Development and Protection of Intellectual Property in the UAE

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Protection of intellectual property in the UAE is an important part of the region's economic security. The state has been implementing a strategy for attracting talent and developing scientific and technical potential for several years now. The UAE is actively working to create favorable conditions for the development and protection of intellectual property.

UAE legislation covers all aspects of intellectual property (IP), including patents for inventions and developments, copyright, trademarks, or industrial designs. All of this provides a reliable legal framework for innovation and business development.

Copyright in the UAE

In the early stages of its formation, the United Arab Emirates applied British copyright legislation, which was introduced in the region as far back as 1912.

However, as the local economy and culture developed, the need for intellectual property (IP) protection became increasingly relevant. As a result, the Arab state began to develop its own copyright and patent legislation.

In 2002, the "Copyright and Related Rights Law" was enacted, which establishes the basic principles and provisions regarding copyright protection within the country. The law defines copyright for creative and scientific works and also provides the possibility of registering patents for inventions, industrial designs, and trademarks.

The United Arab Emirates actively supports international agreements aimed at protecting intellectual property. Among these, the 2014 Beijing Treaty, the 1974 WIPO Convention, and the 2005 Rome Convention are noteworthy.

Federal Law No. 7

UAE legislation regulates and protects copyright. The main document in this area is Federal Law No. 7 of 2002 "On Copyrights and Related Rights." It provides the legal basis for the creation, use, and protection of intellectual property in the country.

According to this law, copyright arises automatically upon the creation of a work. The author has the exclusive right to use their work. Copyright is protected for the author's lifetime plus an additional 50 years after death.

The law also provides mechanisms for registering copyright works. While registration is not mandatory, it can serve as evidence in disputes or in cases of infringement. To register, a copy of the work and the relevant forms must be provided.

In case of copyright infringement, the law provides various protective measures, including compensation for damages, cessation of infringement, and confiscation of counterfeit goods. Criminal penalties are also provided for infringers.

In 2021, the UAE joined the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), which allows for the guarantee of copyright protection and recognition in other member countries of the organization.

What is a Work

An object of copyright is a work. In accordance with UAE legislation, any creative creation in the field of literature, science, art, or music, which has an original character and is expressed in any form, is recognized as a work.

It is important to note that for a work to be recognized, it must be fixed on a tangible medium. This can be a written text, drawing, musical composition, or even software. Fixation on a tangible medium allows determining the temporal and spatial boundaries of the work's use.

The original character and fixation on a tangible medium are legally significant circumstances in matters of copyright protection.

Copyright registration is an optional procedure, but it can be carried out by applying to the following organizations:

  • UAE Ministry of Economy;
  • Copyright Protection Bureau (Dubai).

The deadline for applying to the Dubai Bureau is ten days.

Protection of Intellectual Property (IP) in the UAE occurs through the application of various legal measures, such as copyright, patents, and trademarks. Each type has its specific requirements and registration procedures.

Personal and Property Rights

Personal and property rights of the author are key aspects of the development and protection of intellectual property in the UAE. The personal rights of the author ensure recognition of their creative contribution, protection from unauthorized use, and alteration of their works.

These rights include the right to name, recognition of authorship, and prevention of distortion.

Property rights allow the author to control the use of their works and receive payment for it.

Property rights include:

  • reproduction;
  • distribution;
  • providing access to the work;
  • performance;
  • public display of the work;
  • creation of derivative works.

National legislation strictly regulates the use of intellectual property without the consent of its authors or individuals who have an exclusive licensing agreement.

To ensure guaranteed protection of their rights, authors are recommended to register their works. Such a procedure will confirm authorship and recognition of intellectual property, as well as provide a legal basis for pursuing infringers.

Consequences of Copyright Infringement

In case of copyright infringement, UAE legislation provides various protection measures. The author can file a complaint with the police, initiate legal proceedings to obtain compensation, seizure, or destruction of illegal copies.

Copyright protection also extends to digital works. The government actively combats pirate websites and provides copyright holders with the opportunity to block access to illegal materials on the Internet. Punishment for copyright infringement includes imprisonment as well as significant fines (starting from 50,000 dirhams).

Obtaining Patents for Developments and Inventions

In the UAE, the process of obtaining a patent begins with filing an application with the Ministry of Economy. The document includes a detailed description of the invention or development, as well as information about the author and their rights to intellectual property.

After the application is submitted, it will be reviewed by experts who will verify its compliance with the requirements of the law. If it is deemed acceptable, it will be published in the "Official Patent Bulletin" newspaper to allow other parties to comment on the development.

If no objections are raised, an inspection of the invention or development is conducted. Upon a positive expert conclusion, a patent is issued.

Features of Trademark Registration

Trademark registration in the Middle Eastern region occurs through the Madrid System and national procedure. When choosing the Madrid System, the application is submitted through the WIPO.

Trademark registration can also be done through the national procedure. In this case, the preparation of a legalized power of attorney and submission to the Ministry of Economy are required.

Trademark Registration Procedure

Both individuals and companies can register a trademark. Registration in the UAE is done through the Ministry of Economy, the main authority for intellectual property matters.

To file an application, documentation including information about the applicant, an image of the trademark, and a list of goods or services for which rights are sought must be provided.

After filing the application, a formal examination is conducted to ensure compliance with the requirements of the law. If all documents are correctly filled out, the application proceeds to examination. The expert analysis may include checking for collisions with existing or previously filed trademarks.

In the event of a positive expert decision and absence of objections from third parties, the trademark is registered, and a registration certificate is issued. The registration period is ten years with the possibility of extension for subsequent periods.

The state also provides a mechanism for protecting trademark rights in case of infringement. The applicant has the right to file a complaint with the court and demand compensation for damages caused by the unauthorized use of their trademark.


Fees for trademark registration occur in three stages:

  • At the time of filing the application;
  • After examination and publication in the official gazette;
  • At the final stage in case of a positive decision and successful registration.

The total amount of all fees is approximately $1,600.


Since the preparation and registration of a trademark require document translation, application submission, and preparation of a legalized power of attorney (in the case of a national procedure), the entire process can take from five months to two years.

The development and protection of intellectual property are of great importance for the economic growth of the UAE. It allows for stimulating innovation, attracting capital, developments, and technologies from other countries, as well as creating favorable conditions for the development of local entrepreneurs.

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