In a bid to effectively crack down on audio, video and software piracy and deal strictly with design and trademark violations, Qatar has set up an Intellectual Property Protection Centre.
The Centre is to be placed under the Ministry of Justice with the minister directly responsible for its activities.
The head of the Centre is to be appointed directly by the State Cabinet on the recommendations of the justice minister.
It is understood that the new Centre will replace the existing intellectual property and trademark bureau, which has for long been part of the business and trade ministry.
The new Centre has been tasked with framing fresh policies and legislation in line with the international conventions for protecting intellectual property rights that the country is signatory to.
Its key function will be to register design, trademark and intellectual property rights, create public awareness and conduct raids with a view to preventing all kinds of software piracy and violation of trademark rights in the country.
Three units are to be created at the Centre, each to separately deal with international cooperation, protection of authors’ rights and registering and protecting patents on inventions.
An Emiri decision (Number 53 of 2009) was issued yesterday by the Deputy Emir and Heir Apparent, H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, ordering the setting up of the said Centre.
Disputes related to trademarks, designs and intellectual property rights will be reported to this Centre for resolution.
The decision gives the justice minister the authority to appoint independent experts to help the Centre carry out its functions effectively and he can also seek technical support from quarters he deems fit.
The minister will also have the right to directly appoint assistants to the director and other senior staff of the Centre.
The decision becomes effective immediately and is to be published in the official gazette.
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