The Minister of Commerce and Industry and Minister of State for Youth Affairs, Muhammad Al-Aiban, has issued a ministerial decree outlining regulations governing the registration of trade names and a list of prohibited terms that cannot be used in trade names, reports Al-Jarida daily.

Ministerial Resolution No. 127 for the year 2023 pertaining to regulations governing the registration of trade names.

In light of reviewing reads thus:

  • Law No. 17 of 1960, which issues the Code of Criminal Procedures and Trials, along with its subsequent amendments.
  • Decree-Law No 68 of 1980, which enacts the Trade Law and its amendments.
  • Law No. 111 of 2013 concerning the regulation of commercial store licensing, in addition to its executive regulations and amendments.
  • Law No. 116 of 2013 that promotes direct investment within the State of Kuwait, accompanied by its executive regulations.
  • Law No. 1 of 2016, which concerns the establishment of companies and its amendments, alongside its executive regulations and amendments.
  • Law No. 13 of 2016 regulating commercial agencies and its executive regulations.
  • Law No. 18 of 2018 that pertains to the commercial registry and its executive regulations and amendments.
  • Law No. 191 of 2015, which governs the organization of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

Ministerial Resolution No 26 of 2022

The proposals presented by the undersecretary; the exigencies of the work is hereby decreed:

Article 1: Registering a trade name is not permissible unless it is directly related to the corresponding business activity.

A trade name comprises the name and surname of the trader or an innovative Arabic or foreign designation that holds meaning and truthfulness.

The trade name may contain numerical figures or be entirely numerical while presented in letter form. The registration of a trade name necessitates adherence to the following stipulations:

The trade name should not transgress cultural norms, traditions, public order, morals, or lead to deception or harm to the public interest.

The trade name must be registered in either Arabic or English. For English names must correspond to their Arabic equivalents as per the Oxford Dictionary (English-Arabic).

Alternatively, the Arabic trade name can be registered in the same form as its English pronunciation (keeping in mind that the same name in both languages cannot be registered).

The trade name must not have been previously registered in the commercial register for the same business activity, except in cases of distinct commercial activities registered under the same company.

In instances where the same trade name is registered for both a company and a commercial agency, the owner of the agency holds the priority to register the trade name. However, this does not apply if the company possesses no agency.

The validity of a trade name lasts for five years following the expiration of the trade license, unless it is registered as a valid trademark, agency, or an upcoming industrial venture.

Avoid using words that suggest familiarity with a previously registered name for the same activity; employing the activity’s name as the commercial name is not permissible; adding a third word to a trade name that consists of two words for the same activity is prohibited to safeguard merchant rights and plural forms of registered names cannot be used if the name is registered in its singular form, and vice versa.

Article Three: Adding words to a trade name is not permissible in the following cases:
Pharmacies — Commercial agencies (with the exception of adding the agency owner’s name if there is more than one agent); the addition of business activities to trade names is not required in the case of trademark.

Article four: Commercial agencies — Companies adhering to the provisions of the Direct Investment Law that encourage direct investment within the State of Kuwait, as stated in Article (12) of Law No. (116) of 2023.

Article Five: A committee shall be formed, composed of relevant authorities, to fulfill the following responsibilities:

Compiling a list of prohibited trade names for applicants or registration; Investigating potential challenges in the implementation of this decree and the associated trade name regulations; Addressing and resolving complaints and proposals concerning trade names.

Article Six: Ministerial Resolution No. (26) of 2022 is repealed, along with any contradictory provisions to this decree.

Article 7: This decree shall be enforced by officials within their respective jurisdictions, effective from its publication date in the Official Gazette.

What cannot be used in trade names:

  • Names associated with the word of God.
  • Names of international entities and organizations.
  • Names of national symbols.
  • Names of government institutions, agencies, and ministries.
  • Names promoting sectarian or tribal biases.
  • Names containing political or military connotations.
  • Religious names.
  • Names of public charitable organizations, foundations, and clubs.
  • Numbers corresponding to governmental entities, institutions, and bodies.
  • Numbers with meanings conflicting with public morality.
  • Names of electronic search engines and social media platforms.
  • Words that may mislead the public, such as “distinctive,” “original,” “new,” “old,” “modern,” “first,” “second,” and “contemporary.”

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