The final Law Update of 2022 is here, and it’s packed full of articles. The double edition features two focus areas, first is a spotlight on Energy and Resources and second we feature a collection of articles on Transport and Logistics. The developments occurring in these sectors in the MENA region are unprecedented and our lawyers cover vast themes for you.
The Energy and Resources focus features topics such as diversifying energy resources, solar PV, mining in the Middle East, renewable energy and green hydrogen. From a transport perspective, we draw attention to the Bahrain metro project, discuss the challenges and remedies associated with the repossession of an aircraft, and there is advice on what to consider should a party vary the terms of a shipping contract.
This edition navigates you through updates from across jurisdictions such as, Oman, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iraq, Qatar, and the UAE. Each article is timely and provides insights into legal issues and cases that are affecting these sectors across the region.Read the full edition
Intellectual Property Protection Committee
A new Intellectual Property Protection Committee (the “IPPC”) has been recently established at the Kuwait Trademark Office (the “TMO”) which is now the competent authority to receive all complaints related to trademark infringement. The IPPC has amongst its members the Commercial Control Department (“CCD”), which carries out the raids against the suspected shops, and the Criminal Evidence Department (the “CED”) which prepares and issues expertise reports on whether confiscated goods are counterfeit or not.
The procedures for filing complaints before the IPPC have simplified matters procedurally. Complaints used to be filed before the Undersecretary Commercial Control at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (the “MOCI”), and it took a long time for the complaints to reach the competent CCD. The previous procedures involved formal letters exchanged by the several departments. The procedure now is now more streamlined, with the complaint being filed with the IPPC. Once filed, the IPPC will immediately liaise with the relevant CCD department and provide guidance on how to proceed with the complaint. It is also possible for the plaintiff to follow up with the relevant CCD department directly without having to wait for official correspondence between the different authorities and departments. The committee members also coordinate with each other in several ways including creating a group on the “Whatsapp” application through which they plan to secure fast and effective coordinated actions.
The requirements for filing a complaint before the IPPC are simple and only the following documents must be enclosed along with the complaint itself:
Further, for expensive products, the IPPC is considering excusing the plaintiffs from providing samples of the genuine product. However, one sample of such products will have to be submitted at a later stage to the CED so that they may compile their expert report.
The new measures are an indication of the TMO and associated governmental agencies giving importance to the fight against counterfeiting, and it is expected that these measures will evolve in the near future to increase effectiveness and efficiencies and deter counterfeiters. The current procedures are much improved from the previous procedures, which involved complicated steps. In the older procedures, the initial step was filing the complaint before theMOCI notwithstanding that its only function was to accept the complaint and send the file to the competent CCD through formal and lengthy procedures and then receive the file back from the CCD to arrange to send it to the Public Prosecutor. With the current procedures, the process is much faster as the complaint is now filed before the IPPC, in which the CCD is a member. After the filing of the complaint, the CCD is able to begin its work with regards to the complaint almost immediately.