November 11, 2017
Participants of the 7th Regional Intellectual Property Crime Conference have called for tighter penalties against violators of intellectual property (IP) crimes and urged major players to capitalize on advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) to intensify the international efforts in combating the spread of counterfeit activities through the internet.The recommendations stemmed from the recently concluded event organized by the Emirates Intellectual Property Association (EIPA) and held under the patronage and in the presence of Lieutenant-General Dahi Khalfan Tamim, Deputy Chairman of Police and Public Security in Dubai and Honorary President, EIPA, in collaboration with INTERPOL and the Dubai Police.
The event is part of an international police cooperation initiative in collaboration with UAE Ministry of Justice, Dubai Police, Dubai Customs, Institute of Training and Judicial Studies (ITJS), and Brand Owners’ Protection Group, in line with the UAE’s efforts in enhancing the protection for creativity and innovative works. The two-day conference opened with a powerful line-up of government figures, experts and decision-makers, and highlighted the importance of increasing support in regional and international efforts for providing world-class training, advancing human skills and capabilities, and keepingup with international developments related to protecting intellectual property and law enforcement.
The conference also noted the key role of the private sector in supporting governments’ IP programs, including the establishment of dedicated courts to solve IP issues. Among the final recommendations were adopting clear mechanisms in the recycling of counterfeit goods and reviewing and updating the monitoring procedures and policies in free zones.
Major General Dr. Abdul Quddus Abdul Razzaq Al Obaidly, Assistant Commander-in-Chief for Dubai Police’s Quality and Excellence and Chairman of EIPA’s Board of Directors, lauded the results of the conference which has provided a strategic platform to unify the efforts of various stakeholders in promoting the role of law enforcement entities in combating IP crimes.
He said: “The strategic outcomes of the conference reflect our commitment to protect human creativity and its outputs to effectively combat the spread of IP crimes through the cyberspace. We lookforward to work closely with the Interpol and other local, regional and international authorities as well as with the private sector to protect intellectual property rights. This is in line with our efforts to cement UAE’s leadership in innovation, which has improved its standing in the 2017 Global Innovation Index topping all Arab countries and ranking 35th globally from last year’s 41st position. EIPA confirms its commitment to provide legal support and high-level training to further develop our human capital and drive innovation, which is a key pillar in the UAE Vision 2021, towards building a competitive knowledge-based economy.”
Day 1 focuses on international cooperation
The first day presented several global best practices and experiences from notable international speakers during the panel discussion titled,‘International Cooperation to Combat Counterfeit Goods’.Some of the panelists include H.E. Sir Ronald Flanagan, Former HMIC and Chief Constable, Police Service of Northern Ireland and Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC); Stephanie Leguay, Coordinator, National Anti-Counterfeiting Committee of INPI in France, and Françoise Dorcier, Coordinator of Interpol's Illicit Goods and Global Health Programme. The experts pointed to the importance of addressing counterfeit food commodities to protect public health and support countries in finding and demolishing organized networks engaged in trafficking of illicit goods through raising public awareness and capacity-building.
The panel also discussed international efforts and awareness campaigns in thwarting the sale of counterfeit and illegal drugs through the internet which could address crimes related to illegal trafficking which operates between South East Asia, India and the Middle East, and disrupt the supply chain of fake goods being promoted through online channels. The panel also showcased the most notable results achieved in the region, which involved the closure of more than 1,400 illegal sites in 2016.
Yousuf Ozair, Director of Intellectual Property Rights Department, Dubai Customs explained Dubai Customs’ efforts to help national and international IP protection initiatives. He highlighted some of Dubai Customs’ most prominent activities which include the launch of the first electronic game which aims to teach children the importance of Intellectual Property in cooperation with OSN andthe publishing of the first brochure in Braille language which talks about IPR concepts for various stakeholders. He also presented Dubai Customs’ efforts in dealing with 218 suspected customs cases which violate theIP law in 2016.
The second session discussed the role of international cooperation as the first step to successfully combat counterfeiting and trafficking of illicit goods by highlighting the rule of law from an IP perspective, particularly stronger enforcement of IP laws regarding violation of rights. The panel included Richard Yung, Member of the Senate of France; Huda Barakat, Chair of the Middle East Advisory Council of the International Trademark Association; Dr. Mohammed Al Kamali, Director General, Institute of Training and Judicial Studies; Assem Saif, Head of the Judicial Inspection Department, Minister of Justice; and Hassan Arab, Co-Head of Litigation, Partner and Deputy Managing Partner, Al Tamimi and Company Law Firm.
The third panelexamined the 'Danger of Imitation on the Health and Safety of Consumers’, with international experts Françoise Dorcier, Coordinator of Interpol's Illicit Goods and Global Health Programme; Anais Eiden, Group Senior Legal Manager Intellectual Property, Research and Development for Vallourec Group; and Dr. Mudather Abdulla, Legal Counsel at Sharjah Economic Department, along with Captain Omer Hassan, Head of Commercial Fraud and Piracy Department, who showcased the performance of the anti-commercial fraud and piracy division over the past five years and solved 243cases in 2017 with a total estimated value of AED 288,082,985.
The first day concluded with a sharing of outlook on the role of modern technology and the challenges of IPR protection, participated by Erik Madsen, Senior Investigations Manager Europe, ME and Africa Underwriters Laboratories (UL), Denmark; Yuichi Mizue, Managing Director, Koyo ME; and Dr. Abdulla Qasim, Consultant Neurosurgeon at Rashid Hospital, Dubai Health Authority.
Day 2 highlights challenges and strategies
The second day featured a series of panel discussions and workshops by EIPA and Interpol, including one co-organized with Dubai Customs. The first panel of the day titled ‘The New Challenges’, discussed about IP law enforcement, chaired by Dr. Khalid Al Naqbi, President of Arab International Disputes and Arbitration Council, Member of Dispute Settlement Committee, Abu Dhabi Appeal Court and Member of the EIPA, joined by high-profile speakers including Brigadier-General Saif Al Zari Al Shamsi, Commander-in-Chief of Sharjah Police; Dr. Amin Hussein Al Amiri, Assistant Undersecretary of the Policy and Licensing Sector, UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention; and Mohammed Lootah, Executive Director of the Commercial Control and Consumer Protection Division, Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED).
Colonel Saleh Al Hamrani, Deputy Director General of the General Administration of Total Quality – Dubai Police, led the workshop on ‘Effective Strategies: Technology Harmonization and Law Enforcement’, with several keynote speakers including Colonel Ibrahim Al-Ajel, Director of Criminal Investigations Department, Dubai Police; Colonel Omar bin Hammad, Deputy Director of Anti-Economic Crimes Department at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Dubai Police; and Stephanie Legacy, Coordinator, National Committee of the National Institute of Industrial Property in France. The panel discussion focused on successful practical approaches in combating IP crimes, and shed light on the results of a study conducted by EIPA on ‘Intellectual Property Enforcement Costs within the UAE’. Mohamed Bakr Estetieh, Legal Advisor, EIPA, led the session with the participation of Jawad Al Redha, Member of the Board of Directors, EIPA; Malik Hanouf, Brand Owners Council (BOC); and Shaun Higgins, Senior Manager at Ernst & Young.
The second day concluded with a panel discussion on ‘Building Bridges Between Countries: Challenges of International Cooperation and How to Overcome Them’, chaired by Sheikha Al Rahoumi, Director of Customer Relations Department, Dubai Health Authority, Member of the Emirates Intellectual Property Society, and attended by Erik Madsen, Senior Investigations Manager Europe, ME and Africa Underwriters Laboratories (UL), Denmark; Osama Al-Bitar, President of Regional Branch of the Arab Union for the Protection of Intellectual Property Rights; Masami Ando, Director-General of Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), Dubai; Cecil Benbantcher from the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
A series of discussion sessions and workshops was also held by the Interpol on the sidelines of the second day, focusing on the ‘International IP Crime Investigators College-Perspectives on Capacity Building’, in addition to a workshop on how to ensure the success of combating counterfeit goods.
International partnerships and promising agreements
At the end of the 7th Regional Intellectual Property Crime Conference, EIPA signed strategic partnerships with the Shanghai Patent and Trademark Law Office, the French National Commission for Combating Illicit Trade in Counterfeit Good, andthe Middle East Intellectual Property Group (ME-IPG) of Japan, in an important step to promote international cooperation in the field of IP rights protection.