UAE’s trademark listing surge signals rising investor trust

The UAE registered trademarks totalling 4,610 in Q1


Issac John

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A view of Sheikh Zayed Road. In March alone, 2,018 new brands were recorded in the UAE. — File photo
A view of Sheikh Zayed Road. In March alone, 2,018 new brands were recorded in the UAE. — File photo

Published: Mon 22 Apr 2024, 9:44 PM

The UAE has seen a significant increase in trademark registrations in the first quarter of 2024 with a 64 per cent surge compared to the same period last year, signifying growing investor confidence in the nation’s thriving innovation-driven entrepreneurial landscape.

The UAE registered trademarks totalling 4,610 in Q1, an increase from the 2,813 registrations during the same 2023 period, according to official data published by the Ministry of Economy.

Trademark experts and analysts said the remarkable surge in trademark registrations is a positive sign for the business community in the UAE and reflects a growing investor confidence in the country’s economy and business environment.

Sunil Ambalavelil, partner and legal consultant of NYK Law Firm, said trademark registration is a key aspect of protecting intellectual property rights and ensuring that businesses can differentiate their products and services in the market. “By registering a trademark, businesses can prevent others from using their brand name, logo, or slogan, and can establish a unique identity in the marketplace. This not only helps businesses build brand recognition and loyalty among customers but also adds value to their products and services,” Ambalavelil said.

“The increase in trademark registrations in the UAE indicates a growing awareness among businesses about the importance of protecting their intellectual property rights. It also reflects a confidence in the legal framework and enforcement mechanisms in the country, which are crucial for safeguarding trademarks and other intellectual property assets,” Ambalavelil added.

“The UAE has made significant efforts in recent years to strengthen its intellectual property laws and regulations, and this increase in trademark registrations is a testament to the effectiveness of these measures,” said Shulka Chavan, legal associate at Kaden Boriss. “This increase in trademark registrations is a vital metric signalling growth propelled by innovation. It is likely to have a significant impact on business confidence in the UAE, as it signals a strong commitment to safeguarding trademarks and other intellectual property assets. It also bodes well for the country’s economy, as it can lead to increased competition, innovation, and foreign investment, ultimately driving growth and prosperity in the UAE,” said Chavan.

In March alone, 2,018 new brands were recorded in the UAE. During this period, the trademarks registered cover a broad range of key sectors, spanning from smart technology and transportation to food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, finance, real estate, and more. During January and February, 2,592 trademarks were listed, underscoring the ongoing growth and momentum in the UAE’s registrations.

In 2023, there was a significant rise in the number of trademark registration applications with a 9.6 per cent increase compared to 2022. There was also a 29.5 per cent increase in the registration of intellectual works.

In 2023, the Ministry received 3,415 patent applications, marking a 19.5 per cent increase from 2022. The total number of registered patents in 2023 reached 5,108, up13.7 percent.

Early this year, the Ministry of Economy announced the launch of its new intellectual property (IP) system, which includes 11 integrated initiatives in various fields and applications of intellectual property. The initiatives are aimed at enhancing the innovation and creativity landscape in the country by providing a competitive and conducive environment for inventors and creators to develop their entrepreneurial ideas into innovative business opportunities and enabling creative national competencies to effectively utilise intellectual property applications.

Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy, has said the UAE has made great strides in developing its intellectual property sector in accordance with global best practices, recognising it as a fundamental and key pillar for promoting economic growth. “The launch of the new IP system is a milestone in our efforts to enhance the country’s transition into a knowledge and innovation economy and develop an incubating national environment for intellectual property, innovation and patent activities. This is in accordance with global best practices and in line with the objectives of the “We the UAE 2031” vision to establish the UAE as a global hub for the new economy and strengthen its position among the top 15 countries in the Global Innovation Index,” said the minister.

Experts said the UAE’s commitment to upholding international treaties and agreements provides additional reinforcement to its trademark registration system. Through its commitment to agreements such as the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property and the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, the UAE streamlines international trademark registration and enforcement, they said.

Legal experts said the UAE has put in place adequate mechanisms to protect trademark rights and combat infringement. These mechanisms encompass civil remedies like damages, injunctions, and seizure of infringing goods, in addition to criminal penalties for trademark counterfeiting and piracy.

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