ITEMS worth Dhs38m were seized in 2008 for having breached Intellectual Property Rights (IPR); an abuse Dubai Customs says is determined to stamp out through different measures.
The latest course is the launch of Dubai Customs IPR Award Contest in collaboration with the Ministry of Education in Dubai. Ten government schools from all over the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have been sieved as contestants.
"Each school would be delivering an IPR project of their choice," said the Senior Manager Intellectual Property Rights Department at Dubai Customs, Yousuf Ozair while announcing the arrangement at their headquarters on Wednesday.
Flanked by the Director of Student Activities in the Ministry of Education, Ahmad Abdul Rahman and over a dozen students from the ten schools, Yousuf said that the DC will provide a subsidy of Dhs6000 to each school to help them in preparing their projects in a full-fledged format.
"At the end of the contest the results would be announced in the 2nd quarter of 2009, and three schools will be selected as winners of the top 3 projects."
He said that by protecting the IPR, the students are a better pool since they "can now take decision on their financial expenditure, but more so they will become creative and original - not copy or falsify."
"We're trying to raise comprehensive awareness at all levels particularly the educational one; seeking to protect the intellectual property rights since such protection plays a major role in supporting and enhancing the legitimate trade in the country."
The Head of School Excursion Section, Dr Nadia Fawaz said that 25 schools applied, "but after following the criteria, we emerged with only ten." She added that the project could be anything from research based or field work. "It will be open to let them [students] optimally exercise their creativity."
Yousuf revealed that abuse of intellectual property rights dropped from 256 in 2007 to 204 in 2008, "thanks to our vigilance."
However, there was no case taken to courts of law. "If the owner is interested, then he can file the case but we cannot file it on his behalf."
The IPR, said MoE's Ahmed Abdul Rahman helps in "protecting consumers against all forms of fraudulence and exploitation that aim at rapid and illegitimate earnings regardless to human health and security."
Last February, Dubai Customs hosted the 4th Global Conference on Combating Counterfeiting and Piracy. The Conference was concluded by "Dubai Declaration", which provides for a set of important initiatives and recommendations on combating counterfeiting and piracy and risks thereof to people's health and security of societies and world economy.
Source: Gulf Today/BY MATOVU A. TWAHA