How to Stop Trademark Infringement in the UAE With Anti-counterfeit Measures During COVID-19 Era
The panic and the uncertainty brought about by the global pandemic COVID-19 have forced the brands to analyze their strategy. Due to the renewed focus on personal hygiene, the demand for certain products such as hand sanitizers, masks, and gloves has skyrocketed. In the absence of a vaccine, these products are the only weapons that can curb the spread of the virus. Due to this, products like sanitizers are facing a shortage of supply amid the spike in demand. In tandem with this shortage, there are reports of a rise in counterfeit products in the UAE. As fake goods are a menace to the economy as well as the health of the consumers, brands need to act upon the perpetrators when infringement is discovered. Fortunately, the UAE has an efficient system to protect the brands from trademark infringement in the form of fake products.
The UAE has four efficient methods by which action against counterfeiters can be initiated. Each of these methods is regulated by different authorities and the right holders need to be aware of the procedures before approaching the authorities. Trademark agents in the UAE can assist the companies in filing for action against the infringers by ensuring proper documentation.
The four methods are as follows,
1. Criminal Prosecution
As the demand for essential products surges during the pandemic, the rise in counterfeit products is likely. Brand owners need to monitor the market to detect if potential trademark infringement has happened. In the event of infringement, they can approach the police and file a complaint. The police will initiate an investigation and official raids will be conducted. If the counterfeit complaint is valid, the criminal court will intervene and punish the infringers. The punishment comes in the form of fines and jail sentences. The court will also order the destruction of the confiscated goods. One advantage of this method is no government fee has to be paid for filing the complaint. Trademark agents in the UAE can assist brand owners with trademark watch service to detect infringement.
2. Civil Action
The infringement of IP rights in the form of fake goods can be tackled by filing a lawsuit in the civil court against the trademark infringers. The provision for filing a lawsuit is guaranteed by Federal Law No. 37 of 1992 as amended by Federal Law No. 8 of 2002. The owners of the registered trademarks can file for civil action after filing the criminal complaint or without filing one. Severe punishments include a travel ban on the trademark infringer. It is highly recommended that the businesses should register their trademarks with the UAE Trademark Office to gain an upper hand over the infringers while filing the lawsuit. Reputed IP service companies in Dubai, UAE could make the trademark registration process easier for businesses.
3. Protection through the Customs Authorities
Customs Authorities in the different emirates in the UAE offers an efficient anti-counterfeit method in the form of trademark recording. By recording the trademarks with the Customs Department of the respective emirate, the brand owners can prevent the entry of fake goods into the UAE market. However, the right holders first need to ensure that their trademarks are registered with the UAE Trademark Office. Only those trademarks that are registered will get protection from the Customs Department. The brand owners also need to train the Customs officials in distinguishing between original and fake goods. Once the infringement is detected, the Customs officials will seize the goods and destroy it. Penalties will also be imposed on the counterfeiters. The following emirates offer the trademark recording services at present:
- Abu Dhabi
- Ras Al-Khaimah
The brand owners can hire the best trademark agents in Dubai, UAE to register the trademarks with the Trademark Office as well as recording the mark with the Dubai Customs.
4. Administrative Action
In comparison with all the other methods, administrative action is counted as the most efficient way of countering fake products. The Department of Economic Development (DED) of the respective emirates is the competent authority that regulates the administrative action. Brand owners can approach the DEDs of the respective emirates if they detect the presence of fake products in the market. A complaint has to be filed with the DED of the emirate in which the infringement was discovered. The complaint should be accompanied by relevant documents and official fees.
The DED will order an official raid at the site where the fake goods are stored. The officials will confiscate the counterfeit goods and a fine not less than AED 15,000.00 will be imposed on the infringers. IP Service firms in the UAE will assist the brand owners in initiating the administrative action by doing all the paper works on behalf of the right holders.
Why Choose Jitendra Intellectual Property?
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to an unprecedented surge in demand for certain products like hand sanitizers, hand gloves, and surgical masks. Many of these products get sold out within days after they arrive at the stores. The shortage of supply propelled by the increased demand has led to a rise in counterfeit products. However, the UAE has a well-designed system to tackle fake products, and the government ha succeeded in controlling the incidents of fake goods. Counterfeit products hurt the revenues of manufacturers and importers and also tarnish the brand value of the original company. There are several methods to tackle this phenomenon in the UAE for which the services of a reputed IP service firm would come handy for the brands. Jitendra Intellectual Property (JIP) is a full-service IP service firm that offers trademark registration services as well as protection from infringement. JIP’s highly qualified trademark agents would assist the brands in trademark search, IP watch, recording of trademarks with Customs, and filing for administrative action. By entrusting all the trademark-related services to JIP, the brand owners can see their brand strategies achieving success in the UAE and other GCC countries.