News 2017       | March & April

New Jurisdiction Update in Kurdistan

23 April 2017

There has been an increase in Official fees for all trademark related matters in Kurdistan which will be applied retroactively. However, the trademark office is still not accepting fresh applications as they are trying to clear the backlog of the processed applications. For applicants who have already completed the clearance search (with free search reports), will have to file their applications paying the new fees; likewise, applicants whose trademarks have survived the opposition period will have to pay the registration fees as per the new tariffs.

As a background on the trademark registration procedure in this jurisdiction; the applicable law for trademarks registration in Kurdistan Region is the Iraqi Law No. 21 of 1957, and further, the applicable Classification is the International Classification of Goods and Services for the Purposes of the Registration of Marks under the Nice Agreement, which is the same Law and Classification adopted by the Iraqi Trademarks Office in Baghdad – Iraq. The application undergoes a compulsory pre-filing search and, upon receiving a free report, the trademark application can progress to filing in which the Filing and Publication fees will have to be paid together while the registration fees can be settled as soon as the opposition period of 90 days is concluded.

As an alternative action to direct trademark registration with The Kurd Trademarks Office, the old practice pertaining to the extension of trademark protection has been reactivated. In other words, it is now possible to extend the protected of a trademark registered in Baghdad to cover Kurdistan as well; a procedure is as effective as direct trademark registration with Trademark Office in Kurdistan. If the trademark is already registered in Iraq and the owner of the mark wishes to extend its protection to Kurdistan, an official letter should be issued by the Iraqi Trademarks Registrar in Baghdad with a certified copy of the registration certificate of the mark and addressed to the Registrar of Trademarks in Kurdistan furnishing them with the complete details of the concerned trademark along with a report on its latest particulars in order protect the mark and accredit its registration under Kurdistan jurisdiction so that no subsequent closely similar or identical trademarks will be accepted for registration for a third party. A legalized power of attorney should be submitted with the official letter by the Iraqi Trademarks Registrar.

New Jurisdiction Update in Libya

2 April 2017

Libyan Trademarks Office is currently issuing the Registration Certificates of trademarks holding the filing numbers from 6000 to 6500. Given the current circumstances in Libya and the backlog of applications at the Trademark Office, the issuance of the registration certificates is expected to face delays. However, we are pleased to announce that applicants who are interested in obtaining any official certificate proving that their trademarks have been registered with the Libyan Trademarks Office can obtain an official testimony confirming the registration of any trademark whose term of opposition has passed without third party action.

New Jurisdiction Update in Qatar

30 March 2017

The Qatari Patent Office has recently started receiving and processing local and international applications for patents and copyrights in electronic form by dedicating an online Portal Trademarks applications are expected to follow the same shortly.

As one of the most advanced jurisdictions in this region, Qatar IP Department is pouring strenuous efforts into updating its system and procedures. Furthermore, Qatar approved the Industrial Designs Draft Law along with its Implementing Regulations on March 15, 2017 which is expected to bring changes to the existing system for design protection in the country which involves publishing of cautionary notices.

It should be noted that as there is no statutory design protection in force in Qatar, the only available means for protecting designs is through publishing cautionary notices in Arabic and English in local newspapers. Cautionary notices define the owner's interest in industrial property, announce the ownership thereto and alert the public against any possible infringement. Such publication of notices could be of considerable assistance in case of litigation. There is no standing regulation as to when a cautionary notice should be republished. A cautionary notice is not as effective as a registration and is not deposited with any government department. Consequently, republication of cautionary notices at reasonable intervals acts as a reminder to the public and helps ward off eventual infringers.

New Jurisdiction Update in Jordan

30 March 2017

Jordan has become the 152nd member of the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT). and the most recent Arab state to accede to the PCT. The Treaty is expected to enter into force on June 9, 2017 and in the meantime an awareness campaign and training is being undertaken by the Jordanian Patent Office.

Increase In Official Substantive Examination Fees For Patents in Egypt

13 March 2017

The Egyptian Patent Office issued a decision to increase the official fees of several patent related services, including the fees for substantive examination. These fees went into effect retroactively for all new patent applications filed on or after February 13, 2017. The patent examination fees have been increased from EGP 7,000 to EGP 17,530 and are expected to be revised on an annual basis.