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Posted On: 1 October 2018 07:43 pm
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:19 pm

Qatar takes necessary action to file lawsuit against Saudi Arabia’s violations of intellectual property rights

Khadiza Begum
Khadiza Begum
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The State of Qatar has started taking the necessary action to file a new lawsuit with the dispute settlement procedure of the World Trade Organization (WTO) against Saudi Arabia's violations of intellectual property rights belonging to Qatari nationals and Qatari institutions, confirming that these violations are a clear breach of international agreements related to intellectual property rights.

The Ministry of Economy and Commerce said, in a press release today, that in accordance with WTO's Article IV of the dispute resolution understanding, the Office of the State of Qatar to the WTO in Geneva submitted a formal consultation request, which included all violations committed by Saudi Arabia against the State of Qatar, in accordance with the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement) and the Berne Convention on the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works.

Since June 2017 and within the unjust siege against Qatar, Saudi Arabia has imposed diplomatic, political and economic measures, violating the commercial rights not only of Qatar but also of its trading partners.

The ministry pointed out that the new lawsuit focused on the violations related to the protection of intellectual property rights in Saudi Arabia, especially following the ban on "beIN Sports" network to broadcast in the Kingdom.

A piracy network known as "beoutQ" has illegally broadcast the media content of the beIN Sports in Saudi Arabia, as well as sold pirated subscriptions and set-top decoder boxes in many outlets across the Kingdom.

Contrary to all its obligations under WTO rules, particularly the TRIPS Agreement, Saudi Arabia has refused to take any serious steps against beoutQ and has obstructed the efforts of the beIN Sports group to take legal action in the Saudi courts, the ministry added in the statement.

The statement pointed out that Saudi Arabia, aside from its refusal for the beIN Sports' request to investigate the illegal broadcasts by the piracy company and to prevent it from continuing violations, sought to encourage the broadcast of pirated content by beoutQ in public places.

HE the Minister of Economy and Commerce Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim bin Mohammed Al-Thani said that Saudi Arabia's efforts to prevent Qatari citizens and Qatari institutions from exercising their basic rights before the Kingdom's law enforcement authorities to protect and defend their intellectual property are a flagrant violation of its international and moral obligations.

His Excellency added these violations reflect the failure of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to adhere to its obligations and commitments towards the protection of copyright and radio and television rights as well as the rights of trademarks and others, adding that this caused commercial losses for Qatari citizens and Qatari institutions. (QNA)