Abu Dhabi: H.E. Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy, led the UAE delegation participating in the 65th session of the Assemblies of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) member states, which began at the Organization's headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, and runs until July 17.

H.E. Bin Touq confirmed that the UAE, in line with its wise leadership’s vision, continues to develop its intellectual property (IP) sector in accordance with global best practices, considering it a fundamental pillar in promoting the national economy’s growth. As a result, the UAE provides an incubating environment for IP, innovation and patent activities in accordance with global best practices, in addition to enablers and facilities that support the growth of knowledge-based enterprises, innovation and R&D.

In his speech at the session, H.E. Bin Touq reviewed key developments in the UAE’s IP landscape and achievements in IP rights protection. The country has succeeded in building a comprehensive and sophisticated legislative environment to protect IP rights of creators and innovators and stimulate original thought and innovation in all fields. Also notable is the promulgation of an array of supportive legislation such as the Trademark Law, the Copyright and Neighboring Rights Law and the Industrial Property Rights Regulation and Protection Law and building distinct partnerships with leading IP institutions and ecosystem stakeholders at the local, regional and global levels.

H.E. emphasized that national efforts and joint work to launch more initiatives and pilot projects that enhance the UAE's position as an incubator that fosters creative and innovative businesses are continuing. The Ministry of Economy is currently working on the implementation of its new IP system. It includes 11 initiatives aimed at establishing a competitive IP environment that enables inventors and creators to develop their entrepreneurial ideas and turn them into viable business opportunities and projects.

The Minister of Economy said: "This year's WIPO meeting is particularly important as it coincides with our celebration of the 50th anniversary of the UAE's accession to the Organization. These five decades have been eventful, characterized by fruitful cooperation and effective partnerships between the two sides." He added that the UAE is keen to continue its cooperation with WIPO and the Member States, looking forward to more constructive work to support IP rights protection and the exchange of expertise and knowledge, thereby contributing to the achievement of the Organization's sustainable development goals and promoting the growth of Member States' economies.

H.E. Bin Touq added: "The UAE, in line with its leading role regionally and globally in solidifying the importance of IP rights protection, reiterates its interest in implementing and operationalizing the proposal to host Abu Dhabi as an external office of WIPO, and supporting efforts to introduce Arabic into the Madrid System for International Registration of Trademarks, thereby increasing Arab communities’ engagement with WIPO, and promoting the principle of multilingualism."

"The UAE warmly welcomes Mr. Daren Tang, Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), to the upcoming World Government Summit scheduled for February 2025. The Summit will serve as a key opportunity for engaging in discussions and deliberations on the future of the IP sector and the potential opportunities it offers, along with the technologies supporting its development," stated H.E. Bin Touq.

MoU with Japan to exchange of expertise in IP rights protection

On the sidelines of the meeting, H.E. Bin Touq witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Ministry of Economy and the Japan Patent Office (JPO). The objective of this MoU is to establish a collaborative framework between the UAE and Japan in the realm of intellectual property, specifically focusing on patents, utility certificates, and industrial designs. The MoU was signed by H.E. Dr. Abdulrahman Hassan Al Muaini, Assistant Undersecretary for IP Rights Sector at the Ministry of Economy, and Mr. Hamano Koichi, JPO Commissioner.

The MoU signifies a key milestone in the UAE's efforts to expand its international cooperation and foster dialogue and collaboration with relevant global organizations and institutions in the field of IP. It will reinforce the UAE's position as a prominent hub for the new economy, while also striving for excellence and competitiveness in innovation and IP rights protection. These efforts align with the objectives outlined in 'We the UAE 2031' vision.

Under the terms of the MoU, spanning a period of five years, both sides will cooperate to share knowledge about intellectual property systems and practices in line with international standards. Another objective is combatting infringements on intellectual property rights of commercial goods. The partnership also includes training and developing nationals, ensuring they stay well-informed about the latest technological advancements and digital resources, thereby enhancing their understanding of contemporary intellectual property practices.

The UAE has been actively working on strengthening its regional and international cooperation in IP rights protection. This has been accomplished through its participation in various international agreements and treaties such as the 'Nice Agreement,' and the 'Madrid Protocol'. Additionally, the UAE has joined the 'Budapest Treaty', which plays a crucial role in supporting innovations and fostering a conducive environment for scientific research related to microorganisms. The country has also acceded to the 'Strasbourg Agreement,' which aims to promote and classify patents according to a standardized international classification.

UAE's IP sector witnesses continued growth

The UAE's IP sector continues to experience growth with positive outcomes and indicators that reflect the effectiveness of the economic legislation, initiatives, and projects launched and announced to develop and enhance this vital sector over the past years.

In the first half of 2024, the Ministry of Economy recorded an increase in the registration of trademarks, with a total of 15,319 trademarks being registered. This indicates a growth rate of 3.4 per cent compared to the same timeframe in the previous year. In 2023, the overall number of registered trademarks reached 31,280, reflecting a 16.5 per cent growth. Furthermore, the total number of trademarks in the UAE stood at 122,000 between the years 2019 and 2023.

In H1 2024, the UAE witnessed a 22 per cent growth in the registration of intellectual works compared to the same period in 2023. The total number of intellectual works reached 2,517 last year with a 52 per cent growth from 2022. The total number of intellectual works in the last five years amount to 10,087.

The Ministry recorded a 2.8 per cent rise in the submission of patent and utility certificate applications in the first half of 2024, as compared to the corresponding period in 2023. In the previous year, a total of 3,415 patent and utility certificate applications were received, reflecting a growth rate of 19.5 per cent compared to 2022. Between 2019 and 2023, the UAE recorded a total of 12,521 patent and utility certificate applications.


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