Souq.com joins UAE fight on counterfeit items sold online

Goods and products bought through e-commerce channels in the UAE may soon be easier to trust. The Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai has signed an agreement with Souq.com, the region’s largest online marketplace, aimed at developing programmes for the protection of intellectual property (IP) rights and consumer rights.

This comes as one intellectual property rights lawyer says disputes in this area are on the rise.

Yesterday’s agreement is meant to stop the sale and promotion of fakes and counterfeit goods online.


“Souq.com’s success as the largest e-commerce platform in the Middle East is attributed to robust customer trust,” said Ronaldo Mouchawar, the chief executive and co-founder of Souq.com. He said it is working with the DED to highlight and prohibit the sale of unethical and non-compliant goods, to protect customers and brand owners.

“The sheer volume of e-commerce business requires Souq.com to think of new strategies to safeguard customers’ and brand owners’ interests and exercise stricter control over certain seller engagement,” he said.

Souq.com lists 1.5 million products across 31 different categories with 45 million visitors per month.

“Two years ago I rarely had anyone file a case with regard to online commerce, now it is at least every week,” said Omar Obeidat, a partner and the regional head of intellectual property at the law firm Al Tamimi & Co. “The DED recently moved against counterfeiters selling on Instagram but the problem is wider than that and harder to police. This is a smart move by the DED because Souq.com has a major presence.”

ascott@thenational.ae

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