The Omani government has recently approved an Industrial Property Law by virtue of Royal Decree no. 67 of 2008. This law will replace the existing law but will only be effective in the country once the related implementing regulations are issued. Implementation is not expected in the year 2008.
We list in the following table the trademark related aspects of this new law as compared with the previous law:
|Previous Law||New Law|
|Oppositions may be filed within 2 months from publication date.||
Oppositions may be filed within 90 days from publication date. The oppositions are published in the Official Gazette.
|Counter-oppositions may be filed within 2 months from notification date.||Counter-oppositions may be filed within 90 days from the opposition’s publication date in the Official Gazette.|
|Rejection decisions may be appealed within 30 days from receipt of official notice.||Rejection decisions may be appealed within 60 days from receipt of official notice.|
|A trademark is vulnerable to cancellation by any interested party if there has been no effective use of the mark for a period of 5 consecutive years from registration date.||A trademark is vulnerable to cancellation by any interested party if it has gone unused for an uninterrupted period of 5 years from the issuance date of the registration certificate. Also, specific goods/services covered by a registration can be dropped if the mark has gone unused in the market for these goods/services for a consecutive period of three years.|
|A trademark is subject to cancellation by any interested party if it can be established that the mark was unrightfully registered.||A trademark is subject to cancellation by any interested party within 5 years from the issuance date of the registration certificate unless the mark was registered in bad faith, in which case, there is no time limit.|
|No provisions for border measures.||It is possible for trademark holders to file an application with the Customs authorities, seeking suspension of imported counterfeits. Any decision of suspension will be valid for a period of one year from the date of notification. The Customs authorities are also entitled to suspend ex-officio products which are suspected of being counterfeit and to inform immediately the trademarks holder. The trademarks holder will be allowed a period of three days to file suit with the Court.|
|Class headings can be claimed.||Trademark applicants can no longer file an application claiming the whole class without specifying the particular goods/services.|
|Protection is granted to trademark owners with earlier filing date, regardless of use.||Trademark use is given importance. Basically, the first to use a mark in commerce will have prior rights over that mark.|
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