Given the recent trend in going paperless in the region, the Trademark Office in the United Arab Emirates announced that official searches will be conducted online as of April 21, 2018. This news follows a recent move by the TMO to issue certificates electronically as of November 2017.

By way of background, it is significantly important to assess whether a mark is also available for use in order to avoid serious risk of infringement of the rights of a prior user. Conducting a full trademark clearance will help determine the overall picture of the commercial environment surrounding a proposed mark. With the online system in place, the search process becomes more streamlined.

These e-services, among others provided by the TMO, replace previous procedures that required the submission of documents and applications in person. Accordingly, we expect this new practice to pave the way for a smoother trademark registration process.

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