Dubai’s Department of Economic Development (DED), the government agency tasked with supporting businesses in the emirate, has stepped up efforts to protect intellectual property rights through the launch of a new quarterly index.
The Dubai index of intellectual property rights will monitor the level of intellectual property rights protection in the emirate and aims to promote sustainable business practices as well as overall market confidence, DED said in a statement.
The index, which also aims to promote innovation and protect the economic interests of dealers, suppliers and patent owners, will provide a reading on the level of satisfaction with laws related to intellectual property rights protection.
The level of intellectual property protection will be measured based on five major areas which include laws and regulations on intellectual property protection; commitment to applying existing laws and regulations; level of awareness of intellectual property rights and existing laws for protecting them; impact of intellectual property protection on economic growth and sustainable development and overall satisfaction on intellectual property protection levels.
The index will be issued from the first quarter of 2015.
“The index will help identify areas for improvement in the regulatory policies, processes, and strategies in the domain of intellectual property rights protection by gathering opinions and expectations of brand owners, law firms, distributors and trading agencies,” stated Omar Bushahab, CEO of Commercial Compliance and Consumer Protection (CCCP) sector in DED.
CCCP has signed a partnership with the global research firm Nielsen to conduct the quarterly surveys as part of compiling the IP index.
“The surveys will also reveal the level of awareness on existing intellectual property rights laws and policies. A questionnaire will be sent to participants in the survey to provide their feedback on the level of IP protection,” added Bushahab.
Measures aiming to protect intellectual property rights have been gaining traction in the UAE over the last year as the country looks to be a major business hub in the region.
Recently, the UAE Ministry of Economy signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) to develop mechanisms protecting intellectual property in the country.
According to the agreement, which follows a similar MoU in 2010, KIPO will assist in examining various patent applications that have been submitted to the ministry from the UAE.
In addition, industry experts have called upon the government to establish more regulations to counter the increasing number of counterfeit goods in the market.
The UAE is a thriving export market for fake goods, usually exported from other parts of the world and shipped on other countries.
According to statistics published by the European Commission (EC), the UAE was the third largest source of counterfeit goods with the country accounting for 8.37 per cent of the confiscated goods to the EU.