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Rabin Law Services
Kabul, Afghanistan (AF)

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Afghanistan (AF)

Feb 10, 2022 (Newsletter Issue 2/22)
Official Fees Increased
The Afghan Ministry of Industry and Commerce has increased the official fees for intellectual property services. The official fees for trademarks, patents, utility models and designs have been increased at an average rate of 100% for each fee.

The official fee for the application until registration of a trademark is now 180 USD.

Source: Rabin Law Services, Afghanistan

Sep 06, 2018 (Newsletter Issue 15/18)
Submission of Notarized and Legalized PoA Required
The Afghan Trademark Registration Office (ATRO) has stipulated that it is no longer permitted to file trademark applications without a scanned copy of the notarized and legalized power of attorney up to the Afghani Consulate abroad. The original power of attorney needs to be submitted within one month from the date of filing. This decision has been put into effect as of August 29, 2018.

Source: JAH & Co. IP, Qatar

Aug 22, 2018 (Newsletter Issue 14/18)
Recording of Licenses in International Register no Effect
WIPO informed that the recording of licenses in the International Register has no effect in Afghanistan.

A license relating to an international registration of a mark needs to be recorded in the national Register of Afghanistan. The formalities required for such recording must be completed directly with the Office of Afghanistan and according to the conditions laid down by the legislation of that Contracting Party.

The declaration entered into force on June 26, 2018.

To access the WIPO notification, please click here


Apr 26, 2018 (Newsletter Issue 8/18)
Accession to Madrid Protocol
On March 26, 2018, the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan deposited its instrument of accession to the Madrid Protocol, making Afghanistan the 101st member of the Madrid System. The Protocol will enter into force for Afghanistan on June 26, 2018.

Starting June 26, local brand owners in Afghanistan can begin using the Madrid System to protect their marks in the 116 territories of the System’s other 100 members by filing a single international application and paying a single set of fees.


Feb 28, 2018 (Newsletter Issue 4/18)
Deposit of Official Fees at Filing
As of January 2018 the Afghani Patent & Trademark Office (APTO) has started to collect filing, classification and registration official fees at the time of filing and prior to substantive examination for absolute and relative grounds noting that registration fees are non-refundable in case of rejection or opposition.

No changes have been introduced to the time of paying official publication fees which will be collected after examination and issuance of acceptance notification.

The official notification can be referred to here

Source: JAH & Co. IP, Qatar

Dec 20, 2017 (Newsletter Issue 22/17)
Practice Change on Trademark Renewals
The Trademark Laws of Afghanistan do not contain any provision for grace periods. The Trademark Registration Law (2009) Article 20 (3) adopted in Afghanistan, says that a trademark which has not been renewed within the last six months of the ten years protection period stands expunged.

In practice the trademark department has allowed a 6 month grace period from the expiration date. The practice will come to an end as of December 2017 and consequently there is no possibility to renew the trademark registration after the expiry of the protection period. Renewal applications should be made during the 6 months preceding the expiry date.

Source: JAH & Co. IP, Qatar

Mar 14, 2017 (Newsletter Issue 5/17)
Accession to Paris Convention and Singapore Treaty
WIPO notifies the accession of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property of March 20, 1883, as revised at Stockholm on July 14, 1967, and as amended on September 28, 1979 (Paris Convention) and to the Singapore Treaty on the Law of Trademarks, adopted at Singapore on March 27, 2006.

The accession of both, the Paris Convention and the Singapore Treaty, will enter into force on May 14, 2017.


Jul 12, 2016 (Newsletter Issue 13/16)
Suggested Procedure on Single Class Applications
The General Director of Central Business Registry & Intellectual Property sent an official suggestion letter to the Ministry of Commerce and Industries which includes the following:

- Each trademark in each class should be registered via a standalone application and multiple class applications will not be accepted.
- Registration fee, application fee and classification fee should be deposited by the applicant at the time of filing the application in a single payment.
- Validity of distributorship certificates should not exceed from one year, in case, if the validity of distribution contract is for more than one year then the distributorship certificate should be renewed after one year following the registration date.
- The handwriting system should be changed to a modern and computerized system.

Further, the Office informed verbally that renewal and recordals of the trademarks which have been registered via multiple class applications will be renewed and recorded via multiple class applications. Also, pending applications will follow the old system.

Source: JAH & Co. IP, Qatar

Apr 05, 2016 (Newsletter Issue 6/16)
Change from Multi- to Single-Class System
The Afghan Trademark and Patent Office (TMO) has shifted its classification system from multi-class to single class applications. The said decision was communicated via email circular.

The notification was not clear on how the TMO is going to treat pending trademark applications as well as trademark registrations following this new classification system.

More clarifications will follow as soon as available.

Source: JAH & Co. IP, Qatar

May 02, 2012 (Newsletter Issue 7/12)
New IP Office and Procedures
The Afghanistan Government announced that the Trademark Registration Department has been relocated from the Commercial Court to the newly formed Intellectual Property Office (IPO) within the Ministry of Commerce and Industry as of April 4, 2012.

The opening of the new Intellectual Property Office (IPO) is expected to be on May 12, 2012.

In the meantime, the IPO is planning to unofficially receive applications and once the office becomes operational it will start giving formal application numbers.

The IPO will enforce the Trademark Law No. 995 dated September 1, 2009 and the new Rules and Regulations which will be finalized and approved by the Afghan Parliament.

In line with this change, some amendments have been made to the requirements and procedures for trademark registration, these changes include:

- Application shall undergo an examination before acceptance; the time frame needed for completing the examination is 15 working days as of the application date.
- The priority will be allowed based on the reciprocity principle.
- The time frame for registration is three (3) months as of the application date.
- The registration will be given only for all the goods/ services falling in the class(s) in which the registration is sought for, and there is no provision to apply for limited goods/ services.
- Applications can be filed with a copy of legalized Power of Attorney; meanwhile, the original document duly legalized and attested by the local Ministry of Foreign Affairs should be submitted at the time of obtaining the registration certificate.
- All the documents submitted should be accompanied with certified local language translations.
- In accordance with the new system, the official fees will be modified as well. The new fees will shortly be approved by the Afghan Parliament and applied on the applications filed before at the Commercial Court, but not yet completed the procedures.

More information will follow.


Feb 24, 2011 (Newsletter Issue 3/11)
Cancellation Actions, Change in Practice
According to the new Trademark Law which was revised in January 2011 by the Afghani Parliament, filing a cancellation action against a registered trademark can be made within 12 months from the date of registration instead of 36 months. Any person can file a cancellation action.

Requirements are:
- Power of attorney legalized up to the Afghani
- Consulate abroad.
- Evidence of prior registration or use.

The Action is filed before the Commercial Court and may take around 12-18 months.

Source: NJQ and Associates

Legal Basis:

  • Trademarks Registration Law, enforced since September 01, 2009 and the amendment of the same in March 16, 2015

  • Rules and Regulations for Registration of IPRs, enforced since October 07, 2018.

  • 1st Appendix to the Commercial Procedural Law, March 18, 2017

Member of Paris Convention and the Singapore Treaty as of May 14, 2017.
Member of the Madrid Protocol as of June 26, 2018.

Trademark protection is obtained by registration, unless it’s a well-known Trademark.
The latest version of the Nice classification is applicable.
Exception: There is no trademark protection for alcoholic beverages included class 33.
All distinctive and graphically representable signs, three-dimensional forms and any combination of the mentioned signs not deemed distinctive in the examination can be registered if distinctiveness has been acquired by use.
Note: As per amendments in the Trademarks Registration Law on March 16, 2015, registration of a collective trademark is allowed.
The application is filed at the Afghan Central Business Registry & Intellectual Property (ACBR-IP).
The Trademark Office has shifted its classification system from multi-class to single class applications and multi-class applications are not applicable anymore. The new regulation of filing separate applications per mark per class will only be applied for applications filed after March 11, 2016, and not for the previously filed applications.
A scanned copy of the notarized and legalized power of attorney up to the Afghan Consulate abroad is necessary. The original power of attorney needs to be submitted within one to two months from the date of filing.
All the documents submitted should be accompanied by a certified local language translation.
The application process includes a formal examination, an examination of distinctiveness and a search for prior trademarks.
Trademark applications accepted by the Registrar are published in the official gazette prior to registration.
The approximate time frame for completing the registration process of a trademark in Afghanistan is 5-6 months.
Objection to the registration of a trademark must be filed no later than 21 working days (one month) from the date of publication of the trademark in the official gazette.
Cancellation action against a registered trademark must be filed no later than one year from the date of registration of the trademark. Well-known mark is exempt from this provision.
A Well-Known Mark should be a world-renowned, whose reputation surpassed the country of origin where it has been registered and acquired a fame in the relevant sector among the consumer public in several countries including Afghanistan.

Details regarding the Opposition Period against designation of IR Mark are available in our publication on this topic here
Protection begins from the date of application. A trademark registration is valid for 10 years from date of application and the registration is renewable for periods of 10 years.
Practical details on grace periods for trademark renewals are available in our publication here
Practical details on trademark use requirements are available in our publication here
The official fee for the application until registration of a trademark is USD 180 USD.
Note: The official fee for filing, classification and registration is collected in a single payment at the time of filing and in case of rejection, the same would not be refundable.

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Practical details on trademark licensing are available in our publication here
Online you can see a limited part of information about this country.
More in-depth details are available for the following aspects:

     General Trademark Regulations
     Trademark Use Requirements
     Grace Period for Trademark Renewal
     Trademark Licensing

If you like to purchase all available information for this country, click the order button.
The total price is 49.00 EUR. A PDF-Download will be sent to you electronically.

SMD Group thanks the following law firms for their assictance in updating the information provided.

Sep 02, 2023
Mohammad Naseer and Massoun Consultancy and IP Services, Kabul, Afghanistan

Rabin Law Services

Omari Salang Tower, 6th Floor, Suite No. 9, Kulola Pushta Main Road
Afghanistan (AF)
Tel +93 77 780 2020; +93 79 065 6545

Post Box No. 44-044 Kabul, Afghanistan

Rabin Law Services is a leading provider of legal services in Afghanistan. Our experience and tradition of excellence allows us to anticipate and satisfy the rapidly changing needs of business, communities, and individuals nationally and internationally.

Since our inception in January 2017, we have very rapidly grown to become one of the Afghanistan’s leading law firms. This firm has a broadly based practice with an excellent reputation for offering a full range of quality legal services. Large enough to handle complex cases, yet small enough to maintain a close personal relationship with clients, the firm is well suited to represent local clients as well as international individuals and corporations. Our success has been achieved through competent representation, high ethical standards and open cordial relations with clients, government personnel and the legal community.

Our attorneys are active in a wide variety of public, professional, charitable, community and civic leadership organizations and serve on the boards of major non-profit institutions and local community organizations.

Our attorneys demonstrate their continuing commitment to the quality and integrity of the legal profession by acting as contributing authors to respected legal and business publications, and as speakers before legal and business groups.

Our Services:

- Intellectual Property
- Commercial and Business Disputes
- Civil Disputes
- Criminal Prosecution and Defense

Afghanistan Central Business Registry & Intellectual Property (ACBR-IP)
Trademarks Registration Department
Tel +93 75 204 1772
Fax N/A

World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
34, Chemin des Colombettes
1211 Geneva 20
Tel +41 22 33 89 11 1
Fax +41 22 73 35 42 8