Amid a rise in the issues of Trademark Infringement in Oman, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MoCI) has recently urged traders not to sell counterfeit products in the Sultanate’s markets. Not long ago, some of the traders in Oman were found dealing in counterfeit items including, watches, perfumes, shoes, bags, and telephones.  As per the MoCI, trademark infringement is illegal and leads to a violation of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR).

Ali Bin Hamad Bin Saif Al Mamari, the head of the Intellectual Property Rights Monitoring Department at MoCI, stated that the ministry had recently received several complaints about the counterfeiting of trademarks protected in the markets of the Sultanate. He further added that some traders who were involved in this unethical practice gave the pretext that they were unaware of the rights of the trademark owners. In response to such complaints and issues, the ministry carried out raids and seized a large number of counterfeit products.

Al Mamari said that as per the Article 16/2 of the Unified Trademark Law of the GCC countries, the trademark owners have the power to prevent others from using their trademark without any prior consent. According to Article 42 of the law, which details penalties and punishments for the infringers, trademark violators could be punished by imprisonment for a time of at least one month, and not more than three years; and a fine at the very least of RO 500, and not more than RO 10,000; or one of those two punishments. At last, he urged all the traders and importers to stop the trading and selling of counterfeit products for the protection of the Trademark Rights of the owners.

The Unified Trademark Law of the GCC countries including, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), provides ambit of protection to the trademark owners and also prohibits the registration of well-known marks.