Intellectual Property – Violations and Compensations
Intellectual Property (IP) is a valuable intangible asset for any business operating nationally or internationally across borders. It should always be protected to safeguard the business’ overall operation interests; help attain its commercial goals and sustain its competitive advantage.
In the United Arab Emirates, the Ministry of Economy is the competent authority to register and protect any intellectual property rights: trademark, copyright and patent.
In this article we highlight the types of infringements of Intellectual Property Rights and underline the primary steps to be taken by the rights’ owner to abstain any violations and in turn claim the relevant compensations.
The Intellectual Property Rights are protected under the UAE Federal Law No. 38 of 2021, Federal Law No. 36 of 2021 and Federal Law No. 31 of 2016.
Intellectual Property Infringements
Intellectual property infringement is the violation of an intellectual property right. There are several types of intellectual property infringements:
- Copyright infringement – A copyright is a legal right granted to the creator or owner, such as a photo, writing, video, song, etc. Copyright infringement can occur when using these rights without the owner’s permission.
- Trademark infringement and counterfeiting – A trademark is a word, symbol, phrase, or design, that identifies and legally differentiates the source of the product or services of one entity from those of another. Trademark infringement is the unauthorized use of a trademark in a manner that is likely to cause consumers to be confused as to the source of the product, or as to whether there is some sponsorship or affiliation between the person who is selling the product and the actual trademark owner.
- Counterfeiting – Counterfeiting generally is seen as a type of trademark infringement. Counterfeit products often are fake or replicas of real products and are intended to defraud or deceive consumers into believing the product is authentic.
- Patent infringement – Patents protect an invention against unauthorized reproduction, use, copying, or sale. Patents may cover manufactured items, machines, designs, and various other items or processes. Making, using, selling, or offering to sell a patented invention or design without the permission of the patent owner may constitute a patent infringement.
The Intellectual Property Rights’ owner, with the support of their IP lawyer, may protect their intangible assets in case of any infringements and follow the below steps to immediately put a stop to the violations and proceed further to obtain a compensation for any occurred damages.
Steps to stop Intellectual Property Rights violations
As per Article (35) of Federal Law No. 38 of 2021 the owner of the Intellectual Property Rights may:
- File a fast order through the court to stop violators from using or publishing protected rights until a judgement is issued in a Civil case.
- Petition to seize on any products or copies.
- Prove the violation and prevent its recurrence immediately and in future.
- Seize on any outcome and/or profits generated by the violator.
The IP rights’ owner is entitled to take legal action and sue any violators to put an end to the infringement and potentially claim a compensation. For any proven violations the court may grant the IPR’ owner the right to a financial compensation which may include:
- Compensation for the financial loss that the IPR have suffered due to the infringement, or an account of profits (the profits wrongfully earned by the infringer), and
- Compensation for the moral and reputation damages caused by the violations.