Customs trademark recordation service introduced

United Arab Emirates

The Dubai Customs Department (DCD) has introduced, for the first time, a trademark recordation service to combat the illegal entry of goods into Dubai. According to the DCD, the service grants trademark proprietors protection against the unauthorized importation of goods bearing trademarks or logos identical or similar to their trademarks registered with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Ministry of Industry (the UAE trademark office).

Upon recordation, customs officials will have the right to stop and seize any goods found to bear identical or similar trademarks to those of the registered mark owner. In cases where the DCD encounters suspicious goods, it will inform the registered mark owner to allow it to take any legal action deemed appropriate against the importers of the goods in question.

While the service should tighten IP rights protection and enforcement in the UAE, it is not clear whether the measures will apply to goods in transit, particularly those entering the free port of Dubai. The free port is a well-known transit point for counterfeit and pirated goods originating from Asia. As the recordation measures appear to indicate that the DCD is competent to stop and seize imported goods only, some critics maintain that they are unlikely to have any effect on goods in transit.

John Batho, World Trademark Law Report, London

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