MANDATORY POA FOR TRADEMARK FILING WEIGHING DOWN BUSINESSES IN UAE
Do you know what does POA stands for? A power of attorney which is a legal document authorizing a designated person to make decisions about other person’s finances or property. The new federal decree No. 36 of 2021 has issued new executive regulations regarding trademark law which mandates POA along with the trademark application.
Nevertheless, this new rule would not come into practice unless there is confirmation email from the Trade Mark Office regarding the same. A mandatory power of attorney is an additional obligation for the applicants filing trademark or it is okay to accept this requirement? Let’s decipher government’s agenda behind issuing this federal decree!
It is no doubt that Power of Attorney provides legal certainty regarding authority from the owner for trademark application filling but, an applicant simply authorizing an agent to file trademarks in their names is not a clear proof of the applicant really ordering every individual application that the agent files.
Moreover, obtaining POA can incur costs which has to be borne by the applicant and the process requires extra administrative efforts too, which can be a discouragement to file applications for startups, small and medium sized enterprises and others who have a very restricted budget for operation.
In case issuing POA is made legal, monopoly for agents who already hold POA will be created and applicant would be discouraged from changing their existing agent due to delay, effort and cost factors. Though legalization of POA can generate revenue to nations but it could also discourage trademark filling in MENAP regions considering the alternate route available for applicants through the WTO’s Madrid system.
It is suggested by several international business that requirement of POA should be restricted to doubtful cases or which arises a pertinent doubt in the mind of the officer registering the trademark. Therefore, requirement of a power of attorney should not be a mandate but an exception to general scenario.
In addition, there are many countries like UK, US and European Union that do not demand POA for trademark fillings. It is apparent that the cons of mandating a POA are way higher than the pros. Importantly, an additional document requirement can act as a deterrent for businesses eager to file for trademark.