The Brand Owners Protection Group (BPG), the largest non-profit organisation in the Gulf committed to combating counterfeit trade, in association with the Institute of Training and Judicial Studies, has conducted a workshop with 30 representatives of the judiciary, Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Customs, Protection of Intellectual Property Right Society, Departments of Economic Development, Police officers and Lawyers from all over the UAE yesterday, November 22, 2011, in a bid to address the legal challenges of combating the business of counterfeit goods in the UAE.
Held under the patronage of His Excellency, Dr. Hadef bin Jouan Al Dhaheri, Minister of Justice and Chairman of the Institute of Training and Judicial Studies, the workshop concentrated on a critical area of Intellectual Property (IP) protection and examined the difficulties brand owners face in enforcing IP law.
Commenting on the significance of this event, BPG Chairman Mr. Abdulla Hasayen said, “This is one of the most important workshops arranged by the BPG as it focuses on the real dangers and negative effects of counterfeiting on the society and economy. It highlighted the fact that counterfeiting is not a victimless crime as widely perceived, and should be faced with real deterrent penalties as stipulated by the local laws which already exist in the UAE. This is a great chance to have an open discussion about this important topic and to address it from different angles.”
The panel of speakers during the training session included the Group’s Chairman Mr. Abdulla Hasayen, representatives from Al Tamimi & Co., Mr. Omar Obeidat, Partner and Head of IP Department, and Mrs. Lara Ababneh, Senior Associate, IP Department, as well as Counselor Dr. Mohamed Mahmoud Al Kamali, Director General of the Institute of Training and Judicial Studies.
“The objective of the workshop is to strengthen the law enforcement of intellectual property rights and tackle the challenges and difficulties faced by brand owners while implementing these laws,” Dr. Mohamed Kamali said.
Dr. Al Kamali also pointed out that the development in the field of intellectual property rights has led to increased interest in these rights, which are now gaining international importance, both politically and economically, as an effective tool for economic development due to the important economic value of innovations and inventions.
“The ever increasing value of innovations and inventions has resulted in a knowledge-, information- and idea-based competitive economy which necessitates the provision of new requirements that are sufficient to protect these rights, both nationally and internationally. Due to the increasing importance of IPR on the economic level, the lack of proper IPR law enforcement is now considered an obstacle to national and foreign investment, a fact that confirms the importance of reviewing IPR laws, implementations and enforcement in order to achieve desired objectives,” Dr. Kamali added.
This BPG workshop is the third this month after successful workshops with inspectors and law enforcement officials from the Dubai Department of Economic Development and Abu Dhabi Customs. The amplified activities of the organisation signifies the BPG’s intent of achieving its goals through initiatives aimed at increasing the level of cooperation between brand owners and various governments across the GCC region.