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A Quick Guide to UAE Intellectual Property Law with Al Kabban & Associates

Home / Intellectual Property / A Quick Guide to UAE Intellectual Property Law with Al Kabban & Associates
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Intellectual Property (IP) law plays a significant role in fostering innovation, creativity, and economic development across industries in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). With the rapid expansion of digital technology, entrepreneurship, and creative pursuits, securing and enforcing IP rights have become all the more critical for businesses and individual creators operating in the UAE. Understanding the nuances of UAE intellectual property law and employing effective strategies for IP protection and monetisation are essential in maintaining competitive advantage and deriving value from your intellectual assets. Al Kabban & Associates, a leading UAE law firm with expertise in intellectual property law, offers comprehensive guidance to clients to safeguard and commercially exploit their valuable ideas and creations.

This comprehensive guide aims to provide insights and support for individuals, entrepreneurs, and businesses navigating the complex domain of intellectual property law in the UAE. Delving into critical topics, including copyrights, trademarks, patents, and trade secrets, the guide ensures readers acquire a robust understanding necessary to protect and monetise their intellectual property assets. Additionally, this guide will showcase Al Kabban & Associates’ proficiency in handling IP law matters, demonstrating their commitment to providing tailored legal solutions to address the unique challenges faced by clients in the UAE intellectual property landscape.

Trust Al Kabban & Associates to guide you through the dynamic world of UAE intellectual property law, ensuring that your valuable creations are duly protected and monetised. By staying well-informed on the legal landscape and partnering with the right legal experts, you can successfully secure and capitalise on your innovation and creativity in the increasingly competitive UAE market.

Understanding the IP Legal Framework in the UAE

The UAE’s intellectual property legal framework comprises federal laws, regulations, and international treaties. Federal Law No. 36 of 2021 on Trademarks, Federal Law No. 38 of 2021 on Copyrights and Neighboring Rights and Federal Law No. 11 of 2021 on the Regulation and Protection of Industrial Property Rights constitute the primary legislations governing intellectual property rights in the UAE. Additionally, the UAE is a member of international agreements such as the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, and the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).

Navigating the intricate UAE intellectual property laws and regulations is crucial for the successful protection and exploitation of your creative ideas and innovations.

Copyright Protection in the UAE

Copyright law in the UAE protects original literary, artistic, and scientific works. Examples of copyright-protected works include books, articles, software, paintings, photographs, music compositions, and films. Under the UAE Copyright Law, the protection granted to the copyright holder includes the exclusive right to reproduce, distribute, publicly perform, and create derivative works.

However, copyright protection in the UAE is automatic upon the creation of the work, requiring no formal registration. Nonetheless, depositing a copy of the work with the UAE Ministry of Economy can serve as evidence of ownership, which can be beneficial in disputes. Understanding the scope of copyright protection and the rights it bestows is vital to ensure effective enforcement and commercialisation of your creative output.

Trademarks and Brand Protection in the UAE

Trademarks are an essential component of brand identity, differentiating your products and services from competitors. In the UAE, trademark protection covers not only conventional marks such as logos, names, and slogans but also unconventional marks like sounds, smells, and colours.

Registering a trademark in the UAE involves several steps, including conducting a trademark search, filing an application with the UAE Ministry of Economy, publication in the official gazette and local newspapers, and obtaining the trademark registration certificate. This process can take several months, and once granted, trademark protection in the UAE lasts for ten years before requiring renewal.

Developing a strong brand presence and protecting your trademarks from infringement are crucial aspects of a successful IP strategy in the UAE market.

Patents and Innovation in the UAE

Patent law in the UAE grants protection to innovations in the fields of science and technology that are novel, involve an inventive step, and are capable of industrial application. Patent rights allow the inventor to exclude others from making, using, or selling the invention for a limited period.

The patent application process in the UAE includes filing a detailed application with the relevant authority and obtaining a substantive examination of the invention. Once granted, the patent protection lasts for 20 years from the filing date. Importantly, inventors should consider an international patent application, such as the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) application, to secure patent protection in multiple jurisdictions, including the UAE.

Understanding the patent application process and exploring global protection options enable innovators to maximise the value of their inventions in the competitive UAE market.

Safeguarding Trade Secrets and Confidential Information in the UAE

Trade secrets, such as inventions, business strategies, client lists, and confidential information, are valuable intangible assets for businesses. In the UAE, trade secrets are principally governed by provisions in the Penal Code and the Civil Code. Additionally, the UAE implements international best practices, as outlined in the TRIPS Agreement.

To protect trade secrets effectively, businesses in the UAE must adopt a combination of legal and practical measures, such as implementing non-disclosure agreements, limiting access to confidential information, and establishing robust internal policies and procedures.


Navigating the complex world of intellectual property law in the UAE can be challenging, but partnering with a knowledgeable IP law firm like Al Kabban & Associates can ensure that your valuable intellectual property assets are protected and monetised effectively. By staying informed on relevant laws and regulations and employing tailored IP strategies, you can successfully navigate the rapidly evolving and competitive landscape of the UAE intellectual property market.

Al Kabban & Associates is here to provide you with the guidance you need when dealing with intellectual property. We have extensive knowledge in the field of Intellectual Property Law and use it to assist our clients in recognizing and protecting their intellectual property rights. Contact our law firm in the UAE today to schedule an appointment!


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