14 April 2020

UAE slashes IP service fees during pandemic

The United Arab Emirates’ (UAE)  economics ministry has cut service fees, including for IP registration, to help businesses cope during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Economy minister Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri announced on Sunday, April 12, a 25% reduction in fees for services such as trademark registrations.

Other fees, like for the use of the certified ‘Made in UAE’ mark on products, were cut by 95%.

The UAE estimated the total value of the fee reductions at AED113 million ($31 million).

“Reducing fees for services provided by the Ministry of Economy to individuals and companies will reduce the cost of establishing and conducting business in the country and will reduce the burden on commercial and investment institutions,” Al Mansouri said.

Fees for a total of 94 services altogether have been cut, including collective management licence fees, as well as for UAE ‘origin certificates’.

IP offices around the world have taken steps to maintain access to services, as small businesses bear the immediate brunt of the COVID-19-enforced economic shutdown.

The  UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has effectively extended deadlines for filings with the introduction of “interrupted days”, designed to give applicants and IP owners more time to complete applications.

China’s  National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA), meanwhile, has decided it will not seek fees for late patent annuity payments if businesses can prove the delay is related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The CNIPA is also extending support for  IP pledge financing, allowing small businesses to use IP as collateral to secure capital during the pandemic.

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