03-12-2013 (Newsletter Issue 3/13)New Trademark Filing SystemThe Ministry of Economics and Trade, the General Directorate of Economic and Trades, and the Intellectual Property Protection department - Trademarks Division, in attempt to develop the trademarks registration procedure, has adopted a new online filing system as of February 2013.
Accordingly, no more hard copies are required to be submitted in order to obtain a filing date and a filing number; however, the new system has added new requirements, which are identified below:
- Applicant details must be entered in Arabic characters and English characters;
- Applications should include Arabic transliteration of the trademark;
- Trademark name and design must be supplied as PDF file even if it is a word mark, and
- Full name and capacity of the signatory on the power of attorney (PoA) must be clearly indicated on the application.
The new system, which is available twenty four hours through the whole week allows for the Lebanese citizens, companies and local agents to file their trademark applications and check their status online, while the original documents should be filed at a later stage.
Source: NJQ & Associates and JAH & Co. IP, Doha, Qatar
09-27-2012 (Newsletter Issue 14/12)10th Edition of Nice ClassificationThe Lebanese Trademark Office has recently shifted its trademark classification system from the 9th edition to the 10th edition of the Nice International Classification for Goods and Services, which entered into force on January 1, 2012.
Source: JAH & Co. IP, Doha, Qatar, www.sabaip.com
Legal basis is the Laws and Systems of the Commercial and Industrial Property in Lebanon Resolution No. 2385, issued on January 17th, 1924, amended by the Law of January 31st, 1946, Decree No. 245 of February 23rd, 1983.
Lebanon is a member of the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property.
Trademark protection is obtained by registration.
Nice classification, 10th edition
There are no restrictions regarding the coverage of a trademark to certain goods (as for example beers, alcoholic beverages, pork meat, etc.).
Registrable as a trademark are all distinctive and graphically representable signs, such as words, names, acronyms, letters, numbers, devices, emblems, combinations or shades of colours, three-dimensional forms and any combination of the mentioned signs.
The following trademark types are registrable: trade marks, service marks, certification marks, collective marks, famous and well known trademarks, trade names and titles of establishment.
The application is filed at the Lebanese IP Protection Office.
An application can include goods and/or services in any number of classes, but a separate sum of official fees is to be paid for each class.
Foreign applicants need a local agent.
A non-legalised power of attorney is sufficient.
Foreign applicants need a domestic registration, unless the home country of the applicant has an agreement of reciprocity with Lebanon.
The application process includes a formal examination, an examination of distinctiveness and as to whether it is contrary to the public order and morals or representing national or foreign decorations and a search for prior trademarks.
The processing time from first filing to registration or first office action is approx. 2 weeks. Once a trademark is accepted a receipt in respect of the registration and publication fees is issued.
The trademark is deemed registered upon returning the paid receipt to the Lebanese IP Protection Office. Accordingly, the applicant or agent receives the registration number and date of the trademark.
After registration, the trademark is published in the official gazette within a period of 4 to 6 months.
The nature of the Lebanese registration system is a deposit system; there is no opposition period during the registration process. Cancellation actions can be raised at competent courts after registration of a trademark.
Opposition against designation of IR Mark
(The period starts from the national publication date, if not stated differently):
not a member of the Madrid Agreement or Protocol.
A trademark registration is valid for 15 years from date of registration. It is renewable for periods of 15 years.
There is no use requirement.
The official fee from filing through to registration of a straight-forward application is approx. EUR 310.00 per class.
Trademark Licence Agreement
In Lebanon a licence agreement has to be in writing. Licensing of unregistered trademarks is not permitted. It is not possible to license a trademark for only some of the goods or services in respect of which the trademark is registered. The sale of a registered trademark does not automatically terminate the licence. There are no statutory provisions prescribing the terms of a licence agreement.
There are provisions in law for the recordal of a licensee. The recordal of a licence agreement is mandatory. If an application for a recordal is not filed within one month from the date of signature of the agreement, a penalty is levied for each month of late-recordal. There is no prescribed form or content for the validity of a licence agreement.
The following documents are required for a recordal:
1. A simply signed power of attorney
2. A legalised copy of the licence agreement
A licence agreement becomes effective and enforceable against third parties from the date of its registration at the Trademark Office and is published in the Official Gazette.
There is no evidentiary presumption that use of a recorded licensee is permitted use. The licensee may join the trademark owner in infringement proceedings and may also call upon the owner to institute infringement proceedings. He may institute proceedings in his own name if the proprietor refuses or neglects to do so, even if the licence agreement did not afford him this right and where the owner refused to proceed or did not take any action. The licensee must cite the trademark owner as co-defendant in any such proceedingsaffecting his rights.. The licensee must cite the trademark owner as co-defendant in any such proceedings.
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We would like to thank the following law firms for their assistance in updating the information provided:
Grant Thornton Yafi & Co., Beirut, Lebanon
Grant Thornton Yafi & Co., Beirut, Lebanon