IP Protection UAE – The Legal Framework

PUBLICATIONS / Articles / 2013 / IP Protection UAE – The Legal Framework
IP Protection UAE (intellectual property protection) legislation enables the protection of copyright, trade marks, patents and designs.

Inventions can be protected in the form of a single patent across the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC states are: Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE). Patents are granted for a period of 10 years.
There is no unified register for the GCC to register copyright and trademarks; each country has its own national register.

In the UAE, as elsewhere, copyright is automatically vested in the author upon creation of the work. So therefore it is not necessary to register a copyright in order to enforce it. However, registration of a copyright in artistic, dramatic, literary works as well as in sound and film recordings at the UAE’s Copyright Office is possible (regardless of where the work was created).

The advantage of registration is that it is a quick way to prove ownership and to facilitate speedy enforcement against infringers. Copyright is protected for duration of the author’s life plus 25 years. In the case on companies: 50 years from the date of publication.

The UAE is not part of the Nice Agreement which governs the international classification of goods and services. This means that for a trademark to be protected in the UAE it needs to be registered with the UAE’s Trade Mark Office.
Multi-class registrations are not possible so an application needs to be filed separately for each class of goods or services in which protection is sought. Registration of trade marks in the UAE is essential since the UAE does not recognize prior user rights, as is for instance the case in countries with a legal system based on common law.
A trademark registration needs to be renewed every 10 years but can be renewed indefinitely. However if a trade mark has not been used for 5 years it may be cancelled by applying to the court.
Assignments and licenses of a trademark may also be registered at the Trade Mark Office, but it is not required. If you are trading in the UAE or even if your goods are passing through the UAE local trademark protection is important.
 
Please contact us if you have questions regarding registering your patent, copyright or trademark in the UAE. IP Protection UAE is something that can be done and we know who to talk to.
 
You also might be interested in the following article on reducing IP taxation: Intellectual Property Taxation.

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