarks. Once published, the mark is open for the scrutiny and opposition of any interested party, within 120 days from the date of publication.
The opposition could be filed the TM Registrar. However, if the case is not settled with the Registrar, either party could move the civil court by means of appeals. On the other hand, if the trademark does not face any opposition, it is registered upon the completion of the 120-day-long opposition term and the registration certificate is issued.
Trademark registration is valid for 10 years from the date of filing the application and it could be renewed for a further period of 10 years. The desired trademark could be renewed anytime during the last 12 months of the protection period by settling the relative official fees. The Qatar TM Law also allows a grace period of 6 months from the date of expiry of the original deadline and a trademark can be renewed at this stage but with the penalty.
Qatar TM Law has room for effectuating assignment for the registered trademark with or without the goodwill of the business concern. Accordingly, until the assignment is recorded in the register and published in the Official Gazette of Trademarks, it shall not have any effect vis-à-vis third parties. Amendments such as change of name and/or domicile of the applicant, non-substantial amendments to the trademark (as long as they do not affect or alter the identity of the original mark), limitation of goods as well as services covered by a trademark registration can be recorded.
While the use of the trademark in the Qatari market is not the pre-requisite for filing an application, it must be noted that registration of trademark is highly recommended before the use. Meanwhile, any interested third party may move the local court requesting the cancellation of a registered mark on the basis of non-use. However, in this scenario, the pleader must prove the non-use of the mark by the registrant for 5 consecutive years from the date of registration. Nevertheless, such a cancellation action based on non-use shall not be deemed accepted, unless the owner of the trademark is served with a one-month notice informing them that their trademark is subject to cancellation owing to continued non-use.
Unauthorized use of a trademark registered under the law, a replication 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 is considered offensive and such a person/entity invites penalization.
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