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Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) are about creations of the mind, they are granted to creators of IP, for ideas which are new and original, by the respective governments. No one can use others’ IPR without their permission. These rights come with limited monopoly and exclusivity.

There are different types of IPR namely, patents, copyrights, trademarks, industrial designs, protection of geographical indications(GIs), IC lay-out designs, trade secrets and new plant varieties.

Yes, IP rights are territorial. It means that UAE registration is valid only in UAE . For protection of Intellectual Property in any other country, one has to seek protection separately under the relevant law.

FAQ on Patent

Patent is a statutory right granted by the respective governments. It gives one the exclusive rights and bars others from making, using, selling and importing product or process, based on the patented invention without one’s prior permission.

For an invention to be patentable, the criteria of patentability are as follows:

I. It should be novel: invention should not have been published or used anywhere in the world before the date of filing the patent application in the patent office.
II. Must involve an inventive step: a feature of invention should involve a technical advancement as compared to existing knowledge or having economic significance or both
III. Capable of industrial application: invention is capable of being made or used in an industry
IV. It should not fall under the categories of inventions that are excluded from patentability under the concerned jurisdiction

The first step starts with a prior art search which means a thorough search of various patent databases, technical literature and can even include a market survey. This is for determining if the invention is novel and non-obvious on the date of filing the application. If it is not so, then a patent cannot be granted for such an invention.

Once the patentability of the invention is established after a thorough prior art search, a patent application should be drafted. This document is known as the complete specification.
It must comprise:
I. Title of the invention indicating its technical field
II. Abstract
III. Prior art and drawbacks in the prior art (if any)
IV. Solution provided by the inventor to obviate the drawbacks of the prior art
V. A concise but sufficient description of the invention and its usefulness
VI. Details of the best method of its(invention’s) working
VII. Claims

Patent Registration UAE Procedure: Once the patent application is filed, it is queued to be examined by UAE Patent Office with respect to compliance with formalities. If accepted, the applicant or agent is notified to settle the fees of substantive examination. Upon settlement, the application is forwarded to the Austrian Patent Office for substantive examination. Upon acceptance, the application will be published in the Official Gazette. There is 60 days period for any interested party's opposition. In absence of any opposition, the letters patent is issued.

1.Annuity payment for PCT National Phase Applications: Annuities are due within 6 months from the date of entering National phase retroactive from the international filing dated. Failing to do so will result in the cancellation of the application .
Patent Registration UAE Requirements:
Filing Requirements for Patent Application:
Power of Attorney, duly legalized up to the Consulate of United Arab Emirates.
2.Extract from the Commercial Register or from the Memorandum of Association, if the applicant is company, duly legalized up to the Consulate of the United Arab Emirates.
3.One copy of the specification, claims and drawings (if any) relating to the invention.
4.Deed of assignment signed by the inventor, notarized and legalized up to the Consulate of United Arab Emirates, if the applicant is not the inventor.
5.A certified copy of the application giving the filing date, number and country if the application is to be filed with a priority claim.

* Documents in item (3) should be submitted to the patent office with the application, while documents in items (1, 2, 4 and 5) can be submitted upon filing the Patent Application.

Time Limit for Entering PCT National Phase: 30 months
Filing Requirements for PCT National Phase Patent Applications:
Power of Attorney, duly legalized up to the Consulate of the United Arab Emirates.
2.Deed of Assignment from the inventor(s) to the applicant, duly notarized and legalized up to the Consulate of the United Arab Emirates.
3.Extract from the Commercial Registry OR Deed of Incorporation of the applicant (if the applicant is not a company or body corporate), duly legalized up to the Consulate of the United Arab Emirates..
4.Copy of the PCT publication along with examination, search reports, publication
5.One copy of the specification, claims and drawings (if any) relating to the invention (as published in the PCT Gazette).
* Items from 1 to 3 above can be submitted to the Patent Office upon filing the patent application, while items 4 and 5 should accompany the patent application.

It takes around 3 to 5 years to get a patent.

The term of every patent in UAE is 20 years from the date of filing.

The Gulf Cooperation Council

There's an ancient Arab proverb that says: "Cherish your brother, for he who is brotherless is like a warrior in a battle without weapons." The Arab Gulf states, whose common history encompass more than two millennia, have especially strong brotherly relations that bind them together. So it was a natural conclusion that these bounds should express themselves formally.
The Treaty to establish the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) was signed in Abu-Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, by the heads of six Arab Gulf states on the 25th of May 1981. The GCC comprises the United Arab Emirates, State of Bahrain, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Sultanate of Oman, State of Qatar and State of Kuwait.
The six member states have many similarities, chief among them are the Islamic foundations of their political systems, their deep-rooted and unambiguous Arab identity, and the historical tribal and social ties between their societies.
Based on this, the GCC states were joined in a collaborative structure that encourages the coordination of foreign policies, economic integration and social inter-connection among the Member States in all fields in order to achieve unity, according to articles 4 of the GCC Charter.
The strengthening of relations, links and areas of cooperation among their citizens, cannot be emphasized more than in the area of trade. The geographic facts of the Arab Gulf show the vitality of the region, which is surrounded by three major naval routes, linking Asia and Africa, to the rest of the Arab World. Trade bonds the GCC States and presents them as a unified economic bloc to the rest of the World.

GCC Patent Office
Wherever there is trade, there are goods and services, and wherever there are goods and services there are Intellectual Property Rights (IPR's), to protect these goods and services. The GCC, in tune with the winds of globalization, has begun to pay heed to these IPR's. The first successful step has been the GCC Patent office.
The Supreme Council of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), issued the Unified Patent Law in December 1992, followed by the Implementing Regulations in 1996. The GCC Patent Office designated to fulfill the requirements of the Law was opened in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. It began accepting the filing of applications as of October 3rd, 1998.
In November 1999, the GCC Council proposed further amendments to the Law and the Amended Law became effective as of August 16th, 2000.
Protection of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) patent extends to members of the GCC Countries, namely Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and UAE

Paris Convention is an international convention. UAE is also a member to this convention. Under this convention if one applies for registration of patent in any member country, within six months from the date of filing of patent application in UAE, they will have the same priority as in UAE.

PCT stands for Patent Cooperation Treaty. It is an international treaty for claiming one’s domestic priority in member countries of PCT. Through PCT one can file applications in countries of interest within 30 months of the priority date. Under the PCT system, a patent search report is provided and on demand a preliminary examination of application is also done. This additional information helps in delaying the investment by 30 months.

FAQ on Copyrights

Copyright is a type of IPR protection that helps to protect the intellect of human creation. Copyright law provides exclusive and monopoly right to the creator/author/owner of “original” literary, dramatic, musical, artistic works, cinematograph films. Computer Software is considered literary work; hence it is also protectable under copyrights.
Different Classes of Work Protected under Copyright are:
1.“Literary work”: Computer programmes, books, articles, poems, tables and databases.
2."Artistic work”: Paintings, a sculpture, a drawing (including a diagram, map, chart or plan), an engraving or a photograph, whether or not any such work possesses artistic quality; a work of architecture; and any other work of artistic craftsmanship.
3."Musical work” means a work consisting of music and includes any graphical notation of such work but does not include any words or any action intended to be sung, spoken or performed with the music. A musical work need not be written down to enjoy Copyright protection. Example: Written work of lyricist, composer and rights of the singer.
4."Sound recording" means a recording from which sounds may be produced regardless of the medium on which such recording is made or the method by which the sounds are produced. Example: Sound recordings fixed in a CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, USB drive.
5."Cinematograph film" means any work of visual recording on any medium, produced through a process from which a moving image may be produced by any means and includes a sound recording accompanying such visual recording and "cinematograph" shall be construed as including any work produced by any process analogous to cinematography including video films. Example: Movies

Copyright comes into existence as soon as a work is created and no formality is required to be completed for acquiring Copyright inUAE. However, certificate of registration of Copyright and the entries made therein serve as a prima facie evidence in a court of law and therefore, would help in establishing authorship and also infringement.

In case the author or the owner decides not to register, the work should be properly dated and signed. This may be useful in case of engineering drawings.
Note: In case of registered or unregistered work, the symbol “c” with circle “© “ is used along with the name of author, year of first publication on the work, to signify that work is under Copyright protection for a specific duration. If this sign is associated with any work, it means the work is Copyrighted.

Copyright in the United Arab Emirates is protected under the Copyright and Authorship Protection Law No. 7 for the year 2002.
For obtaining protection, copyrightable works have to be deposited with the Ministry of Information and Culture. Protection is granted to authors of literary, artistic and scientific works of whatever the value or kind or purpose or way of expression is.
Generally, protection is provided for works whose means of expression is writing, sound, drawing, image, motion pictures, creative titles or computer software. Translation of original works is also protected.
The duration of the protection is for the lifetime of the author plus 50 years after his death or 50 years from the date of publication in cases of cinematographic works, works of corporate bodies and works published for the first time after the death of the author.
The law reserves the right to allow reproducing protectable works by means of photocopying without obtaining the author’s permission by public libraries, non-commercial documentation centers and education, cultural and scientific institutions, provided that the number of 50 copies reproduced is limited to their needs and not detrimental to the interests of the author.
An unauthorized publication of an author’s work of art is penalized by imprisonment and/or a fine of not less than 50,000 Dirhams. A publisher who contravenes the author’s instructions through unauthorized addition, omission or modification shall be punished by imprisonment and/or a fine not less than 10,000 Dirhams.

FAQ on Trademark

Trademark is a sign that helps distinguish the products from a particular producer or enterprise from those of its competitors. By providing a distinctive sign to goods or services produced by an enterprise, trademarks create an enduring image in the customers’ mind.

Trademarks may be a word or a combination of words, letters and numerals. They may also consist of drawings, symbols, 3D signs such as shape and packaging of goods, or colours used as a distinguishing feature.

Contrary to widespread use of both terms as synonyms, a trademark is an identifier or “face” of the brand, not the brand itself.

The process of registration of the trademark consists of the following steps:
1.SEARCH: Conduct a trademark availability search
2.FILING: Trademark application to be filed with Trademark office
3.EXAMINATION: Trademark Office examines the registrability of the application
4.PUBLICATION: Acceptance of application by the Registrar is published in Trademark Journal
5.OPPOSITION: After publishing of applications in the Trademark Journal, third party(ies) can oppose the registration within 4 months in a prescribed format.
6.Applicant has the option to provide justification to the Trademark Office for such opposition
7.NO OPPOSITION: Trademark is entitled for registration

Registration gives the exclusive right to use the mark in respect of goods or services for which it was registered.

The advantages of trademark registration are following:
1.Protects your hard earned goodwill
2.Protects your name from being used by others
3.Creates a favourable impression in the mind of your consumers
4.Helps in obtaining relief in case of infringement
5.Gives you the right to license /assign trademarks

Yes. A trademark is initially registered for a period of 10 years, calculated from the date of filing of the application. It can be renewed every 10 years by paying the requisite fees.

FAQ on Industrial Designs

From the IP point of view, industrial design refers only to the ornamental or overall visual appearance of a product
What are the essential requirements for the registration of industrial design under the Designs Act, 2000?
For registration of industrial designfollowing points must be adhered to:
1.Design should be new or original, not previously published or used in any country before the date of application for registration.
2.Design should relate to features of shape, configuration, pattern or ornamentation, composition of lines or colours applied to an article.
3.Design should be applied to any article by any industrial process or means whether manual, mechanical, chemical, separate or combined.
4.Design should not be linked to any functional aspect of the article.

The following cannot be protected:
A manufacturing process;
1.Functional features of an article
2.A principle of construction, or how an article is built
3.The materials used in the construction of an article
4.The useful purpose (functionality) the design serves or is intended to serve
5.Colour per se or Ideas

Design Protection Period: 10 years
Convention Priority: Yes
Novelty: Absolute
Annuity Payments: Required one year upon the filing date, and can be paid any time before due date.
From Filing to Grant: The Patent Office in UAE is only accepting applications, no further action has yet been taken for the previously filed applications.
Filing Language: All related documents should be translated into Arabic if they are in English, and into English and Arabic if they are in a third language.
Procedure: Once the Design application is filed, it is queued to be examined with respect to compliance with provision of the Patent and Industrial Designs Law. Upon acceptance, the application will be published in the Official Gazette. There is 60 days period for any interested party's opposition. In absence of any opposition, the certificate of registration is issued.
Filing Requirements for Patent Application:
1- Power of Attorney, duly legalized up to the Consulate of United Arab Emirates.
2- Extract from the Commercial Register or from the Memorandum of Association, if the applicant is a company or body corporate, duly legalized up to the Consulate of United Arab Emirates.
3- Two copies of the model or design, if it is two-dimensional, or two copies of each view thereof, if it is three-dimensional.
4- Deed of assignment signed by the inventor, if the applicant is not the inventor, duly notarized and legalized up to the Consulate of the United Arab Emirates.
5- A certified copy of the priority docuament, if priority is to be claimed.
* Documents in item (3) should be submitted to the Patent Office with the application, while documents in items (1,2,4& 5) can be submitted upon filing the application.

Registration of a design lasts for 10 years from the date of registration.

It takes about 1-2 years for industrial design registration in UAE.