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Oman: First Applications Filed for a Sound Mark

March 5, 2019

The Trademark Office in Oman accepted the first sound trademark application in the country, with the sound represented on the application by a musical notation. In fact, according to Article 1 of Royal Decree no 67/2008, any signs capable of being represented graphically, including sounds, provided that such signs are capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one undertaking from those of other undertakings, can be identified as trademarks. Even though the application is likely to pass examination on absolute grounds, there are still no methodical standards and no clear guidelines and directives that have been communicated by the relevant authorities of Oman on how trademark applications for sound marks must be treated.

In the absence of fundamental principles of protectability of sound marks including related definitive issues such as specific articulation or affixation/product connection requirements, grey areas in the legislation and the implementation have still to be clarified. In addition, there are no precedents on how prior cases regarding infringement of unconventional sound trademarks have been decided. Generally speaking, the existence of such precedents gives an indication of how the judicial interpretation of the laws would be in cases involving identical circumstances. So the question of enforceability of sound trademarks is a matter solely determined by the articles on trademark infringement as referred to under the local law.

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