Administrative Action Against Fake Goods in the UAE

The UAE government’s measures to counter the fake goods are based on strong zero-tolerance policy towards the perpetrators of the counterfeit products. Though there are many laws and procedures to curb trademark or copyright infringement, administrative action is one of the most effective methods to tackle fake goods. The administrative action provides brand owners with a quick and cost-effective solution to curb counterfeit products.

The businesses that detect the presence of fake goods can approach the Economic Departments of each emirate to file a complaint. Brand owners can file a complaint against any person or entity that promotes the trading and import of fake goods. In the UAE, a fake good is defined as,

  • Goods not registered with the Municipality
  • Goods not registered as a trademark
  • Goods that don’t meet the standards set by the Municipality

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    An Overview of the Influx of Fake Goods in UAE

    In Dubai, a major transit trade hub in the UAE, counterfeit products worth over AED 2.5 billion were seized in 2019 alone. Cosmetics, personal care goods, and electronic goods are the major items that are prone to counterfeit. The UAE has been pro-active in combating the menace of fake goods using the latest technologies.

    Being one of the busiest transit trading hubs in the world, the UAE has been prone to the entry of fake goods. However, the UAE has developed a stringent regulatory system to counter the influx of counterfeit products and is one of the strongest in the MENA region. Several local and international brands are engaged in active trading in the UAE owing to the Government’s stringent measures to curb the fake goods from entering the market.

    Why Curbing Fake Goods is Important?

    Legitimate businesses in the UAE spend money and resources on protecting their intellectual property rights through processes including trademark registration. Such businesses conduct trade in the UAE by ensuring compliance with regulations and standards through procedures like Product Registration with Municipalities. However, when counterfeiters imitate the products of such brand owners for profit, it hurt their business prospects.

    Fake goods hurt the economy in a big way as it causes the black market to gain the upper hand. In addition to that, counterfeit products pose an immense threat to the safety and health of the consumers as the fake goods reach markets without undergoing any mandatory safety tests.

    The Process of Initiating Action against the fake/duplicate goods through Economic Department

    The companies that detect the counterfeit of their products are required to file the complaint in the Economic Department of the respective emirates, where the existence of the fake goods is identified.  For example, if a business that is registered in Dubai detects the use of fake/ duplicate goods in Abu Dhabi, then the complaint must be filed in the Abu Dhabi Economic Department. If the trading of counterfeit goods is detected in Sharjah, then the complaint must be registered with the Sharjah Economic Department.

    1. File the Complaint

    The complainant needs to first approach the Economic department of the respective emirate to make an official registration of the complaint. All the necessary documents and evidence mentioned above are required to be submitted along with the complaint.

    2. Examination By Economic Department

    After the submission of the complaint, the Economic Department of the respective emirate will review the complaint and the documents. The examination procedure is likely to take 1-4 weeks to complete.

    3. Approval

    After the examination, the Economic Department may give approval for the claims of the complaint. In this stage, the complainant is required to pay the fee for the official raid.

    4. Official Raid

    Upon payment of the fees, the Officers of the Economic Department will raid the sites and search for the fake/duplicate goods. Any fake goods discovered from the location will be ceased and a fine not less than AED 15,000.00 will be imposed on the culprits.

    Documents Required to file the Complaint with the Economic Department

    • Power of Attorney; duly Notarized by the Notary Public
    • Evidence of fake/duplicate goods (Receipts, samples, site pictures)
    • Evidence of right goods (Trademark Registration Certificate, Product Registration Certificate)
    • Scanned copy of Trade License
    • Brief Complaint in Arabic
    • Address of locations of the fake/duplicate goods

    Why Jitendra Intellectual Property?

    The influx of fake goods is one of the most dangerous forms of trademark infringement and filing an administrative complaint at the Economic Department is the best way to initiate proper action against it. Jitendra Intellectual Property (JIP) is a full-fledged intellectual property service provider in Dubai, UAE. JIP’s highly qualified trademark agents will assist the businesses in filing the complaints at the Economic Departments with necessary documents and ensure the companies are being protected from the menace of fake goods.

    JIP has been at the forefront of helping businesses secure their trademarks from infringement across the GCC. Being a full-fledged intellectual property firm in Dubai, UAE, JIP guides the brand owners in ensuring proper trademark registration and protection for their businesses. JIP understands that the brand owners invest money and resources in ensuring their brand is protected in all jurisdictions. However, trademark infringement in the form of counterfeit products would hurt their brand value. JIP’s trademark agents conduct efficient market investigations to detect the infringement and help the companies fight it legally.