Intellectual property can be summed up as the property that is created with the human mind. Every invention, piece of literary or artistic work, brand names and even symbols can be called as intellectual property. Since it is a product of sheer imagination and commitment, it should be regarded as every other asset that needs protection. This is where intellectual property laws come in. They protect intellectual property from theft and corruption using trademarks, patents, copyrights, and trade secrets.
The IP Protection laws varies from place to place. Intellectual property protection or IP protection in UAE is governed by the Federal laws of UAE. In essence, they all serve the same purpose – to protect the intellectual properties of their inventors.
What is the need of IP Protection in UAE?
A brand speaks about a unique entity. Similarly, every single invention ever made is a mark in the world made by its inventor. So when others make a blatant copy of an invention, the investment of the maker goes to waste. Think about a scenario where anybody could start a business with the name of any A-list brands. This spells disaster as it completely destroys uniqueness and makes people lose trust in brands. Alternatively, imagine where a painting or an image that you have created being copied and circulated without your permission. This is the importance of getting intellectual property protection.
Different IP Protection Methods
If you have unique ideas that you need to be protected from prying eyes, you should make yourself acquainted with the following terms.
Patent: patents are given out for inventions and prohibit others from using the same technology without the owner’s consent. In UAE, the inventor can file for a patent at the GCC patent office situated in Dubai. It was established in 1998 and since been the go-to place for getting patent on valuable inventions. Of course, to patent an invention, the creation must be unique and must be of some use to the public.
Trademarks: trademarks are unique words, symbols or signs that separate your brand from others. It is crucial that you must trademark your business properties so that no one else can use your banner to sell their products. Before you trademark, your product, make sure that the same does not already exist or else it may lead to unnecessary complications.
Trade secrets: trade secrets are formulas, processes or even devices that are unknown to the competition. It gives the company a competitive advantage. The best example for this is the soda formula used by Coca-Cola. The companies must also make sure to take necessary precautions so that the information is not leaked in any way. UAE already has a set of laws that oversee disclosure of business secrets and trade secrets.
Copyrights: copyrights mainly focus on protecting artistic works like songs, music, graphical works, etc. software rights also comes under copyright laws. The trademarks and copyright filing in UAE is streamlined and has to be done through the UAE Ministry of Economy.
How Does the IP Protection Work In UAE
Since intellectual properties are very valuable and can even help in the progress of the whole country, UAE has passed several rules on the same. The following are the major IP protection Laws that are laid down by the UAE legislature.
Federal Law No. 37 of 1992 on Trademarks (as amended by Law No. 19 of 2000 and Law No. 8 of 2002)(1992) : This law mainly deals with Enforcement of IP and related laws, trade names, geographical indications, and
Federal Law No. 7 of 2002 Concerning Copyrights and Neighbouring Rights(2002): this law passes in 2002 deals with copyright and related rights, IP Regulatory Body, Traditional Cultural Expressions, Enforcement of IP and Related Laws.
Federal Law No. 31 of 2006 Pertaining to the Industrial Regulation and Protection of Patents, Industrial Drawings, and Designs(2002): This is yet another law passed in 2002 with deals in Enforcement of IP and Related Laws, Competition, Industrial Property, Industrial Designs, Patents (Inventions) and others.
Federal Law No. 17 of 2009 on the Protection of New Plant Varieties(2010): the law passed in 2010 is particularly aimed at protecting plant varieties. The complete list includes IP Regulatory Body, Enforcement of IP and Related Laws, Plant Variety Protection, Trademarks and Trade names.
These are only the list of main laws that deal with IP protection in UAE; there are also several other complimentary laws that come as the subgroups of the main laws.
Therefore, UAE has a very robust system for protecting IP properties. If you or your entity needs IP protection, a good Law Firm specialised in the practise of Intellectual Property Laws in UAE, could help you with necessary registration and legal actions in the event of infringement or apprehended infringement.