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UAE starts stage two of patent protection initiative with South Korea

by Ahmad Saleh & Sharaf Al Hijazin -  /

The UAE has been at the forefront of regional jurisdictions seeking to strengthen their intellectual property framework and enhance their legal protections so as to become the region’s leading hub for innovations.

The UAE authorities are conscious that the development of systems that adopt international best practice standards for the examination and granting of patents is one of the main propellants of innovation and investment in the UAE. In accordance with the UAE’s 2021 vision, the Ministry of Economy has been working hard to develop and encourage innovation, research and development, to advance its target of having the Knowledge Economy contribute to 5% of the UAE’s GDP.

In light of furthering its strategic commitments above, the UAE’s Ministry of Economy has recently announced the inauguration of stage two of its collaboration with KIPO, the Korean Intellectual Property Office. This unprecedented project aims to propel the UAE’s 2021 vision through the development of the UAE Patent Office’s capabilities for the examination and granting of patent applications.  A number of patent examiners from KIPO have moved to the UAE to assist the UAE Patent Office with the examination of patent applications. This is an advancement over the first stage collaboration between the parties where KIPO was assisting remotely with the examination of UAE patent applications. 

The South Korean system, lead by KIPO, has long been a reflection of the best practices adopted by leading jurisdictions worldwide for the protection and development of IP rights.

Through this collaborative project, the UAE’s government has seized the opportunity to build a leading patents system that is inspired by the experiences of one of the world’s most developed IP authorities. This second stage of collaboration will lay the foundations for patent examinations and grants based on a framework of international best practice. The UAE has highlighted is seriousness in advancing this project to the next stage whereby specialists from both jurisdictions will begin to develop plans to create an information system with specialized programs for the exchange of information to enhance the protection of patents and inventions. This will include an action plan with strict timescales and recommendations that reflect the best practices adopted by KIPO and as customized to meet the UAE’s needs. 

The UAE is already recognized for its innovation. According to the 2014 Global Innovation Index the UAE ranked the first in the region and thirty sixth globally, up two ranks from last year. The index is part of a report published by Cornel University, the European Insead and the World Intellectual Property Organization and is used by business executives, investors and policymakers to gauge innovation capabilities and measurable results in a respective jurisdiction. The World Economic Forum has acknowledged that the UAE’s Economy is progressing towards a knowledge and innovation-based economy whereby innovation is seen to be the future’s capital.