x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

US and UAE work to fight pirated goods

THe two nations are working together to improve the enforcement of intellectual property rights to counter the sale of pirated goods.

The UAE and the United States are working together to improve the enforcement of intellectual property rights to counter the sale of pirated goods. Mohammed al Muhairi, the Federal Customs Authority's director general, met a delegation from the US this week. The UAE wanted more information about how the US dealt with intellectual property rights (IPR) protections and breaches, he said.

The meeting had also addressed more comprehensive sharing of information with US customs officials. The UAE was once seen as a black spot for trade in fake goods and copyright breaches but the Heritage Foundation, a Washington-based conservative think tank, said in its 2008 freedom guide that the UAE now "leads the region in protecting intellectual property rights". The pace has increased this year, beginning in February with a conference hosted by Dubai Customs and the World Customs Organisation. In May, the "Dubai declaration" set the international benchmark for the tracking and seizing of counterfeit goods. The initiative included Dubai Customs setting up the first IPR unit in the Middle East.

In August, raids organised by Microsoft through the Business Software Alliance and the Ministry of Economy in Abu Dhabi and Dubai resulted in five arrests and the seizure of 122 disks and five hard drives. jhenzell@thenational.ae