According to experts, fines have been increased to between Dh100,000 and Dh1 million for forgery or counterfeiting; knowingly using a forged or counterfeit trademark; using in bad faith a trademark owned by another; possession of material for the imitation or counterfeit of a registered trademark; and importing or exporting of counterfeit products.
As per the law, severe penalties are issued for (a) manufacturing or importing counterfeit works; (b) disrupting or impairing electronic data aiming at managing copyrights; and (c) downloading or storing computer programmes, applications or databases without a license from the author or right’s holder. Such offences now carry a minimum imprisonment of 6 months and/or a fine of between Dh100,000 - Dh700,000 (previous penalty was minimum three months imprisonment and fine of Dh 50,000 - Dh 500,000 under the Repealed Copyright Law).
It is a great initiative to introduce the new laws for the purpose of raising awareness concerning user protection and rights. Given the modern technology used in creating firms' trademarks, the new regulations provide for more flexibility in integrating unique trademark designs while ensuring their legal protection.