Searching for the Nexis: Intellectual Property and Bankruptcy Regimes in Arab Countries

25 Pages Posted: 30 Nov 2021

See all articles by Bashar Malkawi

Bashar Malkawi

James E. Rogers College of Law

Date Written: November 25, 2021


Intellectual property (IP) forms an essential part of modern innovation, spurring invention, protecting creators and businesses, generating royalties and, subsequently, recording knowledge for future generations. Intellectual property rights (IPR) are of unique importance in Arab countries, given their historical development and context, as well as their interrelationship with bankruptcy laws.

The great acceleration of legal protection for IPR in the last two decades throughout the Arab region is therefore plain to see. However, the recognition and treatment of these rights in insolvency proceedings is still a highly complex and evolving area. This is exacerbated by the fact that, although there are an increasingly large number of cross-border insolvencies, insolvency law is domestic in nature and therefore ill-equipped to tackle these cases. For an insolvency administrator, the nature of the IP is important. Many categories of IPR are not "codified, registered or even easily identifiable", making it "deeply embedded" within the company and thus very challenging to extricate and assess.

This article examines several aspects of IP and bankruptcy law to illustrate the ways in which these two areas of the law intertwine. First, the article reviews intellectual property rights in the aforementioned Arab countries and explain the role and importance of these rights. The history of IPR in these countries will also be reviewed to add context to these explanations. Second, the article analyzes insolvency and bankruptcy laws in these countries to lay the foundation for the analysis. Finally, the article examines the relationship between IP assets and bankruptcy proceedings in these Arab countries. Ultimately, this goal seeks to explain both IPR and a bankruptcy proceeding to reveal the intersection of these two areas of law and the influence that one has on the other. Finally, the article concludes with a set of conclusions and recommendations.

Keywords: Bankruptcy, intellectual property, IP, intellectual property rights, IPR, copyright, licensing, valuation, Arab countries, Arab world, United States, Foreign and International Law, Bankruptcy law

Suggested Citation

Malkawi, Bashar, Searching for the Nexis: Intellectual Property and Bankruptcy Regimes in Arab Countries (November 25, 2021). Arizona Legal Studies Discussion Paper No. 21-27, Available at SSRN: or

Bashar Malkawi (Contact Author)

James E. Rogers College of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 210176
Tucson, AZ 85721-0176
United States

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