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Abu-Ghazaleh Calls for Establishing a GCC Trademark Office

01-Oct-2014 | Source : | Visits : 7020
Abu-Ghazaleh Calls for Establishing a GCC Trademark Office
Special to ag-IP-news Agency
DUBAI - HE Dr. Talal Abu-Ghazaleh, chairman of Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Organization (TAG-Org), discussed in his keynote speech the threats and challenges encountering Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) protection along with his recommendations during the opening ceremony of the Intellectual Property Law in the Middle East 2014 Conference held at the JW Marriott Marquis Hotel in Dubai. 
Now in its third successful year, the two-day Conference offers a unique environment to share experience and enhance knowledge of key IP issues in this fast developing region. 
In his speech entitled “Protecting and Enforcing your IP Rights to Improve your Business Performance and Revenue”, Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh talked about the impact of the so-called Arab Spring on the IPR protection among other significant related issues.
“Since it was marketed on us, I refused the word spring, as in spring it blossoms roses not atrocities. The impact of this “No Spring” resulted in IPR becoming a lower priority for all; impediments to proceedings for security problems; disruption in troubled countries; increase in official fees; lower public awareness; less investment in development of operational programs, and less investment in capacity building.”
Addressing the attendees, Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh stated: “I have been in this business of IPR protection since 1960. TAGIP (AGIP) is our vehicle for protection, TAGLegal for litigation, and the Arab Society for Intellectual Property (ASIP) for capacity building and development of IP systems and Laws. Since many years, we remain in China as the only foreign IPR company on the IP advisor committee. For over a decade, we have worked on development to laws throughout the world and on IP capacity building in all countries.”
Meanwhile, Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh applauded the Saudi Arabia and GCC patent offices for the admirable level of protection services they maintain, and said that similarly the UAE who has gone a long way in its protection disciplines. “The GCC model of one-stop-shop for applications, while enforcement is vested with the GCC countries separately, cuts down on registration cost in each country versus a single fee.”
However, he warned that there is still a problem of public awareness even within the country of production; as there is a misunderstanding of the importance of protection. “Some believe that all inventions should be free for all as a human right. If that was to happen, no one will invest in research and R&D and no inventions will be there to provide us with medicine as well as all other tools of life and we will be back to the Stone Age.”
To address this issue, Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh urged for public awareness programs, while serving on WIPO’s industry board. “We also urged for that in our capacity as observers at the WIPO meetings. Whenever I could, during my tenor on global organizations, I called for a new protection discipline in the digital Era. As an expert panelist at the WTO I called for the need to negotiate an IPR internet agreement.”
He also stressed the significance of information saying, “We all know that information is power. My organization built over the decades a database of all published trademarks in the region and we are planning considering expanding this centralized database for all countries of the world. From our initial launch of services we captured the power of ICT as an enabler and built an ICT-based IPR firm. We are now moving our operation to a private TAG-Cloud, which will be accessible to all the TAG-Org communities as well as all partners and associates throughout the world. This will expedite our drive for global spread from 80 offices now to 100 by the end of 2015.”
In concluding, Abu-Ghazaleh expressed his belief that countering the No Arab Spring would be achieved by Promoting E-Registration (beyond ICT use) by Government & by IP Community; Using GCC patent office for examination and as a model for all countries; Improving the litigation process and encourage litigation; Developing GCC Patent Office into an Arab Patent office by inviting countries to accede; Investing in Capacity Building: using (ASIP) qualifications programs; Promoting Online publication of TM; Harmonizing Arab Laws, and Calling for An Internet IPR treaty. 
“I urge the GCC to establish a GCC TM Office, similar to the GCC Patent office, now that the GCC TM law is dawning,” Abu-Ghazaleh concluded.

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