17% increase in intellectual rights complaints in Dubai this year

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17% increase in intellectual rights complaints in Dubai this year

8 million fake products worth Dh13m seized this year, a 260% increase compared to last year.

By Salah Al Deberky/staff Reporter

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Published: Thu 28 May 2015, 12:36 AM

Last updated: Thu 25 Jun 2015, 7:38 PM

Heap of counterfeit products all set to be destroyed by the DED. — KT file photo

The Department of Economic Development-Dubai or DED received 123 complaints pertaining to the protection of intellectual property rights during the first quarter of this year. The complaints were filed by owners of trade brands operating in the emirate. The department is looking into the matter in conjunction with legal representatives of these brands. Figures show that the number of cases on intellectual property rights the department received grew by 17 per cent in the first quarter compared with the same period last year when the number of complaints was 105.

“However, the number of violations the department noted against trade establishments for breaching the law governing the intellectual property law stood at 1,587 in the first quarter of the present year compared with 1,523 during the same period last year.

Adel Al Majid, senior director of the intellectual property rights unit at DED said the department had received 123 cases in the first quarter this year. They were filed by owners of trade brands through their legal firms in the emirate.

Complaints & Responses

Reluctant’ shop manager to repair man’s cycle at his home:  A man complained that a bicycle he bought from a shop developed some problems after a period of use. He took the cycle back to the shop and explained the problem to the manager. The manager, however, refused to repair the bicycle.

The Consumer Complaints Section reviewed the purchase receipt and warranty card submitted by the complainant.

Based on these documents, the shop manager was directed to visit the complainant’s home and repair the bicycle.

Machine’s defective part to be replaced: A man complained against a trading shop, saying he bought a vacuum cleaner from there, which broke down after a period of use.

He said he took the machine back to the shop and got it repaired. However, it broke down again. The complainant lodged a complaint demanding that the defective product be replaced with a new one.

The Consumer Complaints Section summoned both parties to its office. After the panel members reviewed the warranty card of the machine, the complainant was informed that the shop is responsible for only replacing the defective part.

He was told that the whole machine cannot be replaced with a new one.

Refund ordered for damaged furniture:  A woman said she booked a furniture set from a shop.

However, she noticed several scratches on the set after it was delivered, prompting her to lodge a complaint with the DED.

The Consumer Complaints Section summoned the complainant and the manager of the furniture shop to its office.

After it was confirmed that the furniture was damaged, the manager was directed to refund the woman’s money.

(Compiled by Salah Al Deberky)

“The DED, after receiving the complaints, worked with legal representatives of these brands to study these cases and started taking legal action after ensuring that all conditions and procedures related to them are duly met,” he said. “Procedures include ensuring that all required legal documents are available. These entail the registration certificate of the trademark at the Ministry of Economy, the legal agencies, as well as all other information and documents,” he said.

Al Majid said: “After studying the files, the intellectual property rights protection unit conducts field procedures like inspecting trade establishments that flout the law, comprehensive field surveys to book the violator, confiscation of duplicate goods and products, and legal actions”.

Mashhoor Al Shamsi, senior director of intellectual property cases and trade agencies section at DED echoed the words of Al Majid and said the department takes all efforts to combat any action that causes damage to the protection of intellectual property and infringement of the trade brand owners rights, and suspends any trade practices which violate others’ rights.  “The efforts made by the DED come under the framework of creating a suitable economic environment for practicing trade activities,” he said. He added that it is important to guarantee trade mark rights and to confront all aspects with regard to the spread fake products, which are, in fact, against the law”.

“The DED had seized as many as eight million fake pieces in local markets with a market value of Dh130milliom, a rise of 260 per cent compared to the same period last year”, he revealed.

How product distribution works in Dubai

The Department of Economic Development - Dubai (DED) streamlines the economic performance in the emirate, oversees it and boosts it to ensure that it grows and remains competitive. The department is also responsible for increasing the awareness levels among the public about economic practices followed in the emirate.

The DED develops policies that are relevant to trade establishments and promotes Dubai’ economy at the local and international levels. In this context, the Trading Agencies Protection Section is the competent authority to enforce the law governing and streamlining trading agencies or distributors in Dubai.

Local agencies showcase, distribute and sell products or services in the country on a profit-sharing agreement or for a commission. They sign an agreement with manufacturers — international or local — to promote or sell their products. Manufacturers can enter into an agreement with either an Emirati or a corporate entity wholly owned by Emiratis for this purpose.

The Trading Agencies Protection Section is responsible for upholding the rights of trading agencies and ensure that agencies responsible for a particular product are the only ones selling or distributing them. In cases of infringement, the section apprises the agency or agent about it.

The section also checks on bogus authorised dealers who don’t have the authority to distribute a particular brand’s products.  The section is also responsible for increasing the awareness levels of the merchants about the trading agencies law and the procedures followed in this regard by the DED. The Trading Agencies Protection Section also receives complaints from dealers about infringements and settles disputes.

(As told by Mufeed Al Zaabi, Senior Director of Trading Establishment Complaints Section)

Khaleej Times runs the ‘Consumer Forum’ series in collaboration with the Department of Economic Development in Dubai. Readers can email their complaints and suggestions to news@khaleejtimes.com with the subject line ‘Consumer Forum’ or raise them directly with the DED on phone number 600 545 555

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