Al Majd Law Firm Sunday organised a workshop on brand protection for the Qatari authorities concerned, aiming at enhancing awareness on authentic products and brands and how to identify fake and counterfeit ones to avoid the adverse consequences for both consumers and companies.
The workshop was organised in collaboration with Mercedes-Benz Company in co-operation with MENSA Intellectual Property Rights Management Company, and Marca Advisory Company. The participants were from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and the Customs Department in addition to a number of lawyers and others interested in the issue.
Addressing the workshop, lawyer Mohamed bin Lahdan al-Hassan al-Muhannadi, chairman of Al Majd Law Firm, thanked the participants and organisers for taking part in the important event to focus on the negative impact of counterfeiting and imitating commercial brands and the pressing need to protect commercial brands and counteract counterfeiting in Qatar.
Al-Muhannadi pointed out that counterfeits of commercial brands and imitations obstruct the products’ ability to perform their targeted functions and could lead to big losses for the companies concerned, undermine their reputation and the customer confidence in their products and services.
Besides, it causes harm to the consumers who become victims of deceit and fraud that at times could also be detrimental to their health and safety. He stressed this also harms the overall market. Official sources estimated the amount of the losses to the Qatari market because of the spread of counterfeit products at more than QR182mn a year.
Al-Muhannadi explained that Qatar has been keen on regulating the protection of commercial brand under Law No 9 for 2002 regarding “Trademarks, Trade Indications, Trade names, Geographical Indications and Industrial Designs and Templates”.
Article 20 of this law gives all due legal protection to the owner of the registered trademark and Article 47 of the same law penalises anyone who counterfeits or imitates such trademarks with prison term and fines or any of these penalties.
Further, Law No 7 for 2014, promulgating the Law (Regulation) of Trademarks in the GCC countries gives extra protection for the owners of brands on a regional level.
The fundamental treatment of the issue requires more co-operation among the stakeholders to monitor the market and detect fake and counterfeit products in addition to raising public awareness, he said.
Prof Salah Zaineddin, professor of Commercial Law, Intellectual Property, and Maritime Law, College of Law, Qatar University, gave a detailed lecture on the involved legal issues of the topic and the related legislations and international agreements and conventions in this regard. He also gave examples of court cases on the same issue locally and internationally.
A hands on training on the difference between genuine and counterfeit parts of Mercedes-Benz auto parts was carried out and how to identify both of them through various indicators and marks.
The workshop concluded with al-Muhannadi presenting certificate of participation to the attendees.
The workshop in session Sunday. PICTURE: Shaji Kayamkulam
Lawyer Mohamed bin Lahdan al-Hassan al-Muhannadi. PICTURE: Shaji Kayamkulam