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23 October 2014

INTERPOL legal seminar enhances fight against illicit trade in Gulf region

MANAMA, Bahrain – In the framework of its ongoing efforts to address illicit trade in the Middle East, INTERPOL is holding a legal seminar for participants of the Gulf Arabian countries to discuss intellectual property rights and other illicit trade issues.

The four-day event (20-23 October), the first legal seminar organized by INTERPOL in the region, has brought together more than 50 law enforcement officials, judges, prosecutors and decision-makers from Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries – Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates – to learn from the experiences of international experts.

The seminar is taking place at the same time as a major legislative change in the region, notably the introduction of a new trademark law for all GCC countries. The new law is expected to provide a uniform sets of provisions across the region in relation to a number of trademark protection issues.

“This initiative is welcome as it encourages public authorities and relevant stakeholders to break down barriers and unite their efforts when dealing with common illicit trade threats,” said Major General Naji Fahd Al-Hashil, Deputy Chief of Public Security of Bahrain.

“This seminar is timely, as it represents an opportunty to discuss the role and implications of the upcoming legislative reform on the criminal enforcement of intellectual property rights within the region,” said Stefano Betti, INTERPOL Senior Counsel.

Major General Abdul Quddoos Al-Obaidli, Chairman of the Emirates Intellectual Property Association, said the seminar offered the participants a forum to exchange ideas and information to enhance the fight against illicit trade in the Gulf region at the legal and institutional levels.