Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the prominent international financial hub in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region has declared new Intellectual Property Regulations (IP Regulations) with effect from 5 July 2021.
The introduction of the regulations reflects the Centres continuing commitment to maintaining a transparent and robust legal and regulatory framework aligned with global best practice. It also supports DIFCs focus on advancing innovation by identifying and protecting intellectual property rights, which is of key importance to technology and start-up companies.
IP Regulations have been approved by the DIFC Authority Board of Directors and issued under the Intellectual Property Law, DIFC Law No. 4 of 2019 (IP Law), facilitating the administration and enforcement of the DIFC IP Law. DIFCs IP Law and Regulations enhance and augment the UAEs existing intellectual property laws by working with the federal regime and DIFC legal framework, common law principles and the certainty provided by binding legal precedent created by the DIFC Courts.
Regulations provide further clarity on the powers and functions of the Commissioner of Intellectual Property (the Commissioner). They also have a lay out of the process and requirements for filing intellectual property infringement complaints, inspections and investigations in connection with violations of the IP Law. Additionally, the IP Regulations cover issuing of directions by the Commissioner, along with the particulars that must be contained in such directions.
The regulations set up a Register of Experts that the Commissioner may appoint to assist in the investigation of a complaint. They also enable the Commissioner to cooperate with relevant federal and local authorities in the UAE for the seamless protection of intellectual property rights across each of their respective jurisdictions.