Three hot topics in the Middle East
Managing IP is part of the Delinian Group, Delinian Limited, 4 Bouverie Street, London, EC4Y 8AX, Registered in England & Wales, Company number 00954730
Copyright © Delinian Limited and its affiliated companies 2024

Accessibility | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Modern Slavery Statement

Three hot topics in the Middle East

There are some important changes happening in the Middle East. James Nurton finds out what today’s session will cover.

The new trademark law in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states; the fight against counterfeits and the impact of economic growth on trademark registration—these are the three topics that will be addressed by speakers in today’s regional focus on the Middle East.

The GCC Trademark Law looks finally to be nearing reality, after it was approved last year by Saudi Arabia’s Cabinet. It has also been enacted in Bahrain and Qatar, but the other three member states (see box) also need to enact it before it can come into force.

“People have been talking about the law for more than a year, but now we have more information about what to expect,” says Charles Shaban of AGIP in Jordan, who is moderating today’s session. The new law will mean that all six states will have the same standards and requirements for examination and opposition. They will not, however, be adopting a unified registration system such as that in the EU.

“It’s expected to make protection in the region easier as requirements will be standardized. But the bad news is that it will be more expensive in some countries, as the charges will be made the same,” says Shaban. For example, at the moment there is a big difference between Kuwait, which has relatively low official fees, and the UAE, which is more expensive.

Aisha Salem, the USPTO IP Attaché for the Middle East & North Africa, who has been in the region for two years, will provide an update on the latest developments regarding the law.

Shaban says that, while the unification brought by the law is welcome, the laws themselves in the region are not generally deficient at the moment; the biggest problems are to do with enforcement, particularly in those areas where there are free-trade zones and large volumes of goods in transit.

Omar Obeidat of Al-Tamimi & Company in the UAE will present different approaches to fighting counterfeits, with examples, during today’s session. These include notification, cease-and-desist letters, online filing of forms and Customs actions. “Although it may seem difficult, there are ways that you can get information as the trademark owner,” says Shaban. His view is backed up by rights owners who have visited the region recently and report that police and Customs authorities are willing to help locate counterfeiting sites, shut them down and seize fake goods.

The other side of the enforcement battle is to increase awareness among consumers; in Lebanon recently there was an advertising campaign telling people what number to call if they suspect counterfeit goods are on sale. Rany Sader of Sader & Associates will demonstrate how the campaign worked, as well as addressing other issues.

And if that’s not enough to tempt you along, Shaban also promises that—in line with this year’s Annual Meeting theme—there will be some music from the region. He declined to confirm, though, whether there would also be belly dancing.

RT21 Regional Update: The Latest News from the Middle East. Why is it so Important to Protect IP in the Region? takes place from 11:45 am to 1:00 pm today.

more from across site and ros bottom lb

More from across our site

With a team of more than 80 patent lawyers and attorneys across 21 European offices, the firm is acting in some of the most high-profile UPC cases
Lippes Mathias has hired three partners and a counsel from Offit Kurman
External counsel for automotive companies explain how trends such as AI and vehicle connectivity are affecting their practices and reveal what their clients are prioritising
We provide a rundown of Managing IP’s news and analysis coverage from the week, and review what’s been happening elsewhere in IP
The winners of the awards will be revealed at a gala dinner in New York City on April 25
Counsel debate the potential outcome of SCOTUS’s latest copyright case after justices questioned whether they should dismiss it
Each week Managing IP speaks to a different IP lawyer about their life and career
The small Düsseldorf firm is making a big impact in the UPC. Founding partner Christof Augenstein explains why
The court criticised Oppo’s attempts to delay proceedings and imposed a penalty, adding that the Chinese company may need to pay more if the trial isn’t concluded this year
Miguel Hernandez explains how he secured victory for baby care company Naterra in his first oral argument before the Federal Circuit
Gift this article