Intellectual Property in UAE

Definition of Intellectual Property Law

The UAE has a strong intellectual property system in place and has ratified a number of international agreements concerning the recognition and enforcement of IP rights, including the Paris Convention on Trademarks and Patents, the Patent Cooperation Treaty for Patents, the TRIPS Convention and the WIPO Convention, to name a few. You may commercialize and protect your creation by registering your intellectual property rights, and on the other side, buyers can feel confident that they are buying a secure and warranted product. 

Protecting both Individuals and Companies

Any original concepts, layouts, discoveries, inventions, and artistic creations made by an individual or group are protected by intellectual property. Some of the most popular forms of IP protection are copyright, trademark, patent, and design. In addition to safeguarding innovations, intellectual property protection permits the owner of the intellectual property to profit exclusively from the innovation for a predetermined amount of time.

An organization that owns IP can make money from it both through internal procedures and by granting other parties permission to use it through licensing and royalty agreements. The UAE recognizes five different types of intellectual property rights: 

  • Trademarks;

  • Copyrights;

  • Patents;

  • Protection of industrial designs

  • Confidential information.

The Ministry of Economy is the authorized body in charge of governing and monitoring all issues pertaining to intellectual property rights in the United Arab Emirates. The UAE does not have a comprehensive intellectual property law, but a number of laws exist that govern the various types of intellectual property rights, including the Federal Industrial Property Law No. 17 of 2002, as amended, the Federal Law No. 7 on Author’s Rights and Neighboring Rights, and the Trademark Federal Law No. 37 of 1992, as amended, which governs the protection of trademarks and trade names.

Due to its membership in the GCC, the UAE likewise follows its unified patent law. A new, unified draft of GCC trademark legislation is currently being developed. Additionally, the UAE is a signatory to other international agreements, such as the following: 

  • The 1967 WIPO Establishment Convention

  • The WIPO Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works was adopted in 1971. (Berne Convention)

  • The 1961 WIPO Rome Convention for the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms, and Broadcasting Organizations (Rome Convention)

  • 1996 WIPO Copyright Treaty

  • Paris Agreement

  • Accord on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights of the World Trade Organization, 1994 (RIPS) 

Advantages of IP Registration in the UAE

For your business, registering an intellectual property in the UAE provides several advantages for securing the IP rights and averting potential future legal conflicts. By registering your intellectual property in the UAE, you or your business is entitled to protection from infringement, mistreatment, unauthorized use, and modifications in illegal forms by the UAE government authorities. By safeguarding and putting your innovation into practice while allowing you to increase your revenues, intellectual property rights give you the opportunity to hold a more prominent position in the market. Advantages of registering intellectual property in the United Arab Emirates: 

  • Secure your work and creations;

  • Prevent infringement on your patents and copyrights;

  • Protect your inventive inventions;

  • Enable you to sell your products for more money;

  • Legal authorization for your licenses;

  • Exclusive judicial protection for your intellectual property rights;

  • Provides your company with a competitive edge on the global market.

IP Rights Enforcement in the UAE

The emirate level is often where intellectual property rights are enforced. To regulate the transshipment of counterfeit goods, better coordinated collaboration between the several emirates and customs is necessary. The following remedies may be ordered by the UAE courts in an enforcement action for counterfeit goods: 

The suspension of the offender’s trade license,

The confiscation or destruction of the equipment used to produce counterfeit items, etc. 

Copyright infringement is punishable in the UAE by detention for at least three months and a fine of at least 50,000 AED and not more than 500,000 AED (Article 38 of the copyright law); patent infringement is punishable by imprisonment for at least three months and a fine of at least 5,000 AED and not more than 100,000 AED (Article 60 of the patent law); and trademark infringement is punishable by imprisonment for at least one year (Article 60 of the patent law). 

The former commercial fraud legislation was replaced in December 2016 by a new law focused on preventing fake goods and other types of commercial fraud. The new law aims to improve the methods for enforcing already-existing intellectual property rights. The law strengthens the rights of brand owners and imposes harsher penalties for counterfeiters (it is now an offense to possess counterfeits, indeed where the intellectual property holder is unable to prove that the counterfeiter intends to sell them). 

Pharmaceutical and food products are exempt from the harshest penalties under the Commercial Fraud Law, however, even those who deal in counterfeit goods outside these categories face fines of up to AED 250,000. Stores that sell fake goods can also be shut down by the government, and trade licenses for repeat offenders may be revoked. The law covers fraud in commodities, contractual employment, and services provided by firms operating throughout the UAE, including those in free zones. 


In its broadest sense, intellectual property benefits the world because it promotes innovation and progress. Individuals would not be able to benefit from inventions and advance research and development without the acknowledgement and protection of intellectual property rights. Additionally, intellectual property rights are essential for expanding the business sector and giving countries’ economies a significant boost.

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