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.

Dubai Leads the Way: Implementation of “Work Package”Initiative to Benefit Thousands of Companies

The UAE government announced the launch of the “Work Package” to manage workers’ services and attract and employ them in private sector, the start of implementation of this initiative is in Dubai as a first stage, to benefit 275,000 companies streamlining procedures for an estimated 10 million transactions annually in Dubai alone.

The UAE government also announced that the next few weeks will witness the implementation of the “work package” in the rest of the Emirates.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai confirmed the launch of the “work package” project emphasizing its role in eliminating bureaucratic hurdles to reduce procedures, re-engineer services, and reduce their duration in the federal government. and works to facilitate, simplify and shorten the procedures for residency and work in the country.

” The new project will save 62 million working days for all workers renewing their residency and contracts, which were wasted visiting government headquarters and following up on transactions. Additionally, it will shorten 25 million procedures and 12 million visits, saving significant government and private Expenditures, eliminating bureaucracy, shortening procedures, and facilitating people’s lives.

The initiative aligns with the UAE’s digital transformation and quality of services, and the “Zero Government Bureaucracy” program to simplify and reduce government procedures and eliminate unnecessary procedures and requirements in government work, in a way that raises the levels of efficiency, quality and government flexibility.

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.

SUDAN: Trademark Office Resumes Operations in Port Sudan city Amidst Challenges

After nearly 10 months of closure due to civil unrest, the Trademark Office in Sudan resumed operations on February 2024. With the ongoing inaccessibility of the main office in Khartoum, Sudan has established a temporary Trademark Office to address trademark matters in the city of Port Sudan.

This temporary office is now accepting a variety of trademark applications, including new filings, renewals, and recordals of mergers, assignments, and changes in name and/or address, However, the office will not deal with follow-on actions like examination of applications and the filing of supporting documents in addition to trademark searches at the present time – this will, apparently, only be possible until clarity is gained on the situation at the main office and the trademark database is restored.

Furthermore, all pending trademark issues prior to 15/April/2023, will be deferred until the main office’s database is recovered. The Office is also faced with staff shortages, due to relocation from Khartoum to Port Sudan, where the cost of living is considerably higher.

Qatar – National Phase of PCT Applications

Although Qatar had joined the PCT since May 3, 2011, and that it could have been designated in International Applications filed on or after August 3, 2011, still it seems not possible to enter PCT applications into the national phase in this country.

Qatar has enacted a patent law since 2006. However, the patent office is yet to be operational. We are following the progress of this matter closely in Qatar and will advise our clients of any new developments in a timely manner.

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Saudi Arabia – Limitation of Validity of POA

The Saudi Arabian Trademark Office will no longer recognize Powers of Attorney the age of which has exceeded 10 years. According to a new regulation by the Office, the validity of a Power of Attorney held by a trademark attorney for a trademark owner will be limited to 10 Hijri Years only. The Hijiri Year is 11 days shorter than the Gregorian Year. This will mean that trademark owners whose Powers of Attorney to their Saudi Arabian trademark agents have passed 10 years of validity should issue new Powers of Attorney in favor of their agents. The new regulation has come into force as of November 27, 2011.