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Contemporary issues in Business
Protecting intellectual property
Intellectual property is a legal term to describe special privileges relating to intangible assets (Robin, 2014). Some of the well-known IP kinds include patents; trademarks, watermarks, copyrights, brands and trade secrets, and they are used for intangibles like music, services, art, creations, inventions, emblems and designs (Robin, 2014)
Getting your intellectual property rights registered is a vital step and aids to spur origination by empowering the creators to safeguard their assets, without having any threat of imitation for a reasonable span of time (Robin, 2014). Protecting your intellectual property is vital because it preserve the rights of creators and artistes.
For instance, if you are about to launch a new innovation and you are sure that it’s one of a kind and then eventually someone gets your idea replicate it without your permission and knowledge. However, in this case initially what you need to do is not to disclose any sort of information regarding your innovation until and unless you have actually protected it (Edward, 2013).
However, intellectual property can be sold, brought, owned or licensed like any other tangible assets (Edward, 2013). It can result to be enormously expensive and valuable to many businesses around the world and as a matter of fact many companies list their intellectual property in their balance sheets.
However, it is crucial for companies to protect their trademark from getting replicated by other sham companies and this is something getting very popular in UAE (Mohammed, 2013). UAE has become the one of the most popular countries around the globe that has numerous brands and as the time is passing more and more developments are in process (Mohammed, 2013). There is one problem UAE has been facing is how to cope up with protecting their businesses’ intellectual property. The reason behind this is that our society has started to rely more and more on information and because of this, the capability to safeguard and gain from genuine intellectual property become more and more important to include professionals (Mohammed, 2013). So businesses might have some contingency plans and procedures to work out ways to protect or avoid copying the trademark (Mohammed, 2013). However, there are number of ways to deal with this problem but it depends on the type of intellectual property you are dealing with. You should have a clear idea and knowledge about the type of intellectual property that you want to safeguard (Edward, 2013).
Most of the companies around the world often emphasize and worry about building up the business in new jurisdictions, planning about expanding their businesses to other parts of the country or around the world, trying to improve the quality of their goods and services (Arti, 2012). However, what they overlook is the crucial need to safeguard their valuable trademarks in the passion of maximizing profitability of the business. Attaining company goals is something with the highest priority, but what is equally important to consider is how a business can safeguard its trademark or even whether or not the trademark impinge on the privileges of others before registering the new business (Arti, 2012). This is the same case when someone plans to do business in UAE or is doing business there.
The growing significance given to the safeguarding of intellectual property rights was highlighted recently when there was a trade war about to break between China and America. China’s obvious unwillingness to impose global (IPR) standards regulating intellectual property rights efficiently overlooks the unlawful copying of trademark of videos, films, software etc. this cause the US to lose million dollars per year.
UAE is among one of the countries that identifies the significance of IPR and is currently fighting the piracy problem. The UAE has three laws dealing with trademark, copyright and patent protection that was instigated in 1993. However, developments in UAE by the customs, police and the court began to take effect, with seizures of replicated trademark products, the prosecution of the guilty party involved through the court of law, and the cessation of wholesale outlets selling such products.
In UAE such prosecution action begins when the actual trademark owner files a complaint. There are few procedural steps in UAE which are used to protect trademark from being copied.
- First step – Imposition of heavy fines by the government in order to limit the chances of committing such crime.
- Second step – Extension of protection to particular product patents for pharmaceuticals or any other specific products.
The UAE government has taken some stern steps to put in place strong trademark rules and regulations (Arti, 2012). The contemporary method to the fortification of trademarks and the instruments through which this fortification is conceded out in the UAE are very alike to those used in Western jurisdictions and will be aware to many business already acquainted with intellectual property issues (Arti, 2012). The trademark law in UAE comprise of a series of provisions describing the practical steps that are essential to register a trademark and the consequences for breach. Here are some of the appropriate steps to safeguard a business’s trademark in the UAE from being copied or replicated and how to deal with any probable violations (Arti, 2012).
A trademark is usually used by many businesses because it distinguishes the goods and services offered by one business to another business; in simple words, a trademark could be a phrase, word, sign, symbol, watermark, hallmark, stamp, brand, monograph, logo, picture or anything which makes your product or service unique to a company (Arti, 2012). Once a trademark for a company is registered and it is converted into a valuable asset, it may become a target for other companies in the district. Newly established companies will try to use the trademark without the consent thus either unlawfully leveraging the equity that the business have gained over the years or the worst case scenario may be they will destroy the company’s trademark’s equity. So, what is the solution to this problem? This is a query which regularly asked from international businesses planning to set up in UAE (Arti, 2012).
It is quite obvious that international companies are required to get their trademarks register in order to obtain the rules and regulations to safeguard them. A company can register its trademark in UAE by filling an application to the Trade Mark section of the Ministry of Economy and Commerce. By capitalizing in such protection, a company will be successful in gaining rights, which means being able to avoid others from using its trademark (Arti, 2012).
Additionally, a company can also register its trademark from UAE Customs which will permit the customs authorities to file and archive the company’s trademark associated data or information and identify any forged trademarks (Arti, 2012).
Patents are intellectual property privileges that safeguard a creation. It is important for creations to be innovative and non-obvious (Edward, 2013). A patent has a relatively short and a limited time span. Additionally, patenting innovative devices, scientific creations can also be patented.
Copyrights are used to safeguard music, art, literature and similar creative and innovative works (Edward, 2013). It safeguards any information, knowledge or ideas that are restrained and essential. A copyright provides the holder the right of being appreciated for the work because if the uniqueness of the work. It also provides the holder the privilege to; decide who can perform the work, determine who may commercially gain from the work and if the work can be adjusted to other forms, and by whom it may be adjusted (Edward, 2013). However, copyrights also serve for long but a limited time period. Researchers have indicated that copyrights taken before 1978 have a limit of 95 years (Edward, 2013).
This is also a type of protecting your intellectual property safeguarding formulae, design, method of practicing, compilation of information and instrument of pattern. Rather than going for patent, copyright or trademark a trade secret is more preferable and it is protected through employee discretion (Edward, 2013). Employees must sign non-compete sections that avert them from working with opponents in the foreseeable future. Employees are also required to sign a non-disclosure section that averts them from revealing secrets of the business to others. The advantage of trade secret is that it doesn’t have a time limit unlike patents (Edward, 2013).
Like any other region in the globe, trademark violation is a growing issue in UAE and it can cause severe damage for a company operating or planning to operate in UAE. The law determines clear objectives of safeguarding trademark rights in UAE, in accordance with other developed economies. Thus, if a company has weak controls over its trademark policies, the company could be at risk of violations.
If a company identifies any parties violating its trademark, that company can go to the courts and file case against them in numerous forms, from allotting warning letters to commencing illegal action. It should be noted that holder of a trademark can file civil proceeding for violating use of the trademark. However, prosecution can be a problem relying on the strength of company’s privilege. In this case the key for prosecuting a company’s privileges is registration of its trademark. For instance, a company needs to get its trademark registered with the appropriate government so that it increases the chances for a third party to avoid violating that company’s privileges. In this case, the prosecution authority would need to inspect the copy if the registration of that company’s trademark presenting its rights and procedures used to protect the company.
The Trademark law in UAE also arrange for criminal remedies for violation of trademarks in the form of heavy penalties, fines and imprisonment. A company located in UAE can also file against trademark violations through Dubai Customs which has the authority to stop violating products and services before they start operating in the country, thus making your trademark protection secure from all sorts of potential threats or risks.
It is therefore extremely important and suggested by experts that business makes and implement a plan for setting up business in UAE, specifically in relation to how trademark privileges are dealt. A trademark is classified among one of the most valuable assets that a person or a company can own. To protect and impose the rights a company has over its trademark, it is suggested that the company should get it register by all means at the time of setting up the business in UAE. This will help the company to have a sustainable corporate name capable of building the goodwill of the business. In the end, the company must regularly keep checks and defend against violation of registered trademarks in the region.
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