Protection of Intellectual Property Rights in UAE
Since its formation, United Arab Emirates presented a rapid and accommodating approach towards coming to terms with existing international and universally accepted corporate laws & has always tried and have successfully stood shoulder to shoulder along with other developed or developing countries of the world. In a very short span in time, UAE has shown tremendous growth in the field of economy, investment and communications, technology, tourism, infrastructure and human and social development and Legal systems. UAE quickly realized the importance of universally accommodated common laws and laws related to universally accepted corporate affairs and has continuously put in successfully rewarding efforts in implicating and centralizing the legal system in the country. UAE realized the vitals and benefits of having international treaties, trade agreements, intellectual property rights, and corporate investment in the country and have specifically worked on its exposure to the international community. UAE as of now has more than 75 bilateral tax agreements and some 50 bilateral investment treaties with its strategic partners and corporate entities around the world, further to this, UAE is also a signatory to hundreds of other bilateral and multilateral agreements.
Intellectual Property Legislations in UAE
Intellectual Property laws are one of the vertices where the United Arab Emirates successfully emerged as a flagbearer in the region when it comes to execution, enforcement and implication of Intellectual Property Laws and its various treaties. The UAE is a signatory to almost every major IP convention and Treaty like:
- Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled (September 30, 2016)
- WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (June 9, 2005)
- Rome Convention for the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organizations (January 14, 2005)
- Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (July 14, 2004)
- WIPO Copyright Treaty (July 14, 2004), the Patent Cooperation Treaty (March 10, 1999)
- Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property (September 19, 1996)
- Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization (September 24, 1974).
The UAE also executed and have in application various local laws legislated by the state related to Intellectual Property, main local laws governing IP enforcement and execution in UAE are
- Federal Law No. 17 of 2009 on the Protection of New Plant Varieties (2010)
- Federal Law No. 31 of 2006 Pertaining to the Industrial Regulation and Protection of Patents
- Industrial Drawings, and Designs (2002)
- Federal Law No. 7 of 2002 Concerning Copyrights and Neighbouring Rights (2002)
- Federal Law No. 37 of 1992 on Trademarks (as amended by Law No. 19 of 2000 and Law No. 8 of 2002) (1992).
Apart from these mentioned laws, there are many and many other Local Federal laws and Ministerial Decrees governing and facilitating the enforcement and protection of Intellectual Property rights of the IP right holders.
The Patent and Trademark Office
UAE Ministry of Economy has an efficient and prompt patent and Trademark Office. The Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) is a highly centralized unit dealing with Patents, Trademarks, Copyrights, Designs, Domain Names, providing online facilitation for almost every actions. Complete digitization of the PTO has been achieved by UAE making the filing of applications, receiving of notifications and report, an easy and hassle-free process. Opposition and information related thereto and the certificates too are delivered to the applicant or to their registered agents either through an online application or through e-mails. The officials sitting in the PTO are well versed with the concepts of Intellectual Property and the procedure and standard followed internationally. UAE PTO stands as a facilitator to the general public and all the above mentioned initiatives have been undertaken by the state towards providing a consumer-friendly system which works building a healthy professional relationship between the consumers and the government system. The UAE manages two different offices in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, just to make sure that the people seeking protection for their Intellectual Property have easements in reaching the authorities.
Registration Procedure of Intellectual Property
The process for registration of Intellectual Property in UAE is simple and hustle free. An application in the government format is filed before the concerned department of the Patent and trademark office. The application is supposed to carry certain necessary documents along with it to get through the filing procedure. A Power of attorney is necessary as the applications are filed through the registered agents. Other necessary documents are the details and identification documents of the applicant along with the details of the Intellectual Property to be protected. The application once filed, thereafter goes through the usual process of examination, publication and eventually the final registration. The registration certificate is issued by the department once the application comes out successfully through examination and publication stages.
To secure protection to Patents, Copyrights, Trademarks or a Design, the applicant (represented by a registered agent) have to file an application with The application The copyright certificate can be obtained within 15-20 days.
Probable Consequents of Intellectual Property Registration
Registered Intellectual Property is authorized by the government and is entitled to protection and damages (in case of any infringement), under the state IP Laws. As a general principle, IPR protection grants the holder of the exclusive protection of the creation so that, third parties cannot use the creation without the permission of the creator, which is usually granted through a licence against the payment of a fee in the form of royalties, with the creator keeping exclusive rights over the creation. The Intellectual property, under the protective umbrella of the protection provided by the state or government, gives the exclusive rights to the owner, to commercially exploit and excrete profits from its use. The registered intellectual property can be a great asset to the owner. The Trademarks like Google and Coke Cola worth billions of dollars today. A registered Trademark gives Credibility and Brand Value to the owner. It also gives the effect of Legal authenticity to a product. A registered Intellectual Property may enhance the market value as well as the chances of its export to other countries. A registered Intellectual Property is the pride of the owner.
Mr Izhar Ahmed
Senior IP Consultant
About the Author
Izhar Ahmed is an Intellectual Property Expert and has an experience of more than 5 years in the field of Intellectual Property Protection and Prosecution. He is registered with the Delhi Bar Council and Bar Council of India and is a based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates and work as an IP Consultant with a boutique IP and Corporate Consultancy Firm. Izhar has managed the Trademark portfolio of various Private and Government undertakings in GCC and numerous multinational business organisations from across the globe which hails from different sectors. Izhar has rich experience with key legal issues along with wide knowledge of legal concerns related to Intellectual Property Rights, Contracts, Business Laws, Incorporation Laws and rules related to due diligence. He can be directly contacted at +971589474863 or at email@example.com