United Arab Emirates IP Experts 2023

28 February 2023

United Arab Emirates IP Experts 2023

When you think of the United Arab Emirates, it’s likely that Dubai, and its wonderous shopping centres, indoor ski slopes, sky-scraping Burj Khalifa and far-reaching Emirates airline, are among the first things that come to mind. But Dubai is also quietly carving out a spot as the intellectual property hub of the Middle East. 

The UAE – a country made up of seven separate emirates, including Abu Dhabi and Dubai, as well as Ajman, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm Al Quwain – is home to large-scale trade, including large amounts of imports and transhipments. The Ministry of Economy handles IP protection in the Emirates, and the government regularly undertakes its best efforts to ensure the country has access to the best IP practices, laws and regulations in the region. 

Earlier this month, Lieutenant General Dhahi Khalfan Tamim, deputy chairman of Police and General Security in Dubai, and honorary president of the Emirates Intellectual Property Association, said that the UAE has made rapid strides in the field of protecting rights, ideas, inventions and trademarks, through its enactment of strict laws and legislations that criminalize the infringement of intellectual property of others. Tamim gave the keynote address at the opening ceremony of the 12th Regional Intellectual Property Crime Conference in Dubai. 

At the same event, Abdullah Ahmed Al Saleh, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Economy, said the UAE is working proactively to reduce intellectual property crimes by bringing about a comprehensive and qualitative development of its legislative and executive system. 

Saleh said that the growth of the legislative system for intellectual property in the UAE contributed to enhancing the growth rates of patents and innovation, as the Ministry of Economy achieved a 55 percent growth in the number of patent applications registered with it during 2022 compared to 2021, and a 30.6 percent growth in the number of patent applications. Industrial design applications registered for 2022 compared to 2021, while the number of patent applications examined for 2022 increased by a growth rate of 5.4 percent compared to 2021. 

Saleh also said that the country succeeded in registering 21,322 local trademarks and 5,051 international trademarks during 2022. The UAE also ranked first at the Arab and regional level on many indicators related to innovation and intellectual property, the most prominent of which is maintaining the first position for the year in the Arab world. It ranked seventh in a row in the Global Innovation Index for the year 2022, while it advanced two additional ranks on the general classification of the index for this year, to rank 31 globally. 

Private enterprise is also excited about opportunities in the Middle East: in October, Amazon launched its Intellectual Property Accelerator programme in the UAE, making it easier and more cost-effective for small and medium-sized enterprises to obtain trademarks, protect their brands and take on infringing goods on Amazon.ae. Local media reported that participating law firms in the UAE include SABA IP and Cedar White Bradley (CWB). 

With of this encouraging news, it suggests that there will be great demand for the professional services of intellectual property lawyers in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and else for local and overseas clients. In this issue, we pay tribute to the best of them by presenting our first-ever UAE Top 50 IP Experts list. We asked a large number of IP professionals in the region, who are mostly in-house counsel and corporate legal managers, about what they were looking for from their legal service providers, so as to understand better what clients need and want today. Based on these answers, we have compiled our list of the Top 40 IP experts in the UAE, lawyers who can best understand what their clients need and provide them with the best practical advice. 

Nowadays, it takes more than a degree from a top-notch university and a couple of decades of practice for IP lawyers to convince clients that they are the best in the field. When looking for IP advice, clients would opt for outstanding lawyers who can also understand how IP impacts the rest of their business, and advise them with practical, real-world, and business-savvy solutions. Not only do the lawyers need to have sound knowledge of the current law, but they also need to perceive coming trends that might affect clients’ business. 

Our list is categorized with the specialized fields of the experts, including patents, trademarks, copyright, enforcement, licensing and franchising, media and entertainment, IT and telecoms, pharma and biotech, and IP litigation. A total of 40 top experts from 22 law firms are presented, including Japan’s largest IP firms and practices, of course. Some of the region’s top firms are heavily represented in the list: Al Tamimi & Company placed five lawyers on our list (Xiaodi Wang, Rasha Al-Ardah, Omar Obeidat, Ahmad Saleh and Ahmad Zaza), while Gowling WLG (Rachel Armstrong, Tamara El-Shibib, Noor Hasan and Jon Parker) and Rouse each placed four lawyers (Sara Holder, Samantha Grainger, Paul Muscat and Bassel El Turk).  

Three firms each placed three lawyers on our list: Clyde & Co. (Nicole Giblin, Mark Devaney and Joycia Young), Cedar White Bradley (Theuns van de Merwe, Halim Shehadeh and David Harper) and DLA Piper (Saba Al-Sultani, Paul Allen and Jamie Ryder) each placed three lawyers on the list. 

Most of the lawyers named to our list have multiple practice specialties. Many of them are litigators, while others concentrate on prosecution work or provide strategic advice.  

All of them have something in common: they are experts in their fields and, in one way or another, they provide extra value for their clients. They are Asia IP’s Singapore IP Experts. – GREGORY GLASS 

Name  Firm  Trademarks  Patents  Copyright  Enforcement  Licensing & Franchising  Media & Entertainment  IT & Telecoms  Pharma & Biotech  IP Litigation
Geraldine Ahern Eversheds Sutherland                                 •        
Rasha Al-Ardah Al Tamimi & Company          •                
Nasser Ali Khasawneh  Eversheds Sutherland                              •            •    
Paul Allen DLA Piper                                      •            •    
Saba Al-Sultani DLA Piper          •                                 •         •
Rachel Armstrong Gowling WLG          •       •        •           •                    •                    •      
Hoda Taysir Barakat Hoda Barakat Legal Consultancy          •                
Joby Beretta The Bench          •               •                    •        
Rob Deans Deans IP          •       •              
Mark Devaney Clyde & Co.          •               •                            
James Dunne Hadef & Partners          •          •           •          
Amjad El-Husseini Abu-Ghazaleh Intellectual Property          •                
Tamara El-Shibib Gowling WLG         •              
Bassel El Turk Rouse          •       •             •                 •
Nicole Giblin Clyde & Co.          •               •          
Samantha Grainger Rouse          •               •                    •        
David Harper Cedar White Bradley          •                
Noor Hasan Gowling WLG          •          •           •                    •        
Chris Haywood Charles Russell Speechlys          •                
Mark Hill Charles Russell Speechlys          •          •           •                      •      
Sara Holder Rouse          •       •              
Hady Khawand Saba Intellectual Property          •       •              
Nevin Jacob Koshy United Trademark & Patent Services         •              
Sarmad Manto Audiri Vox          •       •              
Melissa Murray Bird & Bird          •                          •        
Paul Muscat Rouse         •              
Renée Nugent Bird & Bird          •               •          
Omar Obeidat Al Tamimi & Company          •       •              
Jon Parker Gowling WLG          •       •              
Raza Rizvi Simmons & Simmons                        •                •  
Jamie Ryder DLA Piper                            •                    •      
Ahmad Saleh Al Tamimi & Company         •              
Halim Shehadeh Cedar White Bradley          •                
Munir Suboh BSA Ahmad Bin Hezeem & Associates          •       •        •            
Kate Symons Symons          •                
Theuns van de Merwe Cedar White Bradley          •                
Xiaodi Wang Al Tamimi & Company         •              
Victoria Woods Hadef & Partners          •                          •        
Joycia Young Clyde & Co.          •       •                        •        
Ahmad Zaza Al Tamimi & Company          •               •                    •               •

The United Arab Emirates’ IP Experts is based solely on independent editorial research conducted by Asia IP. As part of this project, we turned to thousands of in-house counsel in the UAE, Asia and around the world, as well as UAE-focused partners at international law firms, and asked them to nominate private-practice lawyers including foreign legal consultants, advisers and counsel.  

The final list reflects the nominations received combined with the input of editorial team at Asia IP, which has more than 40 years of collective experience in researching and understanding the legal market in UAE. 

All private practice intellectual property lawyers working at law firms in UAE were eligible for inclusion in the nominations process; there were no fees or any other requirements for inclusion in the process. 

The names of our 50 IP Experts are published here. Each IP Expert was given the opportunity to include their biography and contact details in print and on our website, for which a fee was charged. 

Law firms

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