Dubai Customs intensified its efforts in 2015 to protect intellectual property rights and to effectively contribute to encouraging creators and innovators in developing new ideas and innovations. The Dubai Customs drive goes along with the UAE Innovation Year, which was declared by the Cabinet under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE President. The Innovation Year was also crowned by the leading initiatives to stimulate creativity and innovation launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister, and Ruler of Dubai.
Dubai Customs has firmly stood against infringements of intellectual property rights in order to protect society and the economy from the harm of counterfeit goods, and to support a competitive investment environment in Dubai by enabling producers to avoid losses arising from imitation of their brands. Consequently, the number of seizures of IPR-infringing items carried out by Dubai Customs in 2015 was about 135 seizures, worth up to AED 16.8 million. The seized goods included electronics, watches, glasses, clothing, fabrics, perfumes and cosmetics, medicines and medical equipment, tires, auto spare parts, telephones and accessories, computers and other imports.
Mr. Saeed Ahmed Al Tayer, Executive Director of Policies and Legislation Division at Dubai Customs said: “Intellectual property rights protection gains double importance in the evolution course of our national economy at the current stage, particularly that the UAE has an orientation to focus on unleashing the spirit of creativity and innovation in government work and in society at large.” Al Tayer went on to say: “The new ideas and innovations have become the most important foundations for the process of overall economic development in the country. Therefore, IPR plays a key role in supporting and protecting innovators from piracy attempts targeting their novel products.
“Accordingly, we put the protection of intellectual property rights on top of our priorities at Dubai Customs, and are working to improve the level of our performance in dealing with counterfeit goods, by providing the best levels of training for staff and inspectors in the circuit, to enable them to detect counterfeiting and piracy efficiently, backed by the best innovations and technologies in the control and inspection field.”
He further underlined that Dubai Customs was also keen to develop and use the latest smart applications of information technology in the inspections, as we continuously strengthen our efforts to motivate staff on creativity and innovation in all areas of our business, as well as support their initiatives and ideas for the development of new solutions in the field of inspection.
Meanwhile, the Executive Director of Dubai Customs’ Policies and Legislation Division, indicated, "In 2015, we added several new innovations to the system of inspection at Dubai Customs, as we marked the Year of Innovation with the launch of customs smart system of bags inspection, the first of its kind in the airports of the world. This system, developed by the efforts of Dubai Customs staff, is a smart and innovative table for inspection that provides all the necessary toolkits for the inspection of travelers’ luggage. Moreover, the table is designed to serve the working conditions at the airport and take into account the passengers with special needs. Furthermore, Dubai Customs launched in 2015 the eco-friendly mobile laboratory, which is an amphibious vehicle carrying 10 advanced inspection devices which are all solar-powered and can operate round the clock. All such innovations support our rich track record in the development of screening and inspections; first and foremost the advanced container scanning system which is characterized by the ability to examine 150 containers within one hour, in addition to the risk engine system capable of assessing about 84% of non-risky shipments and clearance of transactions electronically without human intervention in less than two minutes. "
Al Tayer also stated: “Dubai Customs efforts in the area of protection of intellectual property rights is not limited to addressing the smuggling of counterfeit goods through Customs ports, but also includes parallel awareness-raising efforts for DC staff and staff of local, federal, and GCC government agencies, as well as many community groups to publicize the importance of intellectual property rights and the risks resulting from the consumption of counterfeit materials on health, the economy and society. In this context, we sustained our efforts in 2015 to work on spreading the culture of protection of intellectual property in the community to promote public engagement in addressing counterfeit goods. We have organized lectures to all segments of society on IPR protection and the dangers of counterfeit goods. Hence, the number of awareness-raising events organized by the department for different groups in the last year reached 31 events, with 10181 beneficiaries. During 2015, the department has also organized, in cooperation with our partners in the private sector and owners of international brands in the world's major companies, five workshops to train staff and inspectors to detect counterfeit goods; attended by 184 participants from Customs agencies, ministries and government institutions in the UAE and friendly nations in the GCC.”
Furthermore, Al-Tayer stressed that Dubai Customs effectively contributes to the global effort to develop the protection of intellectual property rights. “In 2015, we participated in organizing and attending several local and international conferences specializing in the field of intellectual property. The Department responded to an invitation from the Japan External Trade Organization, "JETRO" to visit Japan, and a DC delegation made a tour in several Japanese cities, starting with the capital Tokyo, through Nagoya, Osaka and Kyoto. During the visit, the delegation gave lectures to the Japanese business community about Dubai Customs efforts to protect intellectual property rights. We also took part in the activities of the Fourth Arab Forum for Combating Commercial Fraud, which was held in Riyadh. We presented to the participants in the Forum the experience of Dubai Customs in tackling counterfeit goods and commercial fraud. Moreover, DC participated actively in the 5th Conference of Combating Criminal Offenses Against Intellectual Property, which was organized last November by the Emirates Association for Intellectual Property and Interpol. And H.E Ahmed Mahboob Musabah, Dubai Customs Director, delivered the keynote address at the opening session of the conference. We have also provided the conference with presentation about our efforts and our experience at Dubai Customs in terms of protection of intellectual property rights, and we chaired a key session about global brainstorming, which was held during the conference. Besides, we organized a training workshop attended by officials and specialists from several government agencies, and we had other important participations in the UAE's efforts pertaining to the intellectual property crime program, Ideas Arabia conference and competition, as well as in the third Summit of Governments. "
He pointed out that in 2015 Dubai Customs honored His Excellency Lieutenant General Dahi Khalfan Tamim, deputy chief of police and public security Dubai, who is also honorary chairman of Emirates Intellectual Property Association for his outstanding efforts and major role in spreading the culture of the fight against counterfeiting and piracy in the community. During this event, Dahi Khalfan was chosen "Personality of the Year” for Intellectual Property. on the occasion of World Intellectual Property Day of 2015. During Dubai Customs celebration of World IP Day, Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, chairman of DP World, chairman of Customs Ports and Free Zone Corporation, confirmed his commitment to participate actively in international efforts to protect intellectual property rights, to support the growth and advancement of the global economy.
For his part, Yousef Ozair Mubarak, director of the IPR Department at Dubai Customs, said "The IPR Department participated in the activities of Dubai Customs within the UAE Innovation Week during the period from 22 to 28 November 2015. We held an event geared for children at Kidzania of Dubai Mall, aimed at encouraging them to innovate, where they were instructed on how to invent a future project by implementing the idea and concept design, and then registering such ideas with the Trademark Recording Section of Dubai Customs. During this function, the suggested notions were accompanied by writing each child’s future dream, and were placed in the “Dream Factory Box”. In addition, and during another event named ‘how do you see Dubai over the next five years’, children were encouraged to write down their perceptions of future Dubai. On the occasion of the 44th UAE National Day, flags and scarves were distributed to the children who painted portraits and wrote words expressive of the National Day, with the participation of the kids of Dubai Childcare Center."
The Director of IPR Department stated that Dubai Customs attaches great importance to the dissemination of intellectual property rights culture among the new generations. In this regard, the Department has launched, since 2007, the Intellectual Property Award for Schools and Universities, to inform and educate students about intellectual property rights. Since its inception and until the session of the school year 2014- 2015, the number of schools and universities that participated in the Dubai Customs IPR Award’s five categories has increased to more than 110 schools and 13 universities. The ninth session of the Award for the academic year 2015 – 2016 has been launched, focusing on linking the protection of intellectual property rights with stimulating creativity and innovation, to keep pace with the UAE wise leadership initiatives to spread the culture of innovation in the community.