The Ministry of Commerce and Saudi Authority for Intellectual Property are winning the battle against counterfeiting and fraud in the Kingdom, the authority’s spokesman said.
A recent high-profile case related to a social media influencer, who sells counterfeit goods, revealed the need to fight fraud in the Kingdom.
The influencer, who built a large audience of followers on Snapchat, had rented three luxurious furnished apartments in two five-star hotels in northern Riyadh. He started to seduce women to buy his collection of handbags, shoes, accessories, and leather products, which he claimed were from reputed international brands.
However, the fraudster was unaware of the capabilities of the SAIP inspection and follow-up teams. As part of its war on intellectual property law violators, the Saudi Authority for Intellectual Property, in cooperation with the relevant authorities, raided the man’s home and seized 1,242 counterfeit products, with an estimated value of about SR700,000 ($187,000).
Yasser Hakami, spokesman for the Saudi Authority for Intellectual Property, said that the authority made 1,912 online inspection visits during 2021. Last year, he added, it conducted 282 visits to promote awareness of intellectual property rights and obligations.
“In 2021, we also recommended 2,079 websites to be blocked for violating the Kingdom’s intellectual property laws. Moreover, the Saudi Intellectual and Property Authority made more than 6,400 field inspection tours in 10 cities. These resulted in the confiscation of more than 95,000 items,”
Hakami said that 90 percent of intellectual property violations in 2021 were related to trademarks, with the remaining 10 percent to the other copyright infringements.
In the last year, more than 2 million counterfeit products were seized and destroyed in cooperation with the Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority.
The most common items included shoes, clothes, mobile accessories, sanitary ware, and car filters, all bearing well-known trademarks from major international companies.