Worldwide: Market Update - September 2015

Last Updated: 22 September 2015
Article by Clyde & Co LLP

Algeria signs up the Madrid Protocol

43 years after acceding to the Madrid Agreement, Algeria has joined the Madrid Protocol.

The protocol will come into force in Algeria on 31 October 2015 and from this date brand owners in Algeria will gain full access to the territories covered by the Madrid Protocol for international trade mark protection.


Iran Trade Mark Office improves examination process

It has been reported by our agents in the region that there has been an improvement in the number of applications being examined in Iran (with 52,000 applications being examined in 2013 and 56,000 being examined in 2015).

With the sanctions position in Iran easing, the number of fresh applications being filed in Iran is increasing.  It will be interesting to see if the Trade Mark Office in Iran will be able to deal with these increased numbers.

If you are unaware of whether your business can file for trade mark protection in Iran, please speak with your usual contact at Clyde & Co or refer to our note on this issue here.


Electronic Filing and Processing of International Patent Applications in Qatar

In its capacity as a Receiving Office, the Intellectual Property Department in Qatar will start to receive and process international patent applications in electronic form.  This change came into effect on 1 September 2015.

The officials are accepting international applications filed using the ePCT-Filing function in the ePCT Portal. This is good news for applicants as this electronic processing of applications is more time and cost efficient.


Seizure of fake CDs

According to newspaper reports, the Ministry of Economy and Commerce in Qatar has successfully seized 3,379 fake CDs from an outlet located in Doha.  Following the seizure of the fake CDs, a fine was issued to the infringer for copyright infringement and other related rights.

Clyde & Co comment (Rob Deans, Partner): It is unusual to see publicity with regard to successful administrative actions in Qatar.  Both the success of this action and the publication of the news is positive for intellectual property rights owners with interests in Qatar.

Saudi Arabia

New figures released showing millions of counterfeit products seized in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in first 6 months of 2015

According to newspaper reports, the Saudi Arabian Customs Authorities have reported that a total of 34 million counterfeit products have been seized during the first six months of 2015.

In addition to this, a further 52 million products have been denied entry to Saudi Arabia for failing to comply with the country's legal requirements.

Saudi Arabia

Change in official fees

The Saudi Arabian Trade Mark Office is due to increase its fees for publications of trade mark renewals and the recordal of trade mark assignments. This increase in fees is due to come into effect from 15 October 2015.

We have confirmed that publication fees for renewals and assignment will increase from SAR 300 to SAR 3,000 (approximately USD 800). No other fees are being increased at this time, but further increases are expected when the GCC Trade Mark Law comes in effect. Details of these additional fee increases are not yet available.  We will provide further information as soon as it is available.


The Department of Economic Development (DED) has marked 'Silver Jubilee of Commercial Commitment' and 'Compliance Day'

The Department of Economic Development in Dubai held a 'Silver Jubilee of Commercial Commitment' on 3 September 2015. The event celebrated and acknowledged companies which have been trading for 25 years or more and have continually committed to the commercial and consumer protections laws during this time.

It was reported that more than 1,800 companies were honoured during the celebrations of the 200,000 companies which are registered with the DED.

The celebrations were an opportunity for the DED to provide presentations and educate businesses on the commercial and consumer protection laws of the UAE, including their efforts for the protection of intellectual property rights.


Successful seizure of pirated receivers and smart cards in Ras Al Khaimah

According to newspaper reports, Ras Al Khaimah Police have arrested several sales representatives found to be selling pirated receivers and smart cards used in receivers for encrypted TV channels illegally.

Police seized all the devices and equipment used for decoding the encrypted channels. The case has now been transferred to the Public Prosecutor for further action.


Seizure of fake printers and printer cartridges worth USD 20 million

Following a successful raid of a warehouse in Dubai, the Dubai Department of Economic Development seized more than 500,000 fake printers and printer cartridges. The estimated value of the goods is AED 75 million (approximately USD 20 million) which makes it the largest seizure of its kind in Dubai.


Dubai Court imposes fine of AED 50,000 against distributor of the British broadcasting television network UKTV

Gulf News has reported that the regional broadcaster, OSN has filed a copyright infringement complaint against the distributor of the UKTV set-top boxes/decoders with the Dubai Criminal Investigation Department (CID). As part of its investigation, the CID conducted a raid at the distributor's premises and submitted evidence to the Court. The subsequent Court action resulted in the distributor being fined AED 50,000 (approximately USD 14,000).

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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