Officials take fight on fakes to schools
Pupils to be taught impact of fake trade
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.”