Intellectual Property Service
Every single individual is an owner of an object, it may be a car, a building, a bike, and they always wish to protect these. They use methods like locking the vehicle, assigning security to the house, GPS trackers and other methods.
When it comes to objects that cannot be seen like ideas, inventions, books, music works, how do we protect these intangible objects? This is where the concept of Intellectual Property comes in. There are various ways in which we can protect intellectual property in the UAE
What is Intellectual Property?
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) defines Intellectual Property as “ Creations of the mind such as inventions and artistic works; designs and symbols, names and images used in commerce. Examples of Intellectual Property would be logos, music works, inventions. Books, designs.
How is Intellectual Property different from Traditional Property
What differentiates Intellectual Property from Traditional Property is the concept of Indivisibility. Indivisibility means that an infinite number of individuals can use a good without it being depleted.
For example, if one person listens to music, an infinite number of people can listen to the same song, and it won't deplete or be unavailable to another person, but in the case of a car only one person can use it, and if another individual has to use it, then the car becomes unavailable to the initial user of the car.
The Need To Protect Intellectual Property
When Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone, he registered his invention a few hours before his rival Elisha Gray. Till date only a few associate Elisha Gray with the telephone while Alexander Graham Bell is known as the Father of the Telephone only because he protected his invention.
To Protect IP is to give credit to the person for putting in efforts to create it and if it lacked such protection, then no individual would be motivated to invent or innovate as there would be no reward and every other individual would just copy of the inventor or the creator.
The original creator would've also spent a lot of time and money researching in order to create their work; The protection of IP also helps recover the costs and gives rewards to the original creator for his efforts in creating something new and innovative. This, in turn, is an incentive to encourage efforts from individuals to strive towards better inventions, original works.
The UAE allows authors of original works to protect their Intellectual Property through three methods which are
Trademark according to the Federal law No.37 of 1992 on Trademarks refers to “Distinguishable form of words, letter, figures, seals, marks, logos, graphics words, signatures, letters, , graphics, logos, titles, hallmarks, pictures, patterns, announcements, packs or any other type of mark if they were to be used either to distinguish services, goods or other products from different competitors, or to indicate to the buyer or customer that certain services, goods or products belong to the owner of the trademark, because of their exclusive characteristics, manufacturing, selection or trading. The pronunciation accompanying a trademark is considered part of it".
How to Register a Trademark?
The United Arab Emirates Ministry of Economy is the authorized body for the purpose of Registration of Trademarks. An individual wishing to Register a Trademark can fill out and submit an online application through the ministry’s website. The documents required are
- The Trademark Logo
- A copy of the appropriate commercial license
- The power of Attorney
- Priority Documents as stated
- Copy of Passport
- Other necessary documents as may be required by the authority
For more detailed information, visit the UAE Ministry of Economy website.
Who is allowed to register a trademark?
- Any citizen of the UAE, Artificial or Natural practising any business in commercial, industrial, professional or service sector.
- Any foreign Individual, Artificial or Natural practising any business in commercial, industrial, professional or service sector.
- Any foreign Individual practising any business in commercial, industrial, professional or the service sector in any country based on reciprocity.
- Other Artificial persons as prescribed.
According to UAE's Federal Law No. 7 of 2002 on Copyrights and related rights, intellectual work is considered as authentic work in the fields of literature, arts or science, regardless of its description, the way its expressed as well as significance or purpose. The UAE protects the following under their copyright law:
- Original works of books articles, booklets and other literary works.
- Computer programs, software and applications, databases and similar works as defined by the Minister of Economy
- Original Lectures, speeches, sermons and other similar natured work
- Plays, musicals and pantomimes
- Musicals with dialogues and speaking as musicals with no dialogues
- Video works or Audio works or can be audio-visual works
- Architectural work and architectural plans and drawings
- Drawings, paintings, sculptures, etchings, lithographs, screen printing, reliefs and intaglio prints and other similar works of fine art
- Photographic work and the likes
- Works of applied art and plastic art
- Plans, maps, charts 3-D modelling for topographical as geographical applications and exclusive architectural designs, etc.
Works derived from other works, subject to the condition to the protection given to the work upon which they are derived. The protection shall extend to the title or name of the work is created, as well as the creative concept devised for publishing material.
The UAE Ministry Of Economy is the authorized body for the purpose of registration of copyright. An online application is to be filled out and submitted through the ministry's website for the same. A few of the documents required are
- An application for the copyright duly filled out
- Power of Attorney legalised to the UAE consulate
- A sample of the original work
- Identification proofs of authors/owners
- Fee payment as well as contact details
Duration of a Copyright
The exclusive right to allow reproduction, importing, exporting distribution, selling or other activities that involve monetary or economic benefits shall be protected throughout the lifetime of the author plus 50 years starting from the first day of the calendar year following their death. However, when it comes to works of applied art, these same rights expire after 25 years following the first day of the calendar year since the work was Also, if the books or poems of an author are published after their death, the validity of the copyright is similarly 50 years.
In the UAE, According to Federal Law No. 31 of 2016, promulgated by Law No. 17 of 2002 on Regulation and Protection of Industrial Property of Patents, Industrial based Drawings and Designs, in the UAE a patent protection is granted for any new authentic invention resulting from an innovative idea or any kind of innovative improvement of an invention in all the fields of technology, subject to the condition that such an idea or innovative improvement has a scientific backing and is useful and can be applied in one field or the other. The invention shall be considered applicable with respect to the industry sector in its broadest term if used or utilised in such fields as agriculture, fisheries, handicrafts, and services. Industries in the UAE can grow immensely due to such protection.
However certain patients are not included such as:
- Any sort of research work, types of animal and plant species, and biological technique for production of animals and plant species but excludes microbiological processes and products arising from these microbiological processes.
- Any method of diagnosis, medical treatments and surgical methods that are needed for medical purposes
- Scientific as well as Mathematics principles, methods, and findings
- Any sort of guides, methods or rules that are followed to play games, conduct business activities or perform mental actions.
- Inventions that are against public order or that involve moral turpitude.
How to Register a Patent?
International Centre for Patent Registration (ICPR) which is a body under the UAE Ministry of Economy is in charge of patent registration. An online application can be filled and submitted through the website of the ministry. The complete list of documents that are required is also given on the same website. A few of the important ones are
- The patent office requires a power of attorney.
- The specifications in English as well as Arabic.
- A brief of the invention with well-explained diagrams
- Power of attorney legalised up to the consulate of UAE
- A legalised extract from the MOA or Commercial register if the applicant is a body corporate.
- Set of drawings with respect to the invention