Protect your Brand in the Middle East and North Africa through Cerberus Dubai

If you are concerned about counterfeits in the Middle East or North Africa and need to protect your brand, email our Dubai office Dubai@cerberusip.com or call +971 430 507 43. We can help by offering quick and cost-effective IP investigations into counterfeit and infringement cases across the whole region.
In the past ten years, despite political and civil unrest in the region, the Middle East has become a hotspot for companies looking to expand their business and increase their sales. The region has been less affected by the global financial crisis in terms of consumer spending, and this is largely due to an infatuation with European and American brands and an obsession with shopping - a national pastime. Yet, with this fascination comes a great deal of risk in terms of counterfeiting, lookalikes and infringing products.
All across the region, local shops are full of the most famous brand names, often at unrealistically low prices. Counterfeit goods are everywhere. At the same time, the cost of filing a trademark in the Middle East is relatively high compared to other regions. To add to the cost, each nation of the region has different requirements, and the bureaucratic processes for each are long and tedious.
Despite the high costs and complicated processes, the filing of trademarks has risen steadily across the region in the last 20 years. The cumulative number in the United Arab Emirates was over 133,000, second only to Israel. Saudi Arabia came third with over 118,000 trademarks filed in the past 20 years. The top five countries registering trademarks in the region were Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. The top categories were pharmaceuticals, electrical/scientific apparatus, advertising/business, cosmetics, and staple foods. In 2011, the United Arab Emirates was the number one country registering trademarks with over 25,000 in that year alone (Thomson Reuters, 2012). This is not surprising when considering the culture of consumerism, shopping-tourism, and the importance of brand-recognition among locals.
With increased brand recognition, trademark infringement is also on the rise. According to the Software Business Alliance, the share of worldwide software piracy is 79% for the Middle East. In addition, 30% of music sales in Saudi Arabia were pirated copies. Counterfeit pharmaceuticals are also prevalent in the region, not only posing a threat to profits, but also endangering the health of the consumers who purchase them. In Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, where shopping can be considered the national pastime, trademark infringement for luxury brand clothing and accessories runs rampant, and copies of the most famous brand-named products can be found in most of the local souks at greatly reduced prices. In short, protecting brands against counterfeiting and copyright infringement is a must for any business in the Middle Eastern market.