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Intellectual Property Lawsuits and Infringements in the GCC Region

The number of infringement cases and lawsuits in the GCC countries witnessed a significant upswing. In this article, we focus on IP lawsuits that occurred.

IP Lawsuits and Infringements in the GCC

In the previous year, we saw counterfeits and trademark infringement cases recording a 23% increase in Dubai alone. The number of infringement cases and lawsuits in the Gulf Cooperation Council involving the six Arabian countries witnessed a significant upswing as well. It is the independent local courts that handle the proceedings, hearings, and infringement disputes unless and until an international element is a part of the claim. In this article, we focus on IP lawsuits, instances of infringements, and counterfeit in the GCC countries that occurred over the last couple of years.

In the GCC, there is no single court system with regard to patent litigation.

PRS vs Qatar Airways

Earlier this year, Qatar Airways, which is the second-largest airline in the Middle East got into an IP violation dispute owing to a breach of music copyright that is a part of the collection on its in-flight entertainment system. The Performing Right Society (PRS) alleged the airline giant of making soundtracks available to passengers without acquiring a license or paying royalties for the same.

Dubai Officials Seizes Fake Goods Worth Millions

In another instance, in the year 2018, the CCCP (the Commercial Compliance and Consumer Protection) which is a part of the Dubai Economic Department had confiscated a whopping 19.9 million counterfeited products that were traded to the public. The most number of items that were a part of this seizure belonged to the cosmetics category and was worth more than Dh 90 million. In the same year, it was also discovered that a large number of fragrances that are sold in smaller stores are fake and hence are being sold at ridiculously low prices. Not only is it a poor imitation of a brand, but it was also found to contain hazardous chemicals and antifreeze substitutes that cause rashes, skin allergies, and inflammation. When customers pick up these products and perform a quick assessment, the presence of a barcode tends to make them believe that it is original. However, replicating a barcode is not in any way harder than imitating the look and packaging of the actual product.

Over 68,000 Conned by Ecommerce Website in Oman

Another alleged scam that recently came to light was in Oman where the authorities found that a popular e-commerce store that had a shopper base of more than 68,000 people had been selling counterfeit electronic gadgets. It was seen that the e-commerce marketplace sold a huge range of gadgets at exceptionally low prices and defrauded customers through purchases worth more than $6000. A lack of vigilance was highly prevalent in the e-commerce partners as less credible sellers cropped up in their portals. There was no proper scrutiny or quality checks of products to ensure their genuineness to customers.

Toyota Car Parts Confiscated Across UAE

In November 2019, Al-Futtaim Toyota and UAE Government authorities had discovered fake car parts and fraudulent practices in some of the automobile dealer stores. The seized counterfeit car parts such as unsafe brake pads and low-quality oil filters were such that they could potentially endanger the lives of passengers.

Is your firm facing intellectual property lawsuits in GCC or patent infringement from another organization? Are you feeling lost in the playing field and wondering how to file a lawsuit? Worry not; our experienced consultants will devise a strategy and a detailed plan on what recourse can be taken regarding the infringement.

Read our article on how to fight counterfeit sales online to protect your precious brand.