Latest News: 05-02-2013 (Newsletter Issue 6/13)
Change of Practice in Registering Domain Names
The Board of Directors of the Albanian Authority on Electronic and Postal Communication (AKEP) amended the Regulation on Domain Names No. 437, of February 21, 2008 with its Decision No. 2252 of January 23, 2013.
The most important change is that foreign entities no longer need to have a local (Albanian) office or branch in order to register .al domain names. Foreign entities can now register .al domain names or have existing .al domain names transferred to them, pursuant to conditions prescribed by the Regulation on Domain Names. In the past, local presence was required.
Foreign entities may work through local registrars who are accredited by AKEP. The process of accreditation will commence on May 01, 2013.
Source: Cabinet Pavlovic, Belgium
Legal basis is the Industrial Property Law no. 9947 of July 7th, 2008.
Albania is a member of the Madrid Agreement and the Madrid Protocol.
Trademark protection is obtained by registration. Albania protects a well-known mark against conflicting marks, at least with effect from the time when the mark has become well known in the country, according to Paris Convention.
Nice classification, 10th edition
Registrable as a trademark are all distinctive and graphically representable signs, such as words, names, acronyms, letters, numbers, devices, colours, colour combinations, the three-dimensional form of a good or its packaging, as well as sound marks and any combination of the mentioned signs.
The following trademark types are registrable: trade marks, service marks and collective marks.
The application is filed at the Albanian Patent and Trademark Office.
Multiple-class applications are possible.
Foreign applicants do not need a domestic registration.
Foreign applicants need a local agent.
A non-legalised, signed and stamped/sealed power of attorney is sufficient.
The first office action is taken within 3 months.
The processing time from filing to registration is approx. 6 to 9 months.
The application process includes a formal examination and an examination of distinctiveness, but no search for prior trademarks.
The trademark application data are published after the formal examination in the “Buletini i Pronësisë Industriale (Marka)” which is published bimonthly and only electronically. It can be accessed here
After registration, the trademark is published in the “Buletini i Pronësisë Industriale. (Marka)” as well.
The opposition period is 3 months from the publication date of the trademark application data. There are no provisions for filing opposition against the trademark registration.
Opposition against designation of IR Mark
(The period starts from the national publication date, if not stated differently):
3 months from the 1st of the month following publication in the WIPO gazette
Protection begins with the date of application, but the trademark is only valid after successful registration. A trademark registration is valid for 10 years from date of application. The registration is renewable for periods of 10 years.
If the trademark is continuously not used within 5 years from registration, it may be subject to cancellation.
The official application fee is approx. EUR 40.00 for one class and approx. EUR 20.00 for each additional class.
Trademark Licence Agreement
A licence has to be in writing. Licensing of unregistered marks is not permitted. A licence can be restricted to only some of the goods or services covered by the mark. Whether the sale of a registered mark automatically terminates the licence or not may be provided for in the licence agreement. There are statutory provisions prescribing the terms of licensing. The licensor may use his trademark rights against a licensee who violates the terms of the agreement concerning the licence duration, the form of use, the classes of goods/ services, the territory or the quality of the licensed products or services. A licence agreement is not effective unless the licensor imposes obligations on the licensee regarding the fulfilment of the conditions provided in the agreement.
It is mandatory to register a licence agreement with the Albanian Patents and Trademark Office for the licence agreement to have legal effect. There is no time frame for a recordal.
The following documents are required for a recordal:
1. The licence agreement, signed by both parties
2. A power of attorney from the applicant (signed, notarised and legalised or, if the applicant is a legal person, signed by an authorised representative of the company and bearing the company seal or stamp)
The official payment receipt
The licence agreement shall contain the following provisions:
1. The duration of the contract
2. The form of permitted use
3. The respective classes of goods/services
4. The territory
5. The quality standards for the licensed products/ services
A licence becomes effective and enforceable from the date of the recordal. It is published in the Official Industrial Property Bulletin once after it is registered.
There is an evidentiary presumption that use by a recorded licensee is permitted use. A licensee shall, for the purpose of obtaining compensation for damage suffered by him, be entitled to intervene in infringement proceedings brought by the licensor. In most in-stances the licensee is entitled to call upon the trademark owner to institute infringement proceedings.
He can institute such proceedings in his own name in two instances:
1. If the licence agreement explicitly allows him to do so.
2. In the event that the licence is exclusive and the licensee has notified the licensor of a possible infringement, but the licensor refuses or neglects to institute proceedings within a ‘reasonable’ period of time
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