Dubai Imposes Tax on Foreign Banks: Law No. (1) of 2024 Overview

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai, issued Law No. (1) of 2024, imposing taxes on all foreign banks operating in Dubai, including private development zones and free zones. Foreign banks licensed to operate in the Dubai International Financial Center are excluded from its provisions for the income generated from, within or through the center.
The law mandates a 20% annual tax on foreign banks’ taxable income, with deduction for corporate tax as per federal decree law No. (47) of 2022 regarding corporate and business tax, if applicable. The law regulates the rules for calculating taxable income, tax return submissions and tax payments, tax auditing the tax return and voluntary declaration, and the duties and procedures related to the tax audit process.
The law specifies the rights of foreign bank and its branches licensed by the UAE Central Bank to operate in Dubai, concerning tax audits and notification procedures. It also permits the objections to the department of finance about the amount of the imposed tax or fine, with specific details as per the law’s requirements.
Regarding administrative violations and fines, the law designates them under the provisions of this law, determined by the Chairman of the Executive Council, with maximum fine of 500,000 dirhams per violation, doubling for repeated violations within 2 years from the date of committing the previous administrative violation, and not to exceed 1 million dirhams. The law also states the tax obligations duration and the rules for calculating time periods.
This law does not override the Corporate Tax Law. Instead, it complements it. The roles of the Department of Finance and the Financial Control Authority remain intact as per this law’s provisions. However, any matters not explicitly addressed in this law and its decisions are subject to the regulations outlined in the Corporate Tax Law and its decisions.

Turkey: Trademark Cancellation Process Simplified

Effective January 10, 2024, Türkiye has shifted trademark cancellation authority from courts to the Turkish Patent and Trademark Office (TPTO). This aims to simplify processes, especially in instances concerning non-use, generic, misleading, or non-compliant trademarks, anticipating a quicker, cost-effective administrative procedure likely leading to increased cancellation actions.

It must be noted that Pending cases as of January 10, 2024, will continue in the courts.

Decisions by the TPTO regarding cancellation requests cannot be directly challenged in court. Alternatively, appellants within 2 months of notification can submit written and justified appeals to the TPTO. The Re-examination and Evaluation Board (RERB) within the TPTO will review these appeals. Pursuant to Article 156 of the Turkish intellectual property law, individuals can file actions for cancelation before the Ankara Intellectual and Industrial Rights Law Court against RERB decisions within two months of notification.

These modifications mark a significant shift toward administrative procedures, requiring trademark owners and challengers to adapt their strategies accordingly. Compliance with formalities and understanding the appeals process will be crucial in navigating the new trademark cancellation framework in Türkiye. Trademark owners are urged to maintain active use and consider new applications to safeguard their rights. For challengers, the TPTO is now the primary venue for filing cancellation requests.

Libya: New Electronic Publication System with Shortened Opposition Period

The Libyan Ministry of Economy and Trade, in line with the new executive regulations (no. 26 of 2024) issued on 17 January 2024, launched an electronic trademark publication system, where 6, 236 applications for registering local and foreign trademarks, which were filed during the years 2013 to 2015 were published.

Minister of Economy and Trade, Mohammed Al-Hawaij, adopted a timetable to complete the process of electronic publication of trademark registration applications until the year 2023 by June 2024.

Additionally, the Ministry has cut down the period for receiving oppositions to register the mark from 90 days to a non-extendable 30 days starting from the date of publication on the electronic system, this strategic amendment accelerates the trademark registration process while increasing the responsibility of interested parties to act promptly.

Other important changes brought about by the Regulations are that Libya has now embraced the 11th Edition of the Nice Classification, moreover, there has been a comprehensive revision of the fee structure, resulting in a notable increase in official fees.

Minister Al-Hawaij recommended developing and improving the performance of the Trademark Office and strengthening the mechanism for publishing registration applications through the electronic system and focusing on raising awareness of the importance of protecting the trademark and the importance of intellectual property rights and preserving the distinction and quality of registered products and services.

UAE: Ministry of Economy Unveils a new Intellectual Propertysystem with 11 Innovative Initiatives

The UAE Ministry of Economy has unveiled a new intellectual property system which featuring 11 initiatives in various fields and applications of intellectual property. The object of the initiatives is to enhance innovation and creativity, and provide a competitive and suitable environment for inventors and creators to develop and transform their ideas into business opportunities and innovative projects.

Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri Minister of the Economy, highlighted the UAE’s major progress in developing a pioneering environment for intellectual property in accordance with the global standards. He emphasized that the new system will increase the revenues of the national intellectual property sector, by exporting national products and services based on innovation and modern technologies to foreign markets, attracting investments by facilitating the registration of trademarks and patents.

The new system comprises 11 initiatives that will be executed in collaboration with the relevant government agencies in the country some of these include:

1- “Patent Hive” initiative: designed to increase patents registration in the country and raise the rate of granting them to innovators and encouraging them to apply for patents within the country as it included a target to reach 6,000 new patents registered in the country by 2026 in cooperation with research and academic institutions.

2- “Instablock” initiative: an swift service that is provided in cooperation with the Communications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority to address copyright infringement complaints regarding live Internet broadcasting.

3- “IP Sport” initiative: aimed at increasing the number of trademarks registeration in the national sports sector, it will be implemented in partnership with the General Sports Authority, in order to enhance awareness of intellectual property rights in the sports sector, and provide awareness campaigns during the activities of the UAE Innovation Month.

4- “Hayyakom” Initiative: will be launched during the UAE’s hosting of the INTA conference, one of the largest trademarks conferences, with the aim of enhancing the country’s attractiveness to international companies and increasing the rates of attraction for brands.

Indicators of Registration of Intellectual Works, Trademarks and Patents In 2023, the Ministry recorded an increase in the registration of various intellectual property:

– Trademark registration applications rose by 9.6% compared to 2022.

– 29.5% increase in the number of registered intellectual works compared to 2022.

-Patent applications grew by 19.5% with total of (5,108) patents registered, up by 13.7% from 2022.

Top Brands in UAE: Emirates Airlines Leads

In a recent survey done by the well-known “YouGov” website, “Emirates Airlines”, the Dubai- based airline, achieved a score of 60.7, making it the top local brand according to UAE consumers.

As per the poll, Emirates Airlines topped the list of brands most recommended by UAE consumers which included global brands such as iPhone and its parent brand Apple. iPhone scored 55.0, while Apple scored 54.4.

Other global brands like “Adidas”, “Samsung”, “Almarai”, “Nike”, “YouTube”, “WhatsApp”, and Galaxy (Samsung) received lower scores. According to the survey, “SeaWorld Abu Dhabi” topped the list of companies that made substanti al growth in the UAE over the last year, with the Saudi brand “Al-Baik” securing the runner-up position, with “Amazon” and “Dubai Hills Mall” “Google Pixel”, “Dubai Downtown” Saudi Airlines, and “Neom” following behind.