Updates from our Dubai office

Cate Wells, our Managing Director in Dubai, shares some recent anti-counterfeiting investigations, successes and brand protection news from our Dubai Office.

Brand Owner’s inaugural case for seizing diverted medical devices in the UAE

TenIntelligence’s Brand Protection Team in Dubai recently completed a significant instruction for a multinational medical devices and pharmaceutical client, regarding the sale of diverted medical devices.

Diverted products can be described as the “practice in which genuine products intended for a particular market are diverted and sold in another, usually without the knowledge or permission of the brand owner”.

What’s the problem with original products being diverted?

When products are diverted to another jurisdiction, other than where they were originally intended, there is no “control” on how they are stored and handled. Consider the impact of medical devices which may be affected by temperature, for example. What would the effect be to a medical
device when exposed to high temperatures? Would the device work or would it have serious health and safety implications or repercussions? Who would be to blame if a patient used the product and it didn’t work or caused a serious health problem – the retailer or the brand owner?

By performing due diligence, conducting site visits and making purchases of their branded products (which were not for sale directly in the shop), the client was able to thoroughly examine the packaging and cross check all reference numbers to confirm the products had been diverted.
Although the medical devices were original, they did not comply with local legislation, (GSO: 1943:2016).

With evidence provided and samples secured by our team, information was passed to a local law enforcement authority (Dubai Economic Department) and a complaint filed against the trader. The inspectors thoroughly checked the premises (and the secret storage area identified by our team), resulting in the seizure of  approximately 240 boxes.

All cases are important; however, this was especially significant as it was the first time the brand owner filed a complaint in the UAE in relation to diverted products. It was also our first task for this client – a nice win-win!

Luxury fashion house successfully raids premises in Jebel Ali Free Zone and Secret Apartments in Dubai 

TenIntelligence regularly provides intelligence to a well-known fashion power house; collecting precise and clear details relating to traders selling
counterfeit versions of their products. The information supplied includes layouts of showrooms, how to enter secret storage areas, and quantities
available (as seen). Think of it as buying a house, a buyer reviews the floor plans prior to purchasing – we draw these floor plans, indicating where the counterfeited products are located, and identify how to access these secret rooms (remote control, by a key stored in a specific cupboard, drawer, location etc.). The floor plans have assisted local law enforcement authorities in locating these “secret” areas, thus yielding a larger quantity of fake products.

December saw successful raids carried out at premises in Jebel Ali Free Zone and Dubai.

The Brand Protection Team attends the 7th Regional Intellectual Property (IP) Crime Conference, Middle East and North Africa

Each year, TenIntelligence attends many IP conferences such as the Regional Intellectual Property (IP) Crime Conference, Middle East and North Africa, as it provides the opportunity to meet with local law enforcement authorities across the region to discuss current trends, enquiries and re-establish links in one arena.

Such events also offer a relaxed meeting environment for both Brand Owners and Intellectual Property Specialists to discuss ongoing and future projects.