Thursday, July 2, 2015

How to Register a Trademark in Oman

A trademark under Omani law is defined as “A mark that may be subjected to topography in a specific manner that allows the distinguishing of goods (trademark) or services (service marks) produced by a particular establishment from those produced by other establishments. The mark may, in particular, be words (including personal names), drawings, letters, colours, group of colours, numbers, shape of goods, their canning, three-dimensional pictures, geographical indicators, voices, fragrance or taste.”

The Law of Industrial Property Rights promulgated pursuant to Royal Decree 67 of 2008 (the “IP Law”) is the legislation that governs trademarks in Oman and Ministerial Decision 105/2008 sets out the Executive Regulations for the IP Law (the “Executive Regulations”).

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Monday, June 29, 2015

Legal Updates

Ministerial Decision 107 of 2015 issued on 6/5/2015 to continue temporarily ceasing recruitment of non-Omanis in some professions


The Ministry of Manpower has issued Ministerial Decision 107 of 2015 (“MD 107/2015”) which temporarily ceases recruitment of non-Omanis in the private sector. This decision which was effective from 1 May 2015 will last for the period of six months within which period non-Omanis will not be issued visas to work in the following professions: sales person/sales promoter and purchasing agents. The decision, however, is not applicable to certain establishments which include those:

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Monday, June 22, 2015

Law in Practice: Seven Core Principles for a Healthy Attorney/Client Relationship

Disputes that result in formal legal action often arise from very precarious situations. Thus, naturally, external legal counsel is often retained by clients during the midst of extreme tension. However, in order to optimise the likelihood of a favourable outcome, it is critical for the attorney/client to work together, and to develop a healthy relationship founded upon mutual trust, collaboration and effective communication.


We discuss below seven key principles that enable and help nurture a healthy, synergetic attorney-client relationship.


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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

MOCI's New Procedure on Company Formation

The Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MOCI) signed an Agreement on 7 December 2013 with Nortal Gulf Company from Estonia to develop the One Stop Shop (OSS). The venture known as the “Business and Technology Transformation Project” is implemented by the MOCI to take a further step in the development of the e-Government and to support the e-Transformation plan.


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Thursday, June 11, 2015

Omanisation Compliance for Small and Medium Enterprises

The Government of Sultanate of Oman has recently showcased an increasing interest in the development and support of Small and Medium Enterprises (“SME”). The Ministry of Manpower has issued Ministerial Decision 103 of 2015 which clearly exempts SME from the set Omanisation percentage (“MD 103/2015”).


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Monday, June 8, 2015

Employment of Part Time Workers

Ministerial Decision 102 of 2015 Regulating Part Time Work (the “Regulation”) governs the employment of part time workers in Oman and has repealed Ministerial Decision 520 of 2013 governing part time work (the “Old Regulation”). A “part time” worker by definition is a “worker whose regular working hours or days are less than the working hours and days” as stipulated by the Labour Law in accordance with Royal Decree 35 of 2003 (as amended). This article briefly sets out the provisions provided for under the Regulation and highlights the changes from the Old Regulation.


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Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Legal Updates

Ratifying the Arab Convention on Combating Information Technology Offences


Royal Decree 5 of 2015, published in the Official Gazette on 8 March 2015 (the “Ratification”), ratifies the Arab Convention on Combating Information Technology Offences signed by the Sultanate of Oman on 15 February 2012 (the “Convention”). Such Convention shall be effective thirty days from the date of ratification, approval or adoption documents by seven Arab states who have signed up to the Convention, (hereinafter referred to as “States” or as “State” in the singular). Currently, of the 22 countries to have signed the Convention, only the United Arab Emirates and the Sultanate of Oman have ratified.


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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Mediation in International Commercial Disputes

Mediation


A unique mechanism available for parties to amicably resolve disputes is often underutilized in international commercial disputes.


There are several advantages that mediation offers over other forms of dispute resolution (such as court proceedings/arbitration) which we will explore below.


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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Overseas Dividends: Supreme Court Perspective

The Supreme Court is the highest Court within the hierarchy of Courts in Oman. A judgment/decision issued by the Supreme Court is supposed to act as a precedent for all the lower Courts and Government authorities as the judgments issued by the Supreme Court are final and non-appealable. Thus, an issue which has been adjudged upon by the Supreme Court should become a binding precedent to be applied in all future cases pertaining to a similar issue.


Despite two judgments of the Supreme Court in 2012 on the issue of non-taxability of overseas dividends under the Omani Income Tax Law promulgated by Royal Decree 47 of 1981 as amended (the “Income Tax Law”), the Omani Tax Department continues to currently try to impose tax on overseas dividends received by companies from its investments out of Oman, referable to the tax years up to and including 2009.


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Monday, May 18, 2015

Desalination Facilities of a Special Nature: Expansion of the Electricity Sector Law's Regulator Regime

The Law for the Regulation and Privatisation of the Electricity and Related Water Sector promulgated by Sultani Decree 78 of 2004 as amended (the “Sector Law”) originally provided the statutory and regulatory framework for the electricity and “related water” sector in Oman. “Related water” referred only to water desalination projects which were combined with, or co-located on the same site as, power generation. This meant that “unrelated” water desalination projects (i.e. desalination projects which were not combined with, or located on the same site as, electricity generation) were not subject to the Sector Law.


However, on 1 October 2013, an amendment to the Sector Law promulgated by Sultani Decree 47 of 2013 (the “Amendment”) was published which provided that unrelated water desalination projects which were designated “desalination facilities of a special nature” would be subject to the Sector Law.

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