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Mohammed Bin Rashid Enacts New DIFC Intellectual Property Law

In his capacity as Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, enacted a new DIFC Intellectual Property Law, Law No. 4 of 2019, Dubai International Financial Centre, DIFC, the world’s eighth ranked international financial centre and the number one financial hub in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia, MEASA, region, has announced.

The newly-enacted law compliments the DIFC’s commitment to international best practice, with the Intellectual Property Law aiming to govern the enforcement of intellectual property rights in the Centre, which will enable DIFC entities to protect their intellectual property rights within the DIFC and create a safe environment for creativity and innovation within the Centre. The proposed Law covers Patents, Utility Certificates, Industrial Designs and Drawings, Copyright, Trademarks, Trade Names and Trade Secrets in line with international treaties and best practices.

Essa Kazim, Governor of DIFC, said, "One of our top priorities in DIFC is to ensure our stakeholders and businesses have the appropriate regulatory environment to operate in or from the Centre. In line with our positioning as a regional hub for innovation and creativity, the new enacted law will re-affirm our commitment to continuously enhancing our legislative infrastructure in order to give leading global institutions, start-ups and individuals the certainty and freedom they need to innovate with confidence and develop creative solutions within the MEASA region, through Dubai."

The new Intellectual Property Law, which will come into effect on 21 November 2019, key aspects include: recognition of the UAE registered Trademarks, Patents, Utility Certificates, Industrial Designs and Drawings; the rights afforded to each type of intellectual property rights and the limitations to such protection; determining ownership of Patent and Copyright in employment relations; creation of the office of the Commissioner of Intellectual Property who is responsible for the administering the proposed Law, resolve disputes and impose fines; sanctions and remedies for intellectual property infringement; and jurisdiction of the Commissioner of Intellectual Property and the DIFC Court in infringement cases.

The new law was subject to substantial research and global benchmarking, as well as thorough public consultation, which helped shape the law to ensure that the DIFC remains the most sophisticated and business-friendly Common Law jurisdiction in the region.

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