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INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY IN THE FIELD OF CUSTOMS


1. Adoption of certain Legislation In order to ensure proper protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights, the GCC Council of Ministers has adopted certain legislation to ensure conformity in procedures to be followed for the registration, protection, enforcement and use of the intellectual property rights among member states. The following legislation is either adopted or is in the process of adoption: • Law relating to copyrights and related rights • Law relating to patents, layout designs and industrial models • Law relating to trade marks, trade names, geographical indications and industrial designs • Law relating to measures to protect against unfair competition 2. Administration of Intellectual Property The administration of all intellectual property rights is vested in the office of the Director- GCC Union Law on Customs Draft – Customs Law – Draft Uniform Customs Law - IV 54 General of Customs. The Director-General of Customs shall name the party responsible for administering intellectual property rights in each member state. 3. Registration and Protection of Intellectual Property Rights All intellectual property rights shall be registered and protected in each member state in accordance with the relevant laws and other statutory instruments in force in that state. Each member state shall, to the extent provided by law, provide any assistance or information, as appropriate, to other member states in matters relating to the registration and protection of intellectual property rights. 4. Assistance and Co-operation among Member States In connection with all activities related to the enforcement of intellectual property laws and the control of intellectual property rights, member states shall have the right to share information and scientific expertise related to intellectual property rights. A GCC Register of Intellectual Property is to be established to facilitate the exchange of information on intellectual property matters. Agreement at the GCC level is being sought with a view to providing technical assistance and training to develop a GCC-wide capacity for proper enforcement of intellectual property rights. 5. Border Measures A GCC-wide border measure system will be established, which will allow for the constant update of office of the Director-General of Customs on the latest developments in respect of intellectual property rights infringements. A procedure will be established for the Customs authorities of each member state to detain suspect shipments of goods based on notifications and to facilitate action by the relevant authority initiating the notification. The system will include means of consultation between Customs and appropriate intellectual property rights owners, wherever needed by Customs. In the event that the articles are found to have infringed a protected intellectual property right, the Customs authorities of the member state in which the infringing elements are found shall, at the request of the intellectual property right owner, obtain evidence or information on the operator and the distribution networks in that member state with respect to articles found to have infringed intellectual property rights. 6. Measures to Protect against Unfair Competition Inappropriate competition practices in the field of intellectual property that distort the markets or that may adversely affect the legitimate rights of right holders in their trademarks, trade names, geographical indications or industrial designs are prohibited. Those measures may also include taking actions to prevent unfair competition practices in the registration and use of domain names, etc. 7. Objectives of the Law The objectives of the Law are: GCC Union Law on Customs Draft – Customs Law – Draft Uniform Customs Law - IV 55 • to contribute towards the aim of Code of GCC Union Law on Customs by providing ways of contributing to the protection of individual and group achievements in the field of industrial and literary / artistic property in addition to computer software; • to provide an effective enforcement of intellectual property rights in GCC member states in accordance with the relevant international agreements and conventions. • to ensure and encourage on the GCC-wide level a constant flow of information between the various authorities involved in the protection and enforcement of intellectual property; • to reinforce a general awareness of the societal and economic importance of intellectual property; • to continue to enrich and develop options for application of intellectual property protection in a business-like atmosphere; • to include in Customs’ many responsibilities increased responsibility for intellectual property enforcement and protection; and • to prevent the illegal possession of copies or duplicates proven to be illegally made copies of individual or group-produced works. Without official authorization, export or import of such copies is prohibited and shall be considered a breach of the law. 8. Definitions For the purposes of this Law, the terms and definitions set out in the Code of GCC Union Law on Customs signified by the Authorised Speaker shall apply. 9. Applicable Rights Applicable rights shall include all those rights that protect the interests of the concerned parties in the following areas: • copyrights and related rights, including those pertaining to computer software and databases; • plant varieties, including trade secrets; • geographical indications and similar designations protecting geographical origin; • industrial property rights, such as patents, industrial designs, layout designs and trade marks. Note: In the context of this Law, trademarks are revived for twenty years from the filing date of the application for registration. GCC Union Law on Customs Draft – Customs Law – Draft Uniform Customs Law - IV 56 10. Reserved Rights The rights reserved for nationals of the GCC member states include: • the right to exploit individual or collective literary and artistic works by offering reproduction rights, performance rights and similar rights of exploitation of the works; • the right to forbid the direct or indirect export of the materials considering restricted for nationals of the GCC in accordance with the following Article; • the right to prevent the import of materials contrary to regulations in force. 11. Preservation of Copyright The preservation of copyrights of authors of literary, artistic and similar works and publishers of editions is a key aspect of the GCC’s IP protection. Such protection applies to all GCC nationals who are authors of copyrighted works lawfully published in one of the GCC states. Similarly, all publishers may have the copyright protection under this law regardless of residence, owner- ship or the availability of reproduction or an edition of the work. 12. Procedure for Preservation of Temprary Copyright A form and an accompanying group of written statements shall be used for GCC-wide preservation of temporary copyrights. The author, artist or publisher shall complete the form and declarations at any of the Copyright Department’s offices or other competent GCC offices, e.g., other customs office. 13. Preserving Authorship Rights Preservation of authorship rights shall refer to the following: • authorship of works is protected by preservation that extends for the life of the author or the principal author of the work and for a span of 50 years following the author’s demise; • protection of a collaborative work is extended for 50 years from the date of its publication; • preservation of individual works publicly disclosed within the author’s lifetime by one generation can be extended by the same rights reserved in respect of works disclosed after the author’s death. 14. Protection of Audiovisual Works Works protected by the Law by virtue of their placement “black and white” on a film, flexible receiver, video tape, or similar media are also covered by the protection of this Law. Where the principal elements used in the production of the work are not made by the same person, copyright is protected for fifty (50) years from the date of completion of the work. GCC Union Law on Customs Draft – Customs Law – Draft Uniform Customs Law - IV 57 15. Protection of “Computer Software” and “Databases” Personal Digital Assistants The protection of computer software under this section refers to the computer software contained in machines, such as computers, central and peripheral units, and machines using special software; databases are also covered by this protection. According to the provisions outlined in this section, the user must gain the written approval of the author to be able to use special software for the duration of the special-action work or preserve it under copyright. Receiving software supplied by an installation party means that the installation party must gain written approval from the author of the software or from whomever the copyright is reserved. To consider a work with a copyright thereon as subject to this Law, the right or at least potential authority to circulate and instigate use of the software must exist, as well as ownership of the special software license and a written declaration of the author. 16. The Department of Copyrights The Department of Copyrights shall be responsible for implementing this section. The Director-General of Customs shall issue orders to enforce the provisions of this section, its executive orders, and the other pertinent legislation which he/she may deem necessary. The faculty of the Director-General of Customs in this respect shall include: • supervising, arranging and licensing industrial, hand, photographic, audiovisual and computer software and databases as well as issuance of editions; • minimizing bad advice and providing such necessary applicable advice and needed efforts; • hearing objections and settling disputes in convened sessions with respect to the registration of the rights for authorship of works; • voiding and cancelling errors in order to benefit from the registration and declarations work; • resolving the division of industrial, hand, photographic, audiovisual and computer software and databases as well as fixed terms; • making specific decisions after locating errors in the work based on the approval of the conflicting parties within fifteen days of the approaching written request and informing that party accordingly; • communicating or implementing specific decisions related to the work whether original the third edition, container, or copying thereof as may be required or necessary for the protection of authorship of the work; and • any other function related to the goals and provisions of this Law. GCC Union Law on Customs Draft – Customs Law – Draft Uniform Customs Law - IV 58 17. Application for Registration Applications for the registration of copyrights under this section may be lodged with a GCC Customs department in writing or verbally. 18. Conditions for Applications for Registration The applicant must provide the Director-General for Customs with the main copy of the work or a faithful copy thereof, and must provide a complete written description of all principal and secondary material content pertaining to the work. The application shall also contain a written declaration from the applicant, is expected to be an expert in the field of copyright, describing its physical conditions, with a reproduction of the work and an estimate of the declaration. 19. Processing Applications for Registration A registered application for copyright protection must be received with thirty days from the date of the request. If an advertisement containing information in respect of the authorship of works and the fact that copyright is related to the advertisement, once the circumstances pointed out in the application are met, shall be published in a newspaper and circulated in the press. Consideration of an application for registration is allowed for a period of three days for every working day. Applications are included in the records after a review of the conditions described in the law applicable, It will be cancelled with a minute recording of any conflicts for 36 months. 20. Personal Registration Fees Registration fees for personal-use copies of works vary according to the content of the article, of the records as well as where such records are published. 21. Customs Measures The author, performer, or copyright owner may request the competent Customs authorities to detain suspected and infringing goods to provide supporting information to the appropriate authority notifying the same. The Customs authorities must act quickly and make their decision within the period of three days to solve the problem of suspected infringement. Once the period has elapsed and no notification has been made by the parties, they must release the goods unless a compelling reason is provided, that it is in keeping with normal red tape procedures. 22. Interest in Regulations All GCC member states shall surely, within Regulations, keep new laws and provisions related to the law or abolishing the previous laws and provisions under its authorities. 23. Probabilities of Enterprises and Technical Assistance The director may order to the departments of the Council that the technical-training under consideration or the Establishment of internal-out-functions such as should be called Staff units be subordinate training. GCC Union Law on Customs Draft – Customs Law – Draft Uniform Customs Law - IV 59 24. Measures of GCC Bond Within a period of two years following the date of entry into force of this Law, Member States shall introduce a Customs measure for works which are subject to copyright and related rights being imported or exported, without the permission of their owners and following receipts for their repatriation. 25. Powers of the Director-General The Director-General may issue an order specifying cases in which the provisions of this law shall be in conformity with the particulars of the relevant Customs or other voluntary provisions that are not customs duties. The Director-General may exclude all or some of the provisions of this regulation retroactively. Such orders should be entered into the public record in all proceedings to which they relate. 26. General Regulations 1. All necessary machinery in order to manage customs duties should be directly applicable by the notification to the Director shall be considered repealed by virtue of article 6. 2. The Director Saudi have the authority to make exemptions, direction and reductions in fees paid by the customs authorities for administrative functions connected with exports, imports and shipment of exclusive productive films, photographic cameras, replacement of motion pictures, durable audio visual materials and films. 3. This lends to expire to the courts and judges to carry out the objectives of this law and the means to receive arguments and to help understand the subjects affecting the prevention of rules determined herein, enjoyment of related rights, to facilitate the legal obligations with due respect to relevant framework of Saudi Arabian law. 4. Regulation of the GCC-wide customs authority allows dispute resolution and transfer within the means expressed, subject to Saudi Arabian regulations. The provisions outlined in the Gulf Co-operation Council Federal regulations are to be integrated and applied in any way. 5. The GCC Commission accepts the following recommendations as a mechanism to promote activities: the above implementing regulations and periodic reports. The violations indicated in these reports should be protected by cooperation among the GCC member state Customs authorities. 2. Enforcement The Director-General of Customs may take the measures necessary to implement the various provisions of this law, issue orders to implement the provisions of this law, establish and amend required instructions, and take necessary action. 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