Sharjah Customs launches trademark recordal system

United Arab Emirates

Sharjah Customs has announced the launch of a trademark recordal system. The new system will be managed by the newly created Intellectual Property Department at Sharjah Customs.

The system is modelled on the recordal system implemented by Dubai Customs around 12 months ago (for further details please see "Customs trademark recordation service introduced"). Any trademark registered with the UAE Trademark Office may now be recorded with Sharjah Customs, which can then monitor shipments infringing these trademarks.

In order to record their registered trademarks with Sharjah Customs, brand owners must provide copies of valid registration certificate(s), which will allow officials to differentiate counterfeit goods from genuine products, among other material. The officials will accept the filing of complaints during official working hours upon payment of the relevant official fees. The officials will impose additional charges for complaints filed during holidays.

Brand owners must also provide written undertakings regarding the costs of impounding, storing, inspection and any delay resulting from an unfounded complaint.

The introduction of the recordal system in Sharjah, as well as the establishment of the IP department, is further evidence of the steps taken by the Sharjah authorities to assist IP rights holders in enforcing their rights in the emirate. In the past 12 months, there have been a growing number of reported successes where the enforcement authorities have seized and destroyed counterfeit and infringing products. In addition, the Sharjah authorities have announced an amnesty during which people or entities can hand over counterfeit or infringing products for destruction.

The implementation of a recordal system and the establishment of the IP department in Sharjah are to be applauded and should provide brand owners with another layer of defence against infringement of their rights in the Middle East.

Sara Holder and Jon Parker, Rouse & Co International, Dubai

Unlock unlimited access to all WTR content