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Abu Dhabi Technology Development Committee Conducts Comprehensive Analysis Of Intellectual Property System
(1 November 2011)


As part of its ongoing efforts to support the development of science, technology and innovation (STI) in the Emirate, the Abu Dhabi Technology Development Committee (TDC) conducted a comprehensive analysis of the UAE’s Intellectual Property (IP) system. Commenting on this study, H.E. Ahmed Saeed Al Calily, Director General of TDC, said: “Encouraging the attraction and creation of IP is a critical step towards building a diversified knowledge-based economy. Therefore, we need to ensure that our IP system is aligned with global best practices.”

To assess the level of this alignment, TDC analyzed in detail the IP regimes of several leading countries to understand global best practices and benchmark against the current UAE IP system. This analysis focused on legislative issues such as trade secrets, patents, copyrights and chip topography as well as commercial issues such as ease of business establishment, commercial infrastructure, civil procedure and border control. Additionally, TDC surveyed several local and International companies to understand their views about the current state of the UAE’s IP system and what features of other IP systems around the world that they liked or disliked. And throughout the study, TDC worked closely with key Federal and local government entities to ensure that the analysis takes into consideration the UAE’s federal structure of government.

The study was comprehensive as it went beyond just analyzing laws. Commenting on this, H.E. Al Calily added “While best-in-class IP laws are absolutely necessary to provide a solid foundation, other key building blocks must also be in place. This includes an efficient IP registration and filing system with minimal red tape, an effective policing system to identify infringements, an expert court system to handle complex cases, and supporting infrastructure that is conducive to creating and generating IP.”

As for results of the study, H.E. Al Calily said that there was both good news and bad news: “Many companies do not know that the UAE has a well established IP system that is ranked among the top 25% globally. Also, the UAE is clearly committed to further improvements as the Ministry of Economy is working on new IP laws and several Emirates have established specialized IP divisions in their Customs departments.” However, H.E. Al Calily stressed that additional support is needed to achieve Abu Dhabi’s ambitious plans “Given Abu Dhabi’s vision, we must do more so that our IP system is in line with countries such as Singapore, Finland and Sweden. This means that we have to work diligently on developing an environment that can support IP production.”

Going forward, TDC will be working with key government stakeholders to put in place a detailed implementation plan based on the study’s recommendations. Details of the initiatives in this plan will be released later this year.

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