UAE registers more than 25,000 patents at the end of 2020, Ministry of Economy says

The ministry is continuing to address the issue of counterfeit goods through inspections and enforcements

Dubai skyline.
(Photo: Reem Mohammed/The National)

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The number of patents registered in the UAE reached 25,598 by the end of last year, while the number of live patent applications stood 1,971, the Ministry of Economy said on Monday. The total number of trademarks registered in the country between 1992 and April 21 this year stood at 269,189, it added.

The ministry also said it is continuing to address the issue of counterfeit goods sold in the UAE, with its commercial regulatory department conducting 463 inspections and citing 98 violations in the first quarter of 2021. The figures were provided to state news agency Wam to mark World Intellectual Property Day.

“The department is continuing to conduct inspection visits and responding rapidly to complaints about counterfeit goods in local markets to protect talents and innovators,” the Ministry of Economy said.

Patents are a method for legally recognising innovation in a product or service and their growth in the Emirates is in line with the nation's own rise in the World Intellectual Property Organisation's Global Innovation Index rankings. The UAE climbed two places in the 2020 index to 34th globally and third in the Northern Africa and Western Asia region.

The UAE has signed more than ten agreements with international institutions that support intellectual property rights, including the Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of the Deposit of Microorganisms for the Purposes of Patent Procedure and the Strasbourg Agreement on the International Patent Classification.

Other agreements signed include the Paris Agreement and the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights in 1996, the Berne Convention in 2004 and the Rome Convention for the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organisations in 2004, among others.

This year's World Intellectual Property Day focused on small and medium-sized enterprises. The World Intellectual Property Organisation's director Darren Tang said in a video message that small and medium enterprises account for 90 per cent of all companies worldwide and 70 per cent of global employment, but that these organisations don't always take the necessary action to enforce their rights.

"SMEs are the engines, the unsung heroes of our economy," Mr Tang said. “And yet for many of them, there is still a lack of knowledge about how IP can help them translate their ideas into products, and how IP can be a powerful tool for them to not just survive, but to also compete and grow.”