Middle East and Africa

Rob Deans

Partner, Dubai


+971 4 384 4538

Main office

+ 971 4 384 4000
+ 971 4 384 4004

Rob heads up Clyde & Co’s intellectual property team in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. He has over 20 years’ experience handling IP matters, and he has been practising in MENA since 2003. Rob has repeatedly been recognised by multiple independent publications as one of the UAE’s leading IP lawyers.

Rob qualified as a solicitor in England in 1994, having obtained his law degree at Cambridge University.  He then spent a number of years in Hong Kong, where he gained a range of experience across all areas of intellectual property, before joining Clyde & Co in the Middle East.

Based out of Dubai in the UAE, Rob specialises in providing clients with advice and support on their intellectual property issues in the MENA region, including in relation to trade marks, copyright, patents, designs and confidential information.

Rob has a particular focus on contentious work, dealing issues which range from managing regional anti-counterfeiting and anti-piracy programmes, through to providing strategic advice on cross-border trade mark, copyright and patent litigation.

Rob has been consistently praised as one of the UAE’s leading IP practitioners, including:

  • Chambers Global:  Rob is the only IP practitioner to have been recognised as a ‘Star Individual’ in the UAE.  He is also the only practitioner to have been ranked as ‘Band 1’ (or as a ‘Star Individual’) for IP in the UAE in all years from 2011 onwards.
  • Legal 500: Rob is the only practitioner to have been identified as a ‘Leading Individual’ for IP in the UAE in all years since 2010.
  • World Trademark Law Review (WTR) 1000:  Rob has been recognised a leading practitioner in the UAE in all years since this review was first published in 2011.  He has also been accorded a ‘Gold Tier’ rating from 2015 onwards, which is the first year in which this category was introduced for the UAE.
  • IP Stars: Rob has been recognised as an ‘IP Star’ by Managing IP since the inception of this survey in 2014.
  • International Law Office (ILO) Client Choice Award: In 2012, Rob received the ILO Client Choice Award for Intellectual Property in the UAE.
  • Providing long-term advice and support to one of the UAE’s largest businesses in relation to all elements of its intellectual property life-cycle, including:
    • the creation of IP by the business (successfully capturing IP assets);
    • the protection of the business’ IP (including developing appropriate registration strategies); and
    • contentious IP matters (both in the UAE and across the MENA region).
  • Advising a leading multi-national brand owner in relation to its portfolio of innovative non-traditional trade marks across the MENA region.  This included advising on protection strategies for these marks (covering related copyright and design issues), and successfully enforcing the marks in relation to lookalike products.
  • Successfully handling litigation on behalf of a major international brand owner to ‘clear the way’ for the launch of its brand in the Middle East, despite the existence of prior registered rights in the UAE.
  • Advising numerous IP rights owners on local law issues as they enter the MENA region including in relation to:
    • the clearance and registration of IP rights (trade mark, patents and copyright) and developing filing strategies appropriate for the region; and
    • local law issues relating to the licensing and commercialisation of IP rights.
  • Advising a governmental entity in relation to a programme to develop technology in the MENA region, including identifying patentable technology and providing advice on national, regional and international patent filing strategies.
  • Handling a dispute for a plaintiff in the fast-moving-consumer-goods sector, which included an application for an injunctive-type order in relation to lookalike packaging for a competing product, with the result that the infringing product was redesigned.
  • Advising a leading regional television broadcaster on anti-piracy strategies (with successful results).
  • Successfully defending litigation for a regional broadcaster, where the plaintiff had sought an injunctive-type order to prevent the broadcast of a prime-time television series (with the result that the series was broadcast without interruption).
  • Handling a multi-jurisdictional IP dispute (with successful results) which included (i) trade mark infringement litigation in the UAE, (ii) related trade mark litigation in over 15 countries across Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe and the Americas, and (iii) patent litigation and potential patent litigation in Europe.
  • Running anti-counterfeiting programmes for a number of high profile local and international clients.  This has covered an extensive range of products protected under trade mark, unfair competition and copyright laws including in respect of clothing, footwear, toys, luxury goods and goods in the motor industry.
  • Handling domain name disputes and online infringement issues which, in recent years, has had a focus on websites hosted within the MENA region.
  • Advising on copyright law issues relating to the public performance of music in the UAE.


  • IP

Relevant regions