Why Intellectual Property is Important?
Intellectual property (‘IP’) comprises of various kinds of rights such as ‘Patents’, ‘Trademarks’, ‘Copyrights’.
Registration of intellectual property rights allows the creators or owners of the IP to be able to monetize the rights. Consumers, on the other hand, can ensure that they are purchasing safe and guaranteed products. Intellectual property in the wider context is beneficial for the world as it encourages innovation and development. Without allowing intellectual property rights the individuals would not be allowed to reap the benefits of the inventions and thereby to lead on to further research and development. Intellectual property rights provide a strong boost to the Economy of nations. For example, the IP for USA is valued at USD 5.8 trillion.
What are Trademarks, Copyrights and Patents:
Trademarks: Trademarks refers to phrases, words or symbols which have the capability to distinguish the source of one product from that of the other. Trademarks in themselves which comprises of the tradename and logo of an entity once registered, becomes protected and cannot be used by another without the direct consent of the IP holder. Perhaps one of the most famous examples of trademark protection is the ‘Nike’ symbol.
Copyright: Copyright is one of the unique intellectual property rights which can be commonly understood as the authorship rights over any original work which can comprise of literary, music, art, software program etc. Copyright exists in work the moment you create the original work; however, registration of the copyright is important in order to ensure protection from infringement.
Intellectual Property Rights in the UAE:
Intellectual property is heavily protected in the United Arab Emirates. UAE is a signatory of the Trade-related aspects of Intellectual property rights (TRIPS) since 1996. TRIPS constitute an international legal agreement between its member countries that establishes the minimum standards for intellectual property rights including. TRIPS agreements are commended for introducing intellectual property on a multi-lateral level on international trading systems for the first time.
IPR laws in the UAE:
The laws relating to intellectual property in the UAE include ‘Patents and Industrial designs law no. 44 of 1992’, the ‘Trademarks law number 37 of 1992; the ‘Copyright and neighboring rights number 40 of 1992’ and its respective amendments.
The ministry of Economy constitutes the competent authority in the UAE for the registration and protection of intellectual property rights. For the enforcement of IP there exists vast cooperation between different wings of the government such as the police, customs, emirate level department of economy for taking steps towards the seizure of counterfeit goods. Lack of IPR enforcement within the free zones was a concern; however, with the recent introduction of the commercial anti-fraud law, the said issues have been accommodated. In 2016, the new anti-fraud law was enacted in the UAE by issuing Federal Law Number 19 of 2016 concerning ‘Combating commercial Fraud’. This new law is commonly referred to as the ‘Commercial anti-fraud law’ and endeavors to bring in more stringent anti-fraud measures including combatting intellectual property violation. The new ‘anti-fraud law’ encompasses the entire UAE and specifically applies to the free zones in the UAE as well (Article 2 (1). The provisions of this law shall apply to anyone who commits an act of commercial fraud, and the free zones in the State shall not be exempted from the provisions of these laws.)
Counterfeit goods are defined in the said law as ‘The goods which bear, without permission, a trademark which is identical or similar to a legally registered trademark.
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Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultantancy is a full-service law firm in UAE, duly licensed to perform legal services and advocacy in the United Arab Emirates with a head office in Dubai and a branch office in Abu Dhabi. Our firm serves and represents both local and expatriate companies and individual clients.