Of­fi­cials take fight on fakes to schools

Pupils to be taught im­pact of fake trade

7 Days in Dubai - - FRONT PAGE - By Nawal Al Ramahi @nawal_ramahi nawal@7days.ae

Anti-coun­ter­feit­ing officers are to visit schools as part of ef­forts to ed­u­cate the pub­lic about the dam­age the fake goods trade is do­ing to the econ­omy.

A pi­lot scheme will in­volve 500 pupils in Dubai be­ing taught about the im­pact the busi­ness has and how the city has be­come a hub for fake bags, sun­glasses and elec­tron­ics.

Dr Ab­dul­rah­man Al­muaini, the Emi­rates In­tel­lec­tual Prop­erty As­so­ci­a­tion Gen­eral Sec­re­tary, ac­knowl­edged the au­thor­i­ties are mak­ing big­ger and big­ger seizures ev­ery year - but said the ap­petite of res­i­dents and vis­i­tors for lux­ury brands at low prices con­tin­ues to pre­vail.

Al­muaini was speak­ing on the second day of the Re­gional Con­fer­ence on Com­bat­ing Crimes against In­tel­lec­tual Prop­erty.

On the first day, Dubai Cus­toms of­fi­cials re­vealed they have seized Dhs49 mil­lion worth of fake goods so far this year, up from Dhs17 mil­lion in the whole of 2015.

Amuaini said: “The UAE has made re­mark­able achieve­ments within a few years in pre­vent­ing vi­o­la­tions of In­tel­lec­tual Prop­erty rights. The UAE au­thor­i­ties have tight­ened con­trol mea­sures across all emi­rates.

“In an at­tempt to raise aware­ness, Dubai Cus­toms will se­lect 500 pupils to ed­u­cate them about the dan­gers of coun­ter­feit goods.” 7DAYS asked Al­muaini whether there are plans to pun­ish con­sumers for buy­ing fakes, but he said the crim­i­nal­ity lies solely with the dealer. He said: “There are no such laws that pun­ish con­sumers for buy­ing coun­ter­feit items. “How­ever, items such as copied DVDs, mu­sic and books are il­le­gal un­der coun­ter­feit leg­is­la­tion, that makes it a crim­i­nal of­fence to ei­ther sell or copy oth­ers’ in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty.” Dr Maha Bakheet Zaki, an in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty ex­pert from the Arab League’s Sec­tor of Eco­nomic Af­fairs, said at the con­fer­ence: “We have been deal­ing with the issue of coun­ter­feit prod­ucts for so long - and we have to col­lab­o­rate to­gether to curb this prob­lem.”

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