INTA and Local Entities Reinforce Collaboration, Set Joint Activities to Strengthen Intellectual Property

Published: January 15, 2019

Coinciding with INTA’s 2018 Middle East and Africa Conference: Innovation, Investment, and IP, which took place December 10‒11, 2018 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), an INTA delegation met with various local government officials and private sector representatives to strengthen cooperation and set joint activities to protect intellectual property (IP) in these vast and developing regions. Stemming from these discussions, future collaboration includes awareness activities to educate teens about IP, additional training of Dubai Customs officials, and policy dialogues.

The delegation was comprised of INTA CEO Etienne Sanz de Acedo, INTA 2018 President Tish Berard (Velcro Group Corporation, USA), and INTA Middle East Global Council Co-Chairs Motasem Abu-Ghazaleh (AGIP, United Arab Emirates) and Alireza Laghaee (Dr. Laghaee & Associates, Iran).

At INTA’s meeting with Abdul Quddoos A.R. Al Obaidli, Chairman of the Emirates Intellectual Property Association (EIPA), the two parties shared a mutual understanding of the importance of trademarks and other IP in the UAE and the entire region, and they discussed the tremendous work undertaken by their respective entities in securing and enforcing IP rights for brand owners. As a result, INTA and EIPA agreed to jointly develop concrete awareness activities around Expo 2020 Dubai-to be held October 20, 2020, through April 10, 2021-and INTA’s Unreal Campaign, which educates teens about the value of IP and the dangers of counterfeiting. They also agreed to provide speakers for EIPA’s IP diploma course, a recently introduced, pioneering initiative in the region.

In the government sector, the delegation met with Mohammed Ahmed Bin Abdul Aziz Al Shehhi, Undersecretary for Economic Affairs at the UAE Ministry of Economy. Mr. Al Shehhi reinforced the government’s long-standing commitment to IP. In turn, INTA expressed its availability to support the Ministry of Economy’s interest in promoting IP through future initiatives.

Meeting with Yousef Ozair Mubarak, Director of Intellectual Property Rights Department at Dubai Customs, INTA leadership highlighted the growing cooperation between the two institutions and the positive efforts undertaken by Dubai Customs in fighting counterfeits and advocating and protecting consumers; specifically, they cited the 130 seizures related to infringement of IP rights in the first half of 2018, and educational programs, such as presenting more than 40 workshops and holding the Intellectual Property Rights Contest for schoolchildren in the UAE. The representatives discussed enhancing the cooperation between the two entities, including additional trainings of custom officials, and the participation of Dubai Customs at INTA’s 141st Annual Meeting, which will be held May 18‒22 in Boston, Massachusetts, United States.

The INTA delegation also met with Rory Voller, Commissioner, Companies and Intellectual Property Commission of South Africa. They discussed a joint work plan for 2019 which will include policy dialogues, trainings, and IP support to private sector entities to be able to increase the value of their trademarks, fight counterfeits, and significantly contribute to the economic development of South Africa.

The delegation also had dialogues with other local officials, including Mohammad Ali Rashed Lootah, CEO, Commercial Compliance and Consumer Protection at the Dubai Department of Economic Development; Omar AL-Suhaibani Deputy Minister, Consumer Protection Agency at the Saudi Arabia Ministry of Commerce and Investment; Shafiu Adamu Yaufi, Registrar General, of Nigeria’s Trademarks, Patents and Designs Registry; and representatives of the Nigerian Office for Trade Negotiations.

Read about the 2018 Middle East and Africa Conference here.

INTA Representative Tat-Tienne Louembe supports the Association’s 510 members across Africa and the Middle East. In collaboration with the staff at INTA’s headquarters in New York City and Representatives Offices around the world, Mr. Louembe works on the Association’s policy, membership, marketing, and communications initiatives in these regions. To learn more about INTA’s activities in Africa and the Middle East, please contact Tat-Tienne Louembe at [email protected].

Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of items in the INTA Bulletin, readers are urged to check independently on matters of specific concern or interest.

© 2019 International Trademark Association