Intellectual property in United Arab Emirates

Al Tamimi & Company

Al Tamimi & Company's team is adept across all areas of intellectual property, with particular expertise in anti-counterfeiting in the fashion and luxury sector. The team is also known for managing complex trade mark portfolios and it also handles both inbound and outbound work in relation to patents and industrial designs. Practice head Omar Obeidat regularly advises on enforcement matters, IP portfolio management, litigation and prosecution. Ahmad Saleh is the regional head of patents & designs. Ahmed Zaza and Rasha Al Ardah are also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Omar Obeidat; Ahmad Saleh

Other key lawyers:

Ahmed Zaza; Rasha Al Ardah

Key clients





Dassault Systems



MBC Group

Ferrero Group


Work highlights

  • Advised Dubai Financial Center Authority on a matter that involved drafting one piece of legislation to address the legislative gap in the Dubai International Financial Centre.

Clyde & Co LLP

Clyde & Co LLP covers the entire trade mark life cycle for clients, including registration-related, commercial and contentious work. The practice has a strong sector focus with particular expertise in traditional brand-rich sectors such as FMCG, hospitality, entertainment, retail and luxury goods. Joycia Young advises on the commercial aspects of intellectual property, from brand development and protection to managing global IP portfolios. Mark Devaney is an 'outstanding trade mark attorney', who advises clients on all aspects of brand protection and enforcement. Nicole Giblin is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Joycia Young; Mark Devaney

Other key lawyers:

Nicole Giblin


‘Strong presence in the Middle East, backed up with a team of lawyers in London too.’

‘Mark Devaney is an outstanding trade mark attorney, with good commercial nous. Mark also has strong interpersonal skills, which makes working with him a real pleasure. He seems to have embraced local customs and law in relation to IP in the Middle East and is a go-to attorney for advice in this region.’

Key clients

European luxury car brand

Wheel Pros LLC

US/Global fashion brand

Etihad Airways PJSC

US/Global athletic footwear brand

Global luxury brand

New IP SPV incorporated in the United Arab Emirates

Work highlights

  • Acting as global IP counsel for Etihad Airways for the past 10 years. During the past year the client has been advised on protection of taglines and aircraft livery and been advised on infringing trade mark use un various jurisdictions including India.
  • Advised Managing Wheel Pros trade mark and design portfolio in the UAE for many years, but this year, the scope of work has extended to include the other GCC countries.
  • Advising an iconic European luxury car brand on the construction and development of the first branded super-luxury residential development in the world, which is to be located in one of the GCC states.


Rouse's broad client offering includes IP litigation, enforcement, marketing and advertising law, digital and data protection advice. It also provides trade mark and patent agency services, such as advice on portfolio strategy and management. Practice head Bassel El Turk has a wide variety of IP experience, with a particular focus on enforcement and complex IP litigation in the Middle East and North Africa. Sara Holder is a co-head of the firm's global patent/technology practice and specialises in technology. Samantha Grainger advises on various types of licensing and franchise agreements, with a particular focus on the commercialisation of patents and technology.

Practice head(s):

Bassel El Turk; Sara Holder; Samantha Grainger

Key clients




DP World

United Arab Emirates University

Emirates Shipping Line

A&I Services Incorporated

Work highlights

  • Assists Starbucks with the management of its MENA trade mark portfolio.
  • Assists Visa International with advisory and clearance work for major advertising and promotional campaigns in the MENA region, including major events sponsorship such as the Football World Cup, Olympics and Dubai Shopping Festival.
  • Advises Honeywell International Inc on regional trade mark clearance, filing, opposition, cancellation, infringement and anti-counterfeiting matters for the company across the Middle East and North Africa and in to Azerbaijan and Pakistan.

Bird & Bird

Bird & Bird's UAE team acts as registered trade mark, design and patent agents. It is noted for having particular expertise in the technology, communications, life sciences, retail and consumer goods sectors. In addition, it advises on cutting edge technology including artificial intelligence and med-tech. The practice has significant cross-border experience and advises a wide range of leading multinationals. Melissa Murray, who is the head of the Middle East IP team, is 'responsible and trustworthy'. Senior associate Renée Nugent advises on trade marks and brand protection.

Practice head(s):

Melissa Murray

Other key lawyers:

Renée Nugent


‘Responsive and organised – easy to reach and advise is often pragmatic and practical. ’

‘Melissa Murray and Renée Nugent  are responsible and trustworthy.’

‘Very responsive and commercial – good understanding of the laws in various Middle East countries so a bit of a “one-stop” shop – and provide very practical advice.’

‘I primarily work with Melissa Murray. Melissa is very personable. She has a very good understanding of the laws across countries in the Middle East and a good understanding of how those laws will be practically applied (which is very useful in setting strategies, e.g for dealing with IP disputes).’

‘I have worked with many law firms over the years, but the relationship that the individuals at Bird & Bird have built makes it a true pleasure to work with them. They are kind, positive, caring, passionate, and hard-working. This is a tremendous combination, and part of the reason why I have chosen to work with them for as long as I have.’

Key clients

An international beauty brand

Education services provider

Online marketplace

The oldest and one of the largest manufacturer & retailer of mattresses in the Middle East.

International FMCG manufacturer

International hospitality platform

International content streaming platform

Work highlights

  • Represented an international manufacturer of white goods in conjoined oppositions through all three levels of the UAE courts, culminating in successful decisions in favour of the client, overturning the acceptance of the infringing third party trade marks.
  • Advising a global tech platform in the hospitality business on worldwide rebranding exercise and international protection of its existing and new brands.
  • Management of an international beauty brand’s IP portfolio worldwide.

DLA Piper

DLA Piper has a team of IP specialists that is experienced in trade mark registration and enforcement, copyright infringement, franchising and licensing. Its client roster spans a diverse range of sectors, including technology and telecoms, sports, media and entertainment, manufacturing, hospitality and leisure. Paul Allen leads the IP and technology practice in the Middle East. Jamie Ryder is an experienced TMT lawyer and focuses on media, sports and entertainment. Emily Southon is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Paul Allen

Other key lawyers:

Jamie Ryder; Emily Southon

Key clients



Paramount Pictures

Reckitt Benckiser

Roche Diabetes

The Football Association Premier League Limited

Gowling WLG

Gowling WLG has a full service IP practice that delivers 'very personal' service and the team's 'attention to detail is excellent'. The practice has a broad client offering that advises on matters from litigation and enforcement, to commercial and regulatory. Practice head Jon Parker has a well-established presence in the region and specialises in prosecution, infringement and enforcement, copyright, patents and more. Clients describe Parker as a 'stand out individual and partner' with 'an enormous level of local knowledge'. Rachel Armstrong is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Jon Parker

Other key lawyers:

Rachel Armstrong


‘Although Gowling is a global firm, the service is very personal. They look after clients extremely well, the attention to detail is excellent and you always feel that nothing is too much trouble’

‘Jon Parker is a stand out individual and partner. He always seems to be available and is quick to respond. He has an enormous level of local knowledge and is willing to share that openly so that client’s get the best possible advice.’

Key clients

CrossFit, Inc

Sky Optical

Power Root

Freddy’s Frozen Custard

Goldilocks Investment

North American Hospitality company

UAE based real estate company

Automotive manufacturer

Automotive manufacturer (different to 8)

Global tech company

Work highlights

  • Advised Power Root on successful raids in the UAE to remove infringing products from over 30 retails, 2 warehouses and a trade show.
  • Advised Sky Optical on successful and ongoing disputes in numerous countries involving the LENS.ME trademark. It has included successful cases in the UAE, UK, Saudi, Philippines, Singapore and other countries around the world, before TM offices and Courts.
  • Assisted a global tech company with IP due diligence support through the Middle East in relation to the acquisition of a Middle East headquartered tech company.

Hadef & Partners

Hadef & Partners has particular expertise in trade mark and brand protection, with practice head James Dunne leading the work in these fields. Victoria Woods, who heads up the commercial practice, advises clients on a wide range of matters, including distribution, franchise, agency, outsourcing and licensing agreements. Michael Lunjevich leads the commercial and property team in Dubai.

Practice head(s):

James Dunne; Victoria Woods; Michael Lunjevich

BSA Ahmad Bin Hezeem & Associates LLP

BSA Ahmad Bin Hezeem & Associates LLP has a broad client offering and its team is particularly experienced in advising clients on the prosecution and enforcement of intellectual property rights, such as large-scale anti-counterfeiting actions and domain name disputes. Domain name disputes are a growing area of work for the group. Practice head Munir Suboh advises clients such as media companies, professional services firms, automotive and industrial entities, and pharmaceuticals.

Practice head(s):

Munir Suboh

Key clients

MBC Group

World Wrestling Entertainment Inc

Andersen Tax Legal

Al Arabiya News Channel

Emaar Investments and Industries LLC

Work highlights

  • Cleared, advised and delivered mega trade mark filing project for MBC globally that cover four main contents, i.e. Asia, EU, North America and Africa.
  • Advised and delivered trademark filing project for government entity in the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

Eversheds Sutherland LLP

Eversheds Sutherland LLP has particular expertise in commercial IP litigation and arbitration with a client roster that includes large multinationals. A key client of the firm is the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) and practice head Nasser Ali Khasawneh is a domain name panellist. Khasawneh has a strong background in TMT, with particular expertise in advising on software licences, development agreements and complex trade mark licence agreements. Senior associates Christine Khoury, Erica Werneman Root and Andrew Garbett are also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Nasser Ali Khasawneh

Other key lawyers:

Christine Khoury; Erica Werneman Root; Andrew Garbett

Key clients

World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO)


Seddiqi Holding

Philip Morris International Management S.A. (PMI)

Work highlights

  • Represented World Intellectual Property Organisation in several domain name disputes with a UAE or GCC element.
  • Advising Danone/ Nutricia Middle East on various aspects of IP law and enforcement mechanisms.
  • Advised Seddiqi Holding on IP-related agreements.

Simmons & Simmons Middle East

Simmons & Simmons Middle East has a strong sector focus and advises clients on IP-related work in the fintech, medtech and esports sectors. In the pharmaceutical and medical technology space, key clients include GlaxoSmithKline, Becton Dickinson, Biogen and Celgene. The practice is led by Raza Rizvi, who has a strong background in hard and soft intellectual property. The team is praised for its 'good practical advice'.

Practice head(s):

Raza Rizvi


‘Good practical advice without compromising on the legalities involved’

Key clients









Emirates Digital Wallet


Work highlights

  • Advising Dubizzle on software licensing arrangements.
  • Advised Abu Dhabi National Oil Company on academic and research institution as well as inter-industry IP development projects.
  • Advised Celgene on business-critical IP strategy for market protection of major pharmaceutical products which benefit from US and European patent protection and certain limited protections in the UAE and across the Middle East.

The Bench

The Bench is a boutique law firm with a core focus on the hospitality and TMT sectors. Its key areas of activity include infringement matters, franchising, licence agreements and M&A transactions. Practice head Joby Beretta has a strong background in IT and telecoms law. Senior consultant Peter Hansen is also noted. Clients appreciate the team's 'substantial in-house experience'.

Practice head(s):

Joby Beretta

Other key lawyers:

Peter Hansen


‘The Bench team has true IT industry knowledge, with many of the team having substantial in-house experience, which we like.’

‘My main contact at the firm is Joby Beretta who has a global perspective having worked in the UK, Middle East and Asia Pacific. He was previously a General Counsel at an IT company and has a masters in IT/Telecom law, so understands the tech without the need to dumb it down’

‘Availability, accessibility, multi-disciplined practice. Fair in assessment of charged time and open to conversation before committing to paid time. Persons understand our business and its needs. Provide information identifying hurdles and challenges prior to deciding on course of action. ’

Key clients

Nomad Media Group

Rixos Hotels

Virgin Mobile Middle East & North Africa

Accor Hotels

International Hotels Group (IHG)

RMAL Hospitality


Alfan Group

MSS Kits

Bench Events

Work highlights

  • Advised JK58 FZE on the production of a major 24-hour live streamed event – “One Humanity Live” which included performers such as Dua Lipa, Jason Derulo, Ricky Martin, Avril Lavigne, Leona Lewis, Ronan Keating, CeeLo Green and many more.
  • Advised Sugoi JPN Limited on franchise agreements for its Latin-Japanese street food fusion ‘Noritacos’.
  • Advised Nomad Media Group on sports licence agreements.