Intellectual Property in UAE – A Complete GuideMarch 30, 2023
We can agree that without a shadow of a doubt, Intellectual property in UAE is the most fundamental aspect of business operations that must be known and understood by every entrepreneur and investor. Since the UAE is experiencing a rapidly growing economy with a strong focus on innovation, protecting intellectual property rights has become more crucial than ever.
In this guide, we will provide a comprehensive overview of intellectual property in UAE, covering the legal framework, registration procedures, and benefits. By understanding the basics of intellectual property in UAE, businesses can safeguard their innovative ideas, products, and services and thrive in the highly competitive business environment.
So let’s get started!
What is Intellectual Property?
Intellectual property encompasses intangible assets such as trademarks, patents, copyrights, trade secrets, symbols, and other literary and artistic works protected by law. Intellectual property protection encourages innovation, fosters creativity, and allows individuals and businesses to benefit from their innovative ideas and creations.
Just like other property rights, Intellectual Property Rights enable their proprietor to derive full benefits from their product, which was originally conceived and refined as an idea. Moreover, these rights give the owner the authority to prohibit unauthorized usage, handling, or modification of their product by others. The proprietor can take legal action against infringers and enforce the cessation of such activities, as well as demand compensation for any harm caused.
Intellectual Property in UAE
Intellectual property (IP) protection is an important aspect of the legal system in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The UAE has established laws and regulations to safeguard the rights of creators and owners of various forms of intellectual property, such as patents, trademarks, copyrights, and industrial designs. The country has also become a signatory to several international conventions and treaties, including the WIPO Convention, the Gulf Cooperation Council, the TRIPS for trademarks, the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, and the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works. By registering their intellectual property rights, inventors can both safeguard and monetize their creations. Consumers can also rest assured that they are purchasing a safe and guaranteed product.
Trademarks in UAE
A trademark is defined as any visible sign capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one enterprise from those of another enterprise. This can include words, logos, shapes, colors, sounds, and any other distinctive sign that can be represented graphically.
As per the Trademark Law in the UAE, which is governed by Federal Decree-Law No. 36 of 2021, a trademark refers to any unique representation of words, names, signatures, figures, graphics, letters, logos, titles, seals, hallmarks, pictures, announcements, patterns, packs, or other similar marks or a combination of marks that are used or intended to be used to differentiate products, goods, or services from any other sources.
Registration of a Trademark in UAE
To register a trademark in UAE, the applicant must file an application with the Trademark Office at the Ministry of Economy. The application must include the following:
- The name and address of the applicant
- A clear representation of the trademark
- A statement of the goods or services for which the trademark has already been used (if any)
- A list of the goods or services to be covered by the trademark
- The class or classes of goods or services for which registration is sought, according to the International Classification of Goods and Services for the Purposes of the Registration of Marks (Nice Classification).
Documents for registration of trademark in UAE include:
- Trademark logo
- Power of Attorney
- Commercial license copy
- Passport copy
- Priority document
- Other attachments.
Once the application is filed, it will be examined by the Trademark Office to ensure that it meets the requirements of the Trademark Law. If your application is accepted, Trademark Journal, for opposition purposes, will publish it. In case no opposition is filed within 30 days of publication, the trademark will be registered.
Who Can Register a Trademark in UAE?
Under the aforementioned legislation, the individuals eligible to register their trademarks include:
- UAE nationals and any natural or legal entities
- Foreigners, as well as any natural or legal entities
- Foreigners and natural or legal entities engaged in commercial, industrial, or service activities in a country that allows UAE citizens and entities to do the same under the law of reciprocity
- Other legal entities.
Copyright in UAE
As per Federal Law No. 38 of 2021 on Copyrights and Neighboring Rights, any original work in the fields of literature, arts, or science, regardless of its form, meaning, or purpose, is considered an intellectual work.
Copyright law provides protection for a range of intellectual works, including books, articles, computer software, lectures, speeches, plays, music, audio and video works, architectural designs, paintings, sculptures, photographs, maps, and derivative works based on protected works. The protection of Copyright in UAE also extends to the title of the work and the creative concept used in broadcasting material. Additionally, the Minister of Economy may define other works, such as databases and similar creations, protected under copyright law.
Patents in UAE
A patent is a legal grant that provides inventors or assignees with the exclusive right to prevent others from commercially exploiting their invention without permission in exchange for a detailed public disclosure of the patented invention for a limited period of time.
The UAE provides patent protection under Federal Law No. 31 of 2016, promulgated by Law No. 17 of 2002 on the Regulation and Protection of Industrial Property of Patents, Industrial Drawings, and Designs. This protection is granted to new inventions resulting from innovative ideas or improvements, provided they have a scientific basis and are applicable across all fields of technology.
Patents Registration in UAE
The Ministry of Economy's International Centre for Patent Registration (ICPR) is the authorized body responsible for the registration of patents in the UAE. In order to register a patent, individuals can submit an online application via the ministry's website. The Ministry of Economy's website provides information on the necessary documents needed for patent registration.
Intellectual Property Law in UAE
Intellectual property law in UAE is governed by a range of federal laws, including Federal Law No. 31 of 2006 on the Regulation and Protection of Industrial Property Rights, Federal Law No. 37 of 1992 on Trademarks, and Federal Law No. 7 of 2002 on Copyrights and Related Rights.
The UAE's IP laws protect various forms of Intellectual property in Dubai, including trademarks, patents, industrial designs, copyrights, and trade secrets. The UAE also has a specialized court system, the Abu Dhabi Commercial Court, which hears cases related to IP disputes.
Intellectual Property Registration in UAE
In the UAE, the intellectual property (IP) registration process involves submitting an application to the Ministry of Economy, the Copyright Office, or the Patent Office, depending on the type of IP being registered. The application should include all necessary information and documents, such as a description of the IP and its owner, as well as any supporting evidence of ownership.
Duration of Property Protection in UAE
As per Federal Law No. 7 of 2002 on Copyrights and related rights, Article 20 stipulates that the author's economic rights will be safeguarded for their lifetime plus 50 years, commencing from the first day of the calendar year after their demise. For applied art pieces, the economic rights will expire after 25 years from the first day of the calendar year after their initial publication.
Benefits of Registering Intellectual Property in UAE
There are numerous advantages for a company in the UAE to register its intellectual property, such as safeguarding its IP rights and preventing potential future disputes. By completing the registration process, the company is entitled to the protection of its patent, copyright, or trademark by the UAE government, ensuring that its innovative creations are not misused, altered, or used without authorization in illegal forms.
Some benefits of registering intellectual property in the UAE include the following:
- Protect owners, giving them exclusive rights to use, sell, and license their intellectual property. This can prevent others from using, copying, or exploiting the IP without the owner's consent.
- Prevent others from stealing your unique ideas and inventions, which can help you maintain your position in the market.
- Attract investors or secure funding, as they will see your business as having valuable assets protected by law.
- Provide opportunities to license or sell your intellectual property to others, which can generate additional revenue streams.
- If someone infringes on your IP rights, registering your IP can provide legal remedies, such as damages or injunctions, to stop them from continuing to use or exploit your intellectual property.
How Avyanco Helps you Register your Intellectual Property
If you want to register your intellectual property in UAE and are looking for an experienced service company to do that, Avyanco is your answer!
With our extensive experience and knowledge in this field, Avyanco helps clients register and protect their intellectual property, including patents, trademarks, and copyrights. Our team of experts can assist you in all aspects of intellectual property registration, from conducting preliminary searches to ensure that the proposed invention or trademark is not already registered to preparing and filing the necessary applications with the relevant authorities.
We also offer ongoing support to our valued clients, including advice on how to protect and enforce their intellectual property rights, as well as assistance in the event of infringement or legal disputes.
Ensure the protection of your intellectual property by contacting Avyanco today!
Jashvant Prajapati, founder and CEO of Avyanco Group of Companies; Business Setup Consultancy, Avyanco Tax and Accounting LLC, and Avyanco Auditing LLC. He keeps a varied portfolio with core expertise in investment management, corporate structuring, commercial law, business consultancy, lead management, business planning and market research. Aspire to help potential entrepreneurs and investors to come ahead and form their companies in highly emerging economies like UAE.