Copyrights, trademarks and patents in UAE
We discuss what Intellectual Property (IP) is and why it is important for all kinds of businesses. We will distinguish the three terms that form this family of IP, those are Copyrights, Patents, and Trademarks. Adding to this, we will explain the key differences and benefits, as well as highlight in which cases you should Copyright rather than Trademark or vice versa.
Finally, we will focus on IP protection in the UAE, how you can apply, why you should apply and the whole process of registration.
How can I protect my Intellectual Property?
There are many ways of which you can protect your brand’s value; as we all know it takes years to create, build and establish a new brand, therefore it would be a shame to not safeguard it. Due to the increasing number of counterfeits, your brand could lose its value in this digital-first world. Therefore, through Trademark Registrations, Copyrights and Patents, you can make sure that your unique business idea cannot be copied or duplicated or even stolen from others. By protecting your idea you can be rest assured that you will never have to go through long and expensive court cases.
Applications for IP protection in the UAE have been rapidly increasing, especially trademarks with applications being more than 18,000 in a period of one year.
Before going into more detail, we will firstly discuss in simple words the meaning of each term.
Copyright is used for protecting the author’s work. For example, a book, a song, an artwork, a scientific work or other created works such as industrial designs and computer software can be subjected to Copyrights Protection.
Trademark registration, on the other hand, is used for identifying and distinguishing the goods or services from one brand to another, this could be in a form of symbol, design, phrase or even a word. Trademark is mainly used for protecting your branding, that could include your unique colours, logos or fonts.
Patent is considered as an invention, for example a new machine, design on manufacture. The legal owner of that invention has the right to exclude others from making or selling it.
Why in the UAE?
As we are all aware of, the UAE has become an entrepreneur’s first digital hub in the Middle East, with its cost-effective business setup packages and freelance permits, numerous digital companies are setting up their headquarters in the UAE. Even though, IP protection is not obligated in the UAE, it is still worth doing it in order to avoid IP theft down the line. In this modern and complex world we live in, it is very important to protect your brand’s assets, not only to keep others from copying you but to also create an evident distinction from other bands.
Now that you are able to distinguish the three practices for safeguarding your brand from duplication or counterfeiting, it’s time to get into more detail.
When should I Copyright my work?
Copyright Protection is an essential component for Small companies or Startups, this way they can save time as well as prevent big companies from stealing their ideas. Big companies, compared to small ones, have no budget constraints therefore they can quickly and easily execute any new business ideas that they have stolen from small businesses. Therefore, it is recommended to firstly copyrighting rather than trademarking as it is faster in terms of registration time period.
Trademark registration could take 5 to 6 months to be completed whereas Copyright registration could take between 15 to 20 days. Adding to this, Copyrighting offers a longer term protection, it lasts for the whole life of the author plus 50 (or more) years after their death, compared to trademark which expires after 10 years, however you could extend its validity by re-registering and paying the relevant fees.
Another key difference is the global cover, by copyrighting your business idea you can have global protection, as it is protected across 167 countries. Whereas, a UAE-registered trademark is only permitted within the UAE, therefore if a competitor abroad decides to copy you, you cannot take them to court, on the contrary, by Copyrighting you can. In terms of pricing, copyrighting is much more affordable than trademarking.
Who can apply for a Patent?
The UAE Patent applications are accepted for inventions that are novel, useful and incentive, and can be applied in reality, thorough novelty is required. Due to the rapid economic growth in the UAE, especially in the field of technology, transportation, petrochemicals and sustainable energy, it has led Patent Registration to play an important role in the UAE, as constant innovations are coming up ever so often. Hence, patent registration is a vital requirement for the development of new innovations which also contribute to the economy extensively. Adding to this, Patenting, in contrast to trademarking has become a great use to small and medium businesses in the field of technology to protect their rights. The life of a patent protection lasts for 20 years.
Can I, as an individual, trademark or copyright in the UAE?
Only legal entities such as organizations and companies can be the owners of a trademark. However Copyrights can belong to both legal entities and/or individuals.
Now that I have understood the importance of protecting the IP of my business, how should I proceed?
We can proudly say that our expert Business Consultants can guide you through the whole process of Trademark, Copyright and Patent application. By providing us all the required documentation we can assist you with a hassle free registration of your IP.
Freemont Oneworld Group has an ample experience in:
Offering expert pre-registration consultation.
Advising the client to strengthen the application for the Copyright/Trademark/Patent registration
Conducting the trademark search to check availability.
Carrying out all the UAE Copyright/Trademark/Patent registration process timely and smoothly.
Advising on the assignment and licensing of the trademarks and/or copyrights.
Carrying out the process of the assignment and the licensing of the Copyright/Trademark/Patent
Advising and carrying out the franchise related matters.
Advising the clients on the subject of the Copyright/Trademark/Patent infringement.
Advising the clients on the registration of Copyright/Trademark/Patent in GCC and other countries around the globe.
Carrying out all the GCC and International Copyright/Trademark/Patent registration process timely and smoothly.
Please contact us here so that we can discuss the best options for your needs.