Intellectual property (IP) refers to the works created by human mind. These inventions could be or artistic and literary works. Their names, images, and symbols utilized in commerce should be protected. IP can be categorized as industrial property and copyright. Intellectual property rights are the laws formulated to protect the owner of an invention or literary work. The Intellectual property legislation of the UAE comprises the Patent and Industrial Design Law clause 44, Copyright Law clause 40, and the Trademark Law. All of them were enacted in 19992 (Alfadhel, 2016).
The Property that Uncle Sam's Fancy Pants, Inc. (USFP) Needs to Protect
USFP has identified the UAE as a potential market for its blue jeans. Introducing this brand into UAE will involve applying for the appropriate Intellectual Property Legislation under the UAE law to protect the inventions and business ideas while doing business in this country. The property that the USFP needs to protect under the UAE Law of Intellectual Property includes the name Uncle Sam's Fancy Pants, Inc. (USFP), the company’s logo, the special blue color, the mixing formula of blueberry and lemon juices, special glow-in-the-dark zippers, instructional videos and manuals, the unique computer chip for embroiling words, the promotion history book, and the music video. The following inventions are further categorized into the legal IP types.
The UAE’s Industrial Property Law was implemented by the Federal Law Number 17 enacted in 2002. This law was amended in 2006 by the Federal Law Number 31. It will be used to protect the industrial designs, inventions, and trademarks. In this case, USFP will use this category to protect the special blue color, the special glow-in-the-dark zipper design, and the three-dimensional design of the pants with the help of a trademark (Alfadhel, 2016). Secondly, the UAE’s Copyright Law number 7 enacted in 2002 will be used by USFP to protect the literary and artistic work with copyright. Such pieces include the company’s logo, the formula of blueberry and lemon juices, instructional videos and manuals, the unique computer chip for embroiling words, the promotion book, and the music video (Alfadhel, 2016). Finally, the protection of trademarks and trade names is provided by the UAE's Federal law Number 37 of 1992 which has been amended in 2000 and 2002 by the Laws number 19 and 8, respectively. The name of the brand – Uncle Sam's Fancy Pants, Inc. (USFP) – falls within this category (Alfadhel, 2016).
Patents Granted 2016 by GCC Patent Office to the Citizens of the GCC
The following are the three patents granted to the citizens of GCC in 2016 (GCCPO, n. d.):
1. Title: High Molecular Weight Polymer and Producing Method the Same and Drag Reducer
Inventors: Kazumi Fujioka, Toru Inaoka, and Yohei Murakami
2. Title: Arabic Coffee Bags, Paper Tin Reserved
Inventors: Hanif Ghachem Khalif al – Shammari and Ghachem Hanif Abdul Rahman al – Shammari
Country: Saudi Arabia
3. Title: Services Tunnel Prefabricated Cast Integrated
Inventor: Saad Abdul – Aziz Abdul Mohsen sword
Three Intellectual Property Issues Discussed By the TRIPS Council
The Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) and public health. A number of governments of various signatory states were not sure on how to interpret TRIPS flexibilities on public health. The African WTO member states were among the members seeking clarification. The issue was partially settled during the Doha Ministerial Declaration of 2001. The member governments agreed on the importance of having the TRIPS agreement interpreted in a manner that enhances public health through the creation of new brands of medicine as well as promoting their accessibility (Helfer, 2004). It was agreed that TRIPS should not bar members from applying the measures to safeguard the public health. The unsolved question that was handed over to TRIPS council for the resolution is how to make member states more flexible so that countries that do not have the capacity to manufacture medicine could get it from other states.
Geographical indications. Second, geographical indications are names of places that have been branded on products – for example, Champagne. The origin of a product can be used to determine its quality and other characteristics. There are two issues being debated currently. These problems are extending under the Article 23 to cover more than just wine and spirits. These question are is discussed under the Doha Mandate (Helfer, 2004). The TRIPS council is discussing the possibility of developing a system that will be capable of notifying and registering geographical indications for spirits and wines. The council is also discussing the possibility of extending the protection level enjoyed by spirits and wines to other products.
The non-violation complaints. The issue under the non-violation complaints is the possibility of having an intellectual property dispute in the situations where no violation of agreement has been witnessed. The council is discussing how such a dispute should it be handled in the event it is witnessed. The motive behind having this issue resolved is to assist the preservation of the balance of benefits in multilateral negotiations. The TRIPS council also seeks to find out whether it is necessary to have the non-violation complaints in intellectual property or not. If the non-violation complaints are determined vital for intellectual property, the council needs to determine the role of the WTO procedures in disputes settlement (Helfer, 2004).
The Sanctions for Trademark and Patent Infringements
Sanctions are usually put in place by the authorities in case the patents or trademarks are violated. In the UAE, there are sanctions that have been put in place to curb the violation of trademarks and patents. These sanctions are outlined in the articles 37, 38 and 39 of the Trademark Law of the UAE and are described below (Alfadhel, 2016).
Article 37: This article outlines that the committing any of the below acts by an individual is punishable by either imprisonment or by a fine of equal to or above Dh 5,000, or both penalties (World Trade Organization [WTO], n. d.):
- An individual who imitates or counterfeits a lawfully registered trademark with the intent of misleading the public or uses an imitated or counterfeited trademark in mala fide;
- An individual who utilizes another party’s trademark unlawfully;
- An individual holding in possession or offering for sale goods that bear an imitation of the counterfeited trademark knowingly;
- Whoever inscribes on their goods a trademark that is lawfully owned by another party;
- An individual who knowingly offers services under an imitated, forged or unlawful trademark.
Article 38: This article outlines that a person guilty of committing any of the below acts is to be punished by a fine equal to or more than Dh 5,000 and less than Dh 10,000 or one-year imprisonment, or both (WTO, n. d.):
- Using a mark that is not lawfully eligible for the registration as per the stipulated guidelines;
- Inscribing a word or a statement on the trade document or intending to make the public believe that the illegal trademark is registered.
Lastly, the Article 39 stipulates penalties that are more stringent compared to those outlined in the above articles. These penalties target repeat offenders.