Saudi intellectual property authority confiscates, destroys millions of products in violation of laws 

The sectors targeted by the campaigns included video, electronics, computer maintenance and students’ services stores. (SPA)
The sectors targeted by the campaigns included video, electronics, computer maintenance and students’ services stores. (SPA)
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Updated 04 March 2021

Saudi intellectual property authority confiscates, destroys millions of products in violation of laws 

Saudi intellectual property authority confiscates, destroys millions of  products in violation of laws 

JEDDAH: The Saudi Authority of Intellectual Property (SAIP) announced that it has confiscated and destroyed more than 5.5 million items in 2020 that were found to be violating the country’s intellectual property (IP) regulations.
“These items included pirated DVDs, CDs and books; and illegal desktops, laptops, hard disks, memory chips, TV satellite boxes and CD-copying devices. We also cooperated with Saudi Customs to seize and destroy more than 2 million counterfeited products. These included shoes, clothes, mobile accessories, sanitary ware and car filters, all bearing well-known trademarks from major international companies,” said Yasser Al-Debassi, executive director of IP Respect at SAIP.
SAIP seeks to improve the protection of IP by developing its enforcement system, ensuring the quality of its operations and increasing transparency between itself and the private sector.
In its recently released 2020 report, SAIP said that it had received 67 cases directly from plaintiffs, who reported their complaints to the authority.
It added that 115 cases were conducted through inspection visits to websites. Over 300 cases were conducted through other online inspections, while 42 cases were referred to SAIP by the Ministry of Media.
The report revealed that most of the IP infringements occurred in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, with a rate of 61 percent. Makkah ranked second with 24 percent, while the Eastern Province came third with 14 percent.
The remaining 9 percent of violations took place in other Saudi cities. However, the report said, some complaints were dismissed for “uncompleted requirements.”
The report added that most cases were art-related, involving the infringement of rights for photographs, audio, videos, and designs. Literary cases and research formed 25 percent of the total number of cases, while software infringement cases reached 12 percent.
a responded to more than 5,790 emails and phone calls, reporting violations through its different communication channels.
It confirmed in its report that 119 resolutions were issued by the copyright committee, assigned to review violations of the copyright law.
“The IP Respect surveillance team has visited and examined over 1,350 websites and detected 308 violated websites. It filed the cases to the Permanent Internet Committee, who ruled that these websites be blocked,” Al-Debassi told Arab News. “Fines of more than SR255,000 ($68,000) were imposed on the violators. The violations ranged from literary works to sports TV broadcasting.”
The authority launched online inspection campaigns to block the websites, which, without permission from right owners, either posted copyrighted photos and graphics on social media platforms; exhibited copies of copyrighted books and magazines; and allowed for the viewing and download of copyrighted series, movies or pirated software.
SAIP also launched copyright-enforcement campaigns in Riyadh, Makkah, Jeddah, Dammam, Alkhobar, and Al-Ahsa, with the aim of stopping all infringement activities and copyright-related violations in computer software and programs, satellite broadcasting, and printed or audiovisual materials.
The sectors targeted by the campaigns included video, electronics, computer maintenance and students’ services stores, which provide document-copying services.
“SAIP is currently working on tracking new piracy trends and addressing the challenges facing industries. It is doing its best to ensure compliance with IP laws and regulations in the Kingdom in order to maintain an attractive business environment,” Al-Debassi said.
SAIP has launched a number of initiatives at the national level, including a national enforcement committee for IP.
It is also working closely with its partners in the private sector, global associations and IP protection offices to fight piracy.
“SAIP has partnered with right holders to combat counterfeiting. We have conducted meetings with our partners from tech companies, such as Microsoft, to discuss the latest methods of piracy for its software and operating systems. The authority has also met with media company OSN to discuss the challenge of illegal Internet Protocol television boxes and subscriptions,” Al-Debassi added.
 


AlUla says sustainability key to future growth

AlUla says sustainability key to future growth
Updated 5 min 17 sec ago

AlUla says sustainability key to future growth

AlUla says sustainability key to future growth
  • Saudi Arabia’s ancient site declares a series of projects dedicated to the future

AlUla, the ancient valley in Saudi Arabia’s Madinah region, home to 200,000 years of still largely unexplored human history, continues to play a central role in the Kingdom’s tourism strategy.

In a bid to pave the way for the area’s future growth, the Royal Commission of AlUla (RCU) has announced that it will embark on its future projects by adhering to sustainable practices.

“At the RCU, we are constantly looking for new ways to engage and work with our expert partners, stakeholders, and the AlUla community,” Amr Almadani, CEO of RCU, told Arab News. “Our success is driven by these ever- deepening collaborations. These local and global perspectives continually push us as we work to deliver on our objectives towards the goal of sustainable development in AlUla, and more broadly, contributing to the diversification efforts outlined in Vision 2030.”

RCU is pursuing a carbon-neutral strategy, supported by the basic principles of a circular economy. It also announced that it will build infrastructure that will help create tens of thousands of jobs, and will empower the local community by providing training and opportunities for new career paths.

AlUla’s new sustainable approach to its future will be discussed during a panel, the first in a series titled “At the crossroads: people and planet: can AlUla unlock a sustainable future?” on April 2 with panelists dialing in from AlUla and virtually. It will focus on integrated, 360-degree approaches to sustainability, where experts will discuss the complex layers, synergies, and conflicts of social, economic, and environmental sustainability. 

Panelists include businessman and entrepreneur Alejandro Agag, former prime minister of Italy Matteo Renzi; architect and leader in sustainable design, William McDonough; James Hardcastle, the director of IUCN’s Green List ; Carlos Duarte, a leader in multiple branches of biological oceanography; Gérard Mestrallet, the Executive Chairman of Afalula, the French agency for Alula Development. Both Renzi and Mestrallet are members of the RCU advisory board. 

“When we think of sustainability, we look to the civilizations of the past for inspiration,” added Almadani. “We seek to apply innovative approaches to ancient wisdom to come up with new ways to protect AlUla’s natural landscape and its people and secure its legacy in the years to come. This is the core inspiration of Crossroads, using the past to chart the best path into the future.”

Through Crossroads, RCU aims to bring together global experts across all sectors to challenge and fine tune its ideas regarding sustainability, pertaining to the ancient region’s future growth.

Proposed by RCU as “solution-driven” discussions, the panels will touch on key elements of its “Journey Through Time” masterplan, outlining the first and most important phase of AlUla’s development.

“The topic of integrated sustainability is being discussed at the forefront of all development projects currently underway in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” Dr Maliha Hashimi, executive director of health, wellbeing and biotech at NEOM, Saudi Arabia’s planned cross-border city in the Tabuk province, as well as the first Crossroads panel’s moderator, told Arab News. 

“As we work towards a better, more sustainable future for our people, our environment, and our economic systems, we must embrace new technologies and solutions, but also understand the lessons and traditions of the past.”


Saudi Arabia's National Cultural Awards winners to be announced at closing ceremony

Saudi Arabia's National Cultural Awards winners to be announced at closing ceremony
Updated 47 min 3 sec ago

Saudi Arabia's National Cultural Awards winners to be announced at closing ceremony

Saudi Arabia's National Cultural Awards winners to be announced at closing ceremony

RIYADH: Governor of Riyadh Prince Faisal Bin Bandar will patronize on Monday the closing ceremony of the National Cultural Awards Initiative.

The ceremony, organized by the Ministry of Culture, will take place at the Culture Palace in the Diplomatic Quarter in Riyadh.

Winners of the initiative awards will be announced in the various categories of cultural activities. 

The initiative includes 14 cultural awards: the Cultural Personality of the Year Award, Youth Cultural Award, Cultural Institutions Award, as well as Film Award, Fashion Award, Music Award, National Heritage Award, Literature Award, Theater and Performing Arts Award, Visual Arts Award, Architecture and Design Award, Culinary Arts Award, Publishing Award, and Translation Award.

The Ministry of Culture organized the National Cultural Awards initiative as part of the initiatives of the Quality of Life Program, one of the Saudi Vision 2030 programs.


Yemeni conjoined twins ‘Yousuf and Yassin’ to fly to Riyadh under King Salman’s orders for medical examination

Yemeni conjoined twins ‘Yousuf and Yassin’ to fly to Riyadh under King Salman’s orders for medical examination
Updated 19 April 2021

Yemeni conjoined twins ‘Yousuf and Yassin’ to fly to Riyadh under King Salman’s orders for medical examination

Yemeni conjoined twins ‘Yousuf and Yassin’ to fly to Riyadh under King Salman’s orders for medical examination
  • King Salman ordered a speedy transfer
  • The conjoined twins are expected to arrive within the next few days

DUBAI: Yemeni conjoined twins “Yousuf and Yassin” will finally get the necessary medical examinations they need after King Salman ordered for their direct transfer from Yemen to Riyadh for the possibility of a separation surgery.
King Salman ordered a speedy transfer for the twins and their parents, the General Supervisor of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center and renowned pediatric surgeon Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al-Rabiah said.
The conjoined twins are expected to arrive within the next few days, state news agency SPA reported on Sunday.
King Salman has previously ordered the transfer of conjoined twins from Mauritania to travel to Saudi Arabia to separate them. Their father, who accompanied them, said the procedures for transferring the twins to Riyadh were carried out easily.


Saudi Arabia offers condolences over Egypt train accident

Saudi Arabia offers condolences over Egypt train accident
Updated 19 April 2021

Saudi Arabia offers condolences over Egypt train accident

Saudi Arabia offers condolences over Egypt train accident
  • The train accident left 97 wounded after it derailed off its tracks

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia said on Sunday it expresses its deep sorrow for the train accident north of the Egyptian capital Cairo.
A passenger train derailed earlier on Sunday in the city of Toukh in Qalyubia province, injuring around 100 people.
“The Kingdom expresses its sincere condolences and sympathy to the families of the victims, and to the Egyptian leadership, government and people, wishing the injured a speedy recovery,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.
Four train wagons ran off the railway while the train was traveling to the Nile Delta city of Mansoura from Cairo, Egypt’s railway authority said.
(With AP)


Saudi crown prince meets British PM’s envoy to the Gulf region

Saudi crown prince meets British PM’s envoy to the Gulf region
Updated 18 min ago

Saudi crown prince meets British PM’s envoy to the Gulf region

Saudi crown prince meets British PM’s envoy to the Gulf region

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met with the special envoy of the British prime minister for the Gulf Region, Edward Lister, early Monday in Jeddah.
During the meeting, they looked into ways to enhance Saudi-UK bilateral relations and discussed regional and international issues of common interest.
The meeting was attended by Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan, the Kingdom's ambassador to the UK Prince Khalid bin Bandar bin Sultan, Minister of Commerce and Acting Minister of Information Majid Al-Qasabi, as well as Britain's ambassador to the Kingdom Neil Crompton.