By Staff writer
Lawyers say small business could suffer after huge increases in patent, trademark, design and copyright costs
Lawyers say small business could suffer after intellectual property fees in Gulf countries climbed by up to 6,200 percent, it has been reported.
Price rises have made patent, trademark, design and copyright fees in the UAE, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain are some of the world’s most expensive, say lawyers.
In Kuwait, the official cost for registering a trademark is due to increase by 6,244 percent from $25 to $1,586, reported The National. Bahrain raised registration fees by 728 per cent, from $160 to $1,325 in June, while in 2015, Saudi Arabia increased the cost of renewing trademarks from $80 to $800.
In the UAE, the fee went up in 2015 by 99.9 per cent to $2,725, according to the official gazette. By contrast, the cost in the UK to register a trademark is about $293. In the US, it costs from $275 to $325.
“These price hikes are not likely to hit the big multinational companies operating in the region, which will be able to absorb the costs and will most likely put it down to part of the cost of business for operating in the region," said Jon Parker, a partner at Gowling WLG, based in Dubai. “But for small businesses and start-ups operating in the region it is a much bigger issue. These businesses have a limited budget and, given the dramatic price increases, some may be forced to decide which areas of their intellectual property they will move to protect leaving them open to having their ideas and brands used by third parties."