DIFC Announced Proposed New Intellectual Property Law and Financial Collateral and Security Regulations for Public Consultation



Dubai, UAE – 17 March, 2019: Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the leading international financial hub in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, has proposed the enactment of legislation to enhance the regulatory framework in the DIFC, bringing it in line with international best practice. In doing so, DIFC Authority has taken into account specific factors relating to the DIFC and the need to provide an appropriate regulatory environment for businesses to operate in or from the Centre.

The Consultation Papers seek public comments on various legislative proposals:

  1. the new Intellectual Property Law is the subject of Consultation Paper No. 1 of 2019; and
  2. the new Financial Collateral Regulations and Security Regulations are the subject of Consultation Paper No. 2 of 2019.

An overview of the key features of each legislative proposal is summarised below:

Consultation Paper No. 1 of 2019 – Intellectual Property Law

The DIFC intends to introduce a new law to govern the enforcement of intellectual property rights in the Centre, which will enable DIFC entities to protect their intellectual property rights within the DIFC and create a safe environment for creativity and innovation within the Centre. The proposed Law covers Patents, Utility Certificates, Industrial Designs and Drawings, Copyright, Trademarks, Trade Names and Trade Secrets in line with international treaties and best practices.

The key aspects of the legislative proposal include:

  1. recognition of the UAE registered Trademarks, Patents, Utility Certificates, Industrial Designs and Drawings;
  2. the rights afforded to each type of intellectual property rights and the limitations to such protection;
  3. determining ownership of Patent and Copyright in employment relations;
  4. creation of the office of the Commissioner of Intellectual Property who is responsible for the administering the proposed Law, resolve disputes and impose fines;
  5. sanctions and remedies for intellectual property infringement; and
  6. jurisdiction of the Commissioner of Intellectual Property and the DIFC Court in infringement cases.
Consultation Paper No. 2 of 2019 - new Financial Collateral Regulations and Security Regulations

The Proposed Financial Collateral Regulations will deal with matters relating to Financial Collateral, while matters relating to the filing of forms with the Registrar of Securities will be provided for in the Proposed Security Regulations. Currently both these matters are dealt with under the existing Security Regulations issued under the Law of Security, DIFC Law No. 8 of 2005.

The key aspects of the proposal include:

  1. the separation of the Current Regulations into the Proposed Financial Collateral Regulations and the Proposed Security Regulations;
  2. the inclusion of money credited to an account (including a bank deposit account) as a qualifying asset for the purposes of a Financial Collateral Arrangement under the Proposed Financial Collateral Regulations;
  3. the scope of the Proposed Financial Collateral Regulations to cover both Title Transfer Financial Collateral Arrangements and Security Interest Financial Collateral Arrangements;
  4. the applicable provisions of DIFC laws pertaining to the determination of "control" for the purposes of the creation of a Financial Collateral Arrangement under the Proposed Financial Collateral Regulations;
  5. the attachment (or creation) of a Financial Collateral Arrangement by reference to when the collateral-taker has achieved "control", rather than concurrently with the debtor having transfer authority with respect to the Financial Collateral; and
  6. amendments to the fees payable for filing of financing statements by introducing a flat fee for filing Financing Statements and introducing new fees for amending Financing Statements under the Proposed Security Regulations.

The above legislative proposals have been posted for a 30-day public consultation period with the deadline for providing comments ending on 17 April 2019.

The consultation papers and legislative proposals can be accessed by visiting: www.difc.ae/laws-regulations/consultation-papers

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