Protection of Property Rights

Several general principles are important for effective management of intellectual property rights (IPR) in Qatar. It is important to have an overall strategy to protect IPR. IPR is protected in Qatar by virtue of international treaties and agreements to which Qatar is a member. In addition, it is also possible and recommended that IPR owners register such rights locally for added protection against violations. Companies may wish to seek advice from local attorneys or IP consultants. It is vital that companies understand that intellectual property is primarily a private right.

It is always advisable to conduct due diligence on partners. Negotiate from the position of your partner and give your partner clear incentives to honor the contract. A good partner is an important ally in protecting IP rights. Keep an eye on your cost structure and reduce the margins (and the incentive) of would-be bad actors. Projects and sales in Qatar require constant attention. Work with legal counsel familiar with Qatari laws to create a solid contract that includes non-compete clauses, and confidentiality /nondisclosure provisions.

It is also recommended that small and medium-sized companies understand the importance of working together with trade associations and organizations to support efforts to protect IPR and stop counterfeiting.

IPR Climate in Qatar
In addition to international treaties and agreements to which Qatar is party, intellectual property rights in Qatar are protected by Law No. 7/2002 (Copyright and Neighboring Rights Law), Law No. 9/2002 (Trademarks and Geographical Indicators Law), Law No.5/2005 (Protection of Trade Secrets), and Law No. 6/2005 (Protection of Layout Design of Integrated Circuits). Qatar has adopted the GCC Patent Law and created a GCC Patent Office. The Ministry of Business and Trade is responsible for enforcing these laws and other intellectual property rights matters.

The National Health Authority (NHA) requires registration of all pharmaceutical products imported into the country and will not register unauthorized copies of products patented in other countries.