Mohammed enacts new DIFC Intellectual Property Law - GulfToday

Mohammed enacts new DIFC Intellectual Property Law

Mohammed Bin Rashid

Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum

In his capacity as Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, enacted a new DIFC Intellectual Property Law, Law No. 4 of 2019, Dubai International Financial Centre, DIFC, the world’s eighth ranked international financial centre and the number one financial hub in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia, MEASA, region, has announced.

The newly-enacted law compliments the DIFC’s commitment to international best practice, with the Intellectual Property Law aiming to govern the enforcement of intellectual property rights in the Centre, which will enable DIFC entities to protect their intellectual property rights within the DIFC and create a safe environment for creativity and innovation within the Centre. The proposed Law covers Patents, Utility Certificates, Industrial Designs and Drawings, Copyright, Trademarks, Trade Names and Trade Secrets in line with international treaties and best practices.

Essa Kazim, Governor of DIFC, said, “One of our top priorities in DIFC is to ensure our stakeholders and businesses have the appropriate regulatory environment to operate in or from the Centre. In line with our positioning as a regional hub for innovation and creativity, the new enacted law will re-affirm our commitment to continuously enhancing our legislative infrastructure in order to give leading global institutions, start-ups and individuals the certainty and freedom they need to innovate with confidence and develop creative solutions within the MEASA region, through Dubai.”

The new Intellectual Property Law, which will come into effect on 21 November 2019, key aspects include: recognition of the UAE registered Trademarks, Patents, Utility Certificates, Industrial Designs and Drawings; the rights afforded to each type of intellectual property rights and the limitations to such protection; determining ownership of Patent and Copyright in employment relations; creation of the office of the Commissioner of Intellectual Property who is responsible for the administering the proposed Law, resolve disputes and impose fines; sanctions and remedies for intellectual property infringement; and jurisdiction of the Commissioner of Intellectual Property and the DIFC Court in infringement cases.

The new law was subject to substantial research and global benchmarking, as well as thorough public consultation, which helped shape the law to ensure that the DIFC remains the most sophisticated and business-friendly Common Law jurisdiction in the region.

DIFC, has marked a significant rise in Islamic assets being managed in the Centre, recording a 45 per cent growth between Q2 2018 and Q2 2019.

According to a recent press release issued by DIFC, Islamic finance is growing at 1.5 times the rate of traditional finance, and the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region continues to be a steady driver of this industry, fueled by a number of jumbo sukuk issuances and almost US$1 trillion in financial assets across GCC countries.

Dubai remains one of the world’s largest centres for Sukuk listings by value at $62 billion, with DIFC-based Nasdaq Dubai at $60 billion.

The DIFC continues to be a catalyst for growth in this sector, with more than 40 firms offering sharia-compliant products and services, using the Centre as a springboard to reach a Muslim population of over 600 million in the Middle East and Africa region alone.

The Centre’s robust legal and regulatory environment, alongside its highly developed and dynamic financial ecosystem, has attracted major Islamic institutions such as Maybank Islamic Berhad to establish their regional headquarters in Dubai.

Commenting on the achievement, Arif Amiri, CEO of DIFC Authority, said, “The growth in the number of financial institutions with a sharia-compliant offering, alongside the rise of Islamic assets managed from the DIFC highlights the increasing demand for Islamic financial products in the region. Aligned with the vision of Dubai’s leadership to establish the city as the capital for Islamic economy, we are committed to continuously enhancing our world-class business environment to support the growth of sharia transactions here in the Centre.”

The Centre has also become the preferred home for emerging Islamic FinTech firms, contributing to the UAE’s position as the fourth largest Islamic FinTech hub in the world. The DIFC has showcased its commitment to developing the sector by establishing dedicated an Islamic FinTech stream in its award-winning FinTech Hive accelerator programme, alongside RegTech, InsurTech and FinTech.


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