RIYADH: The Saudi Authority for Intellectual Property recently issued its annual report for preserving intellectual property rights for 2022, showing that it received over 1,700 complaints.
SAIP said it had activated its mystery shopper process, one of the most significant actions contributing to the efficient and fair enforcement of the intellectual property rights system.
The mystery shopper process feeds the inspection team with information that helps them work efficiently, control violations, and target regions and sectors.
This is aided by inspection campaigns and awareness visits about intellectual property and rights.
The resulting figures from the process, including those related to copyright and trademarks in various sectors, confirm an increase in the total number of complaints from 2021 of 47 percent.
The percentage of trademark complaints increased by 490 percent, while copyright complaints decreased by 37 percent.
More than 660 visits were carried out to various commercial establishments in 42 cities and governorates within the Kingdom.
The mystery shopper process also made 1,483 targeted visits to more than 60 shopping centers in 20 cities and governorates.
In 2022, the Committee for Reviewing Violations of the Copyright Protection Law issued 175 dismissal decisions against intellectual property violators, with total fines amounting to SR1.468 million ($391,211).
SAIP revealed that 211 suspicious consignments were processed in the Kingdom attempting to clear customs, with more than 100 violating consignments prevented from being cleared in cooperation with the Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority.
In total, 49 percent of the consignments were halted due to violations of intellectual property regulations.
In addition, 995 products that obtained counterfeit trademarks were stopped, as well as an additional 5.4 million products that violated other regulations at multiple border crossings.
In the digital space, the authority worked to enforce intellectual property for digital content and e-commerce. The number of reported violator sites was 1,909, with 66 percent of those sites cited for displaying and downloading movies.
In 2021, SAIP launched a campaign to inspect websites and verify their compliance with intellectual property systems ensuring that no violations are being made.
The authority confirmed that 12 million products violating intellectual property rights have been seized in total, 58,000 content violators removed, nearly 1,500 websites blocked, and 13,000 establishments visited during complaints enforcement and electronic field surveys.
SAIP conducted awareness visits to reduce violations among consumers and sellers, with a total of 2,010 visits to retail stores across the Kingdom.
It showed that 66.9 percent of people unfamiliar with intellectual property laws and regulations, and 26.2 percent are just somewhat familiar with them.