EXTERNAL Focus on the Middle East & Africa
Rouse’s presence in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is well established. The Dubai office has been acting as a hub for the region for the last 20 years and has built up an excellent reputation. Our Sub-Saharan Africa service, opening at the end of 2015 with an office in Cape Town, shows Rouse’s commitment to invest in offering a full pan-MEA offering.
Sara Holder, Managing Partner, Middle East & Africa says, “Africa is seen as an up and coming market for economic investment and multinationals are looking at how they can expand there. Rouse is a firm that can advise companies on their IP needs across the whole of Africa and the Middle East.”
Maura Canavan, Rouse Africa Country Manager says, “As many African economies mature, we are seeing progress in terms of governments pushing IP up political agendas to support social and economic development ambitions locally. This has a great knock-on effect on IP systems generally. It is exciting to witness this progress. Businesses come to Rouse because of our expertise in managing IP issues in challenging countries where legal frameworks and local services are not up to international standards yet. In Africa, we are able to combine our international IP experience and compliance with on the ground expertise in the relevant countries. Clients new to Africa are looking for legal advice in particular countries and for assistance on large regional projects (the ‘one-stop-shop’ service which Rouse is well known for). Furthermore, for those clients that have been operating in Africa for some time and are looking at enforcing their IP rights, Rouse can step in to assist.”
Rouse currently has a team of 55 in Dubai, 4 in South Africa, consultants in Nigeria and Kenya and an associated firm, Kadasa, in Saudi Arabia. Our clients include major technology and brand multinationals and local and regional Middle East clients who are expanding rapidly. Sara explains “Gulf economies are diversifying away from oil and gas reliance and we see strong growth in demand for our patent and technology services, in addition to trade marks”.
In the UAE, the team work in three main languages, English, Arabic and French. Many others are also spoken with staff coming from 19 different countries. The office instructs over 110 different agents/associates around the MENA region and globally, on an annual basis, manages work in over 55 countries.
In 2018, the UAE local litigation practice had an almost perfect win rate including ground-breaking cases on acquired distinctiveness of trade marks and enforcing unregistered trade mark rights against an infringer. As a result of these successes and in recognition of our market-leading practice offering a full range of IP services (patents/technology, trade marks, disputes and commercial IP), we have been awarded MIP’s UAE Firm of Year 2019.