WAM: The Department of Economic Development, DED, in Dubai has confiscated 19.9 million pieces of counterfeit items with an estimated market value of Dh332 million in 2018.
The department strengthened its efforts to protect trademarks and intellectual property thereby reinforcing the emirate’s competitiveness as a hub for local and international businesses as well as regional and global gateway.
In a press conference held on January 29, the Commercial Compliance and Consumer Protection, CCCP, sector in DED said that it had received a total of 330 cases from trademark owners and representatives during 2018, out of which 289 were related to trademarks and 41 involving commercial agencies. Following the announcement, the press and business representatives were invited to witness the process of destroying counterfeit goods at DED’s Umm Ramool centre.
Cosmetics ranked first in the number of goods seized – 4.9 million pieces, which was 28 percent of the total and worth Dh88.3 million. Cans and other packaging material stood next at 3.3 million pieces (valued at Dh21.4 million), followed by phones and accessories (2.3 million pieces).
In terms of the estimated value, phones and accessories ranked first at Dh98 million (34 percent of the total), followed by cosmetics, and watches (15, 1165 pieces worth Dh21.7 million).
“The Department of Economic Development strives to ensure economic activity in Dubai is free and fair while also safeguarding consumer rights as well as intellectual property rights. We are pleased with our achievements in 2018 as it confirms our role in maintaining round-the-clock vigil by way of investigation, field visits and random searches to detect counterfeit products and seize them. We also seek co-operation from trademark owners and law firms in our efforts,” Mohammed Ali Rashid Lootah, CEO of CCCP, said.
Lootah added that CCCP managed to protect 4,537 registered products, including major local and global brands, in 2018. “Our IP Portal has seen 3,477 trademark protection files opened from its launch to the end of 2018.”
US brands accounted for 1,203 (27.1 percent of the total) of those files, 656 (14.8 percent) were related to UAE brands, 357 (8.1 percent) were German, French labels were involved in 304 files (6.9 percent), British brands in 300 files (6.8 percent), Japanese brands in 257 files (5.8 percent), 234 files were Italian (5.3 percent) and 166 (3.7 percent) were Swiss.
Five countries together accounted for a majority (243) of trademark-related cases received at CCCP’s Intellectual Property Protection department in 2018 – US (57 cases, 19.8 percent of the total), UAE (49 cases, 17 percent), France (44 cases, 15.2percent), Switzerland (40 cases, 13.9 percent), Germany (24 cases, 8.3 percent), Japan (18 cases, 6.2 percent) and Italy (11 cases, 3.8 percent).
Lootah said Commercial Compliance sector’s achievements in 2018 underline DED’s strategic focus on positioning Dubai as a preferred destination for leading brands internationally, adding that DED spares no effort in enhancing Dubai’s competitiveness and reinforcing the emirate’s leadership in the global economy.
Ibrahim Behzad, Director of Intellectual Property Protection in CCCP, said, “Overall, cosmetics, duplicate packing cases, and phone accessories accounted for almost 50percent of the counterfeit goods confiscated in 2018. The remaining goods included auto parts, clothing, electrical equipment, plumbing material etc.”
“Our team conducts organised and random campaigns against counterfeit goods round the year, and we have recorded at least 3,700 confiscations in 2018. Products of four countries accounted for 63 percent of such confiscations – Switzerland (622 confiscations), France (569) Italy (556), and the US (478),” he added.