Contrary to popular belief, intellectual property (IP) infringement and counterfeiting in UAE are different. However, both are prohibited by both local and international intellectual property regulations. Trademark or IP counterfeiting is the act of placing an established trademark onto products and services that are not among the legitimate goods and services offered by a trademark’s owner.
As for IP or trademark infringement in UAE, it’s a violation or breach of a law, agreement, or regulation. Essentially, it’s an encroachment of a privilege or mark.
How do IP counterfeiting and infringement differ in UAE?
The difference between infringement and counterfeiting of trademarks or any form of intellectual property is summarized below.
- Not all forms of trademark infringement are considered counterfeits
- A mark that infringes on the rights of a trademark holder can include a broad class of trademarks that are confusingly similar to a genuine trademark. A test for marks that are confusingly similar contemplates a wider set of differences
- All acts of counterfeiting an established mark are considered infringing or act of trademark infringement
- Counterfeit marks include trademarks that are indistinguishable from the genuine trademark where only trivial or minor differences are present from the concerned intellectual property
Trademark counterfeiting in UAE is considered a trademark or IP infringement. It’s also the most common kind of trademark infringement. On the other hand, not all IP infringements qualify as IP counterfeiting. Counterfeit trademarks include marks that are largely identical to real marks. An infringement can include marks that are similar but aren’t identical to genuine marks. Similar marks are more likely to be qualified as IP infringements rather than counterfeits.
For a mark to be considered as a counterfeit, it has to be associated or used on a service or good that is nearly identical to a service or good for which a true mark was registered. When a third party is caught using the same mark on products and services which are related but aren’t identical, a trademark holder has to resort to legal proceedings for trademark infringement.
Read also: Identifying the Right Trademark Class in UAE
How does IP counterfeiting affect UAE business?
Uncontrolled counterfeiting costs trademark owners up to millions due to the damages that are done to their business reputation. Costs can also be from litigation costs and lost sales. Trademark counterfeiting is among the major issues of businesses not only in UAE but across the globe as most consumers don’t question where logos on goods are indicative of their true sources. Not only are customers and clients misled, but trademark owners may also be harmed as fake goods often have lower quality and unregulated components or ingredients.
Should I choose to litigate for trademark infringement in UAE?
Before you file a lawsuit for IP or trademark infringement, you should answer two vital questions:
- What is your goal for litigating a trademark infringement case?
- What is the enforcement strategy best for achieving your goal with the trademark infringement case?
Make sure that you answer these and discuss the questions in detail with the board members and your legal representatives before you proceed in litigating a trademark infringement action. Some of the common goals trademark owners have include recovering damages from the counterfeiting party from profits or damages of the trademark owner, destroying all fake goods, getting information regarding other potential and existing sources of counterfeited or fake products, preventing the defendant and all third parties from creating counterfeits, and recovering attorneys’ fees.
No matter what the goals you’ve set or have in mind, it’s crucial that you are fully aware o the costs, recovery, and potential risks associated with litigating trademark infringement cases. This way, you’ll come up with more realistic strategies that are likely to be cost-effective and effective.
Owners of trademarks are to remember that costs and risks associated with IP litigation in UAE can outweigh the advantages. Litigation costs can exceed monetary damages which you recover. Counterfeiting litigation, however, offers lots of benefits in other ways. Litigating a counterfeiting party will prevent future cases for counterfeiting. You will also be able to protect and preserve your trademark rights. Counterfeit products have lower quality. Litigating will help you protect your company’s reputation from severe damage. This is even more critical if there are already consumers who have suffered injuries from the counterfeited products.
How can I initiate a trademark infringement and counterfeiting case in UAE?
If your case seems to meet the conditions and parameters of IP regulations in UAE, decide if it’s worthwhile for your business to file an IP infring3ement lawsuit. After you consider all your goals, mitigating costs, and the benefits of litigation, consult with a trademark specialist in Dubai, UAE to start the filing process. Litigation for infringement cases often moves at a very fast pace. Make sure you have seasoned trademark specialists in Dubai, UAE like FAR Consulting Middle East helping you throughout the legal proceedings.