United Arab Emirates

The UAE IP scene is finally heating up. The government has responded to the worldwide slump in oil prices by investing significantly in R&D and nurturing start-ups; it is hoped that Dubai will emerge as a regional tech hub and ensure that the United Arab Emirates remains a global player long after the oil has run out. IP practitioners are optimistic about the potential effects of this strategic reorientation and already note a heightened awareness of the importance of patent protection among local businesses and entrepreneurs. However, the national patent office still has limited resources at its disposal. It recently introduced an online system for the payment of annuities – an encouraging step forward – but several rights holders found that some of their patents were missing from the system and had to work proactively with officials to rectify this.

Firms

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Al Tamimi & Company - Advocates and Legal Consultants
Cedar White Bradley
Clyde & Co LLP
Rouse & Co International
Al Tamimi & Company - Advocates and Legal Consultants
With 17 offices across nine countries, Al Tamimi & Company is the largest law firm in the Middle East; moreover, each of its litigators has a right of audience before local courts, a unique strength enabling it to offer 360-degree support in each jurisdiction. In Dubai, its commercially minded and cost-effective IP service has earned it a loyal fan base among start-ups, universities and wold-renowned multinationals. Never losing sight of the ultimate business picture, the firm’s patent whizzes put together solution-oriented counsel that makes commercial sense and comes at the right price. Spearheading the team, Ahmad Saleh is a “fantastic patent attorney who drafts patents with aplomb. He’s one of the best in the country when it comes to prosecution". His strong technical background sets him apart from the crowd and enables him to speak with engineers in their own language – something that they truly value.
Cedar White Bradley
Cedar White Bradley’s patent practice may be new on the scene but it is as well rounded as those of its competitors, providing effective and timely solutions for any patent conundrum. The firm stands out for its ability to help universities commercialise their research; its versatile practitioners have the corporate expertise required to advise on the creation of transfer offices and the technical knowledge necessary to exploit all assets effectively. Hallmarks of the side’s service are its professionalism and promptness. David Harper leads the line with a steady hand. “He’s a true filing specialist – very impressive.” Clients knocking on his door receive clear, concise and error-free reports time and time again.
Clyde & Co LLP
With a 50-strong IP squad spread across six countries, Clyde & Co has the resources and personnel to furnish rights holders with resolutely international support; it has four lawyers with technical backgrounds in chemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology and aeronautical engineering, allowing it to handle matters arising in a broad variety of areas. Issues surrounding Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) patents are a particular forte. Having been operating in the United Arab Emirates for nearly three decades now, it can also boast unrivalled local knowledge and an intimate understanding of the workings of the national patent office. Indeed, thanks in no small part to a strong relationship with examiners, the side has managed to expedite the examination of patents that were pending for several years. Adept at registration, enforcement and commercialisation issues, Rob Deans embodies the team’s holistic ethos. He is a tireless worker who ensures that every element of his clients’ applications is as smooth as silk. His business-savvy teammate Joycia Young is no less indefatigable. She is unflagging in her search for new commercialisation opportunities and has a wealth of experience sewing up licensing contracts. Since establishing IP operations in the United Arab Emirates in Spring 2016, Gowling WLG has been blazing a bright trail. Cooperating intimately with teammates in the United Kingdom, Canada, China, Russia and Singapore, the Dubai cohort serves up global strategies that get great results. A notable highlight is it taking over a significant portfolio in the GCC, Egypt and Libya for a US chemicals company. Jon Parker was instrumental in winning this mandate. He wears the captain’s armband and leads by example; his practical, business-focused advice is as good as it gets and, what is more, it is delivered at lightning speed.
Rouse & Co International
Rouse & Co’s razor-sharp IP sages regularly save the day on patent applications that seem to be going nowhere or that have been allowed to lapse. In the last 12 months, the firm’s inbound prosecution practice has been coming on leaps and bounds, with exciting work for rights holders in an impressive range of industries. Its team of foreign-qualified patent attorneys means that unlike many of its competitors, it can carry out all drafting in-house. Co-head of its worldwide patent and technology practice, Sara Holder is the star of the show. Her strong leadership and cool temperament immediately instil confidence in clients; she handles the United Arab Emirates University’s contentious and non-contentious IP problems with flair and finesse.

Individuals

Mark Bone-Knell - Bone-Knell Symons Intellectual Property
Rob Deans - Clyde & Co LLP
David Harper - Cedar White Bradley
Sara Holder - Rouse & Co International
Jon Parker - Gowling WLG
Ahmad Saleh - Al Tamimi & Company - Advocates and Legal Consultants
Joycia Young - Clyde & Co LLP
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Issue 90