4 Efficient Ways the UAE Enforce Anti-Counterfeiting Measures
Being home to the world’s busiest seaports and airports, the UAE is an international business hub and home to international brands and hence the target of counterfeiters! The influx of fake goods into the market has health, financial and legal implications on the UAE markets. The fake goods are hazardous for consumers apart from having indirect impacts on jobs and profits of genuine business owners. Realizing the impacts of counterfeit goods on the economy, the UAE has devised several ways to tackle the influx of counterfeit goods.
With the advent of technology and the internet, the counterfeiters have developed novel ways to penetrate into the UAE markets. The internet helped expand the penetration of fake goods beyond the traditional boundaries of small retailers and grey markets. This called the need for more extensive market investigations and more effective anti-counterfeiting measures. As more stringent measures were put into action, the UAE has been able to have firm control over the influx of fake goods.
Different Methods of Effective Anti-Counterfeiting Measures in the UAE
There are four different ways by which the brand owners can initiate action against the counterfeiters. All of these methods involve various authorities and different procedures. First of all, the rights holders need to conduct effective market investigations to detect infringements. Trademark agents in the UAE can assist the companies in effective market investigations and guide them on which authorities to approach for initiating action. The following are the methods in the UAE to combat fake goods:
1. Criminal Prosecution
Brand owners can file a complaint with the police when the goods that infringed the intellectual property rights are detected in the market. The right holders detect the presence of fake goods in the market through market investigations. Trademark agents in the UAE conduct market investigations for the companies to detect infringements.
After the complaint is filed, the police will conduct an investigation. Official raids will be carried out and the matter will be handed over to the criminal court if the complaint is found to be valid. The court may slap fines on the infringers and even jail sentences can be expected. The court will also order to destroy the seized fake goods. No fee is involved in filing a complaint with the police.
2. Civil Action
The brand owners who detect the infringement of their intellectual property rights also have the option to file a lawsuit against the infringers in civil court. The lawsuit can be filed as guaranteed by Federal Law No. 37 of 1992 as amended by Federal Law No. 8 of 2002, Art. 37 ff. The lawsuit can be filed either after the criminal complaint or without lodging any complaint. The court may even impose a travel ban on the infringer.
3. Protection Through the Customs Authorities
Enforcing the trademarks through Customs has been an efficient way to prevent the entry of counterfeit goods into the UAE market. This method offers protection to trademarks that have already been recorded with the UAE Trademark Office. After registering the trademarks with the UAE Trademark office, the right holders can perform the additional process of recording with the customs which is very effective and can avoid taking lawsuit and criminal actions and hence saves time and money. The customs officials will watch the trademarks recorded with them to prevent infringement in the form of an influx of fake goods.
The brand owners are required to record their trademarks with the Customs Departments of the respective emirates. At present, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, and Ras Al-Khaimah offer the trademark recordation provision. The brand owners also require training the customs officials to distinguish between original trademarks and counterfeits. The officials will seize the consignments of fake goods and destroy them after imposing fines on the infringers. Trademark agents in Dubai, UAE will assist the right holders in registering their trademarks with the UAE Trademark Office as well as the Customs Departments of the respective emirates.
4. Administrative Action
Of all the above-mentioned methods, administrative action is regarded as the most cost-efficient and quicker way to stop infringement. The brand owners who detect the presence of fake goods can approach the Department of Economic Development (DED) of the respective emirates to initiate administrative action. The complaint should be filed at the particular emirate in which the presence of counterfeit goods was discovered. The complaint should be filed along with the necessary documents and the required government fee.
Upon reviewing the complaint, the DED will initiate an official raid at the site where the fake goods are stored. The officials will seize the counterfeit goods and a fine not less than AED 15,000.00 will be imposed on the infringers.
Why Choose Jitendra Intellectual Property?
The UAE government has envisaged various effective methods to curb the influx of counterfeit goods in the domestic market. The brand owners can choose whether they should go for administrative action, recordal of trademarks with Customs or file a lawsuit in the court. All of these measures have distinctive features and costs involved. To choose the right method, the brand owners are advised to enlist the services of the best trademark agents in Dubai and UAE. Jitendra Intellectual Property (JIP) is one of the best intellectual property service providers in the UAE with years of experience in helping businesses tackle fake goods.
JIP’s efficient trademark agents are well-versed in local laws and regulations and can assist the companies in protecting their intellectual property rights across the GCC. JIP’s trademark agents will guide the rights holders in recording the trademarks with customs authorities or Economic Departments and offer expert advice on which method to follow in tackling fake goods. Fake goods are a menace to the economy, the businesses, the consumers and JIP is committed to serving the clients in ensuring protection from counterfeit goods.