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New DIFC Law on Intellectual Property

UAE has enacted a new DIFC law on International Property, Law No. 4 of 2019, to enhance the regulatory framework in the DIFC, bringing it in line with international best practices. DIFC Authority has taken into account the need to provide an appropriate regulatory environment for businesses to operate in or from the center.

The new DIFC law on intellectual property will enable business entities to protect their intellectual property rights while operating in the DIFC and to create a safe environment for creativity and innovation within the Centre.

The proposed law has covered the key aspects mentioned below:

  • UAE registered trademark has the recognition of registered Trademarks, Patents, Utility Certificates, Industrial Designs and Drawings;
  • The rights afforded to each type of intellectual property and the limitations to such protection;
  • Determining ownership of Patents and Copyrights;
  • Creation of the office of the Commissioner of Intellectual Property who will be responsible for the administering of the proposed law, resolving disputes and imposing fines;
  • intellectual property has sanctions and remedies for infringement.
  • Jurisdiction of the Commissioner of Intellectual Property and the DIFC Court regarding infringement cases.

The new law added is subject to substantial research and global benchmarking as well as thorough public consultation.

Intellectual property rights in Dubai are protected through a series of international treaties and conventions. Dubai is one of the regions that take issues very seriously concerning intellectual property rights and privacy. Companies established in DIFC can rely on intellectual property laws in order to secure their trademark logos, inventions, as well as any kind of original product such as artistic work or industrial design.

The DIFC was being established as the country’s first financial free zone with very ambitious objectives in enhancing Dubai’s economic development and to improve reliance on other revenues through diversifying and supporting the growth of financial and banking sectors. The DIFC since became the primary financial and business gateway throughout the region, and international and local markets. It also contributes to the country’s nation-building mission.

This new law on intellectual property is in line with the role of DIFC with its structure being enhanced so original objectives and governance procedures are clarified and implemented.

The extensive legal framework provided for intellectual property protection rights for locals as well as for foreign investments includes the federal law on combating commercial fraud or the federal law on infringement. The intellectual property protection laws in the UAE and Dubai include the Federal Law on Trademarks and the Federal Law on the Protection of Intellectual Works and Copyright.

The Department of Economic Development in Dubai has created a special division, the Commercial Protection Division, entrusted with combating commercial fraud, trademark infringement and counterfeiting. there is a special division for Intellectual Property Protection which also functions within this special commercial protection sector.

Individuals who want to report a case of trademark infringement in Dubai can do so by filing a complaint regarding the case with the Commercial Protection Division. Depending on the gravity of the situation, the case might be brought in court. The complaint letter has to be filed in Arabic and the individual must also provide clear evidence for the infringement or a list of the infringements as well as a copy of a valid trademark certificate.

Whenever an original or innovative product is created by an individual or company, Dubai’s legal framework provides rigorous regulations in order to protect intellectual property and acknowledge the merit of the creators. Depending on the type of innovative work, there are several categories of documents that may certify the intellectual property is acknowledged by the law.

For further information regarding intellectual property matters, you may seek the help of our IP lawyers in UAE. IP experts in UAE help clients to achieve their commercial aims, advise regarding effective intellectual property and brand protection and provide suggestions or practical solutions. If you want to know more about UAE intellectual property laws, kindly contact us for a no-obligation consultation.

What is Intellectual Property?

The  (WIPO) defines Intellectual Property as “Creations of the mind such as inventions and artistic works; designs and symbols, names and images used in commerce.

How is Intellectual Property different from Traditional Property?

What differentiates Intellectual Property from Traditional Property is the concept of Indivisibility. Indivisibility means that an infinite number of individuals can use a good without it being depleted.

How to protect intellectual property?

The UAE allows authors of the original works to protect their intellectual property by registering it in the name of the concerned person.

Why do we need to protect intellectual property?

The protection of IP also helps recover the costs and gives rewards to the original creator for his efforts in creating something new and innovative. This, in turn, is an incentive to encourage efforts from individuals to strive towards better inventions, original works.

Hazim Darwish

Hazim Darwish, is a Senior Partner of HHS Lawyers in UAE. Practicing law for almost a decade, he has in-depth knowledge on UAE legislation with particular expertise on legal drafting, contract drafting, labor disputes, family law, and regulatory compliance for business organizations. Hazim Darwish also provides counsel on legal rights and obligations in the UAE to clients, including individuals and businesses subject to investigation or prosecution under Criminal Law by major regulators.