The Department of Economic Development (DED) confiscated nearly 453,000 assorted pieces of counterfeit goods in 2010, which were destroyed in batches. His Excellency Mr Sami Dhaen Al Qamzi, Director General of DED, and Omar Bushahab, CEO, Commercial Compliance and Consumer Protection Division, inspected one such process, where counterfeit goods confiscated were destroyed at DED’s Al Ramoul Centre recently.
The destroyed counterfeit goods included bags, shoes, accessories, mobile phones, sunglasses, cosmetics, soap, lotion, and auto parts. DED follows the highest standards for environment protection in the destruction process, with Dubai Municipality alone mandated to destroy materials such as mobile phone batteries and select liquid products.
The counterfeit goods of several leading brands were confiscated following field visits and random inspection campaigns conducted by the Commercial Compliance and Consumer Protection Division of DED, in addition to the inspection campaigns carried out following complaints from trademark holders or their representatives in the emirate. DED's Al Quoz and Al Ramoul Centres receive counterfeit goods daily from Ports and Customs Department, Dubai Police, and Dubai Municipality for being destroyed.
"DED underscores its commitment to the business community and to ensure their intellectual property rights by combating commercial fraud and counterfeit goods. Through continuous efforts, DED seeks to contribute to strengthening confidence in the market, and to promote the sale of high quality products," said Mr Al Qamzi.
"DED takes stringent measures to combat counterfeit and fake products, and maintain the highest standards of international quality in the retail sector to achieve the vision of the Dubai government and consolidate the emirate's position internationally as one of the best shopping destinations that protects the interests of everyone from consumers, merchants, and brand owners or their representatives in the emirate," added Al Qamzi.
"The Commercial Compliance and Consumer Protection Division is constantly working to meet the needs of customers. We receive various complaints from trademark owners to protect their interests in accordance with the laws and regulations, and to implement the necessary legal protection relating to commercial fraud," said Bushahab.
"DED has developed an inspection plan for 2011 to target the sale of counterfeit goods, and we will increase cooperation and coordination with the regional directors of trademark owners, urging them to appoint representatives to inform us of areas that sell counterfeit goods. DED doubles the fines to deter offenders and ensure their compliance with the laws," added Bushahab.
The Commercial Compliance and Consumer Protection Division holds meetings with trademark owners to identify DED's role and procedures, as well as distributes leaflets for traders and customers on the dangers and disadvantages of counterfeit goods. The Division urges traders to register their trade marks to protect them from any infringement by third parties, and encourages them to cooperate with DED to uphold their rights.
The division imposes fines on violators for infringing intellectual property rights and violating DED's business regulations in addition to confiscating the counterfeit goods and products, closing their premises for a period from one week to 90 days, and revoking the licence in the event of repetition.