Very important changes in the new law of distinctive trademarks, geographical indications, utilities and industrial designs and unfair competition.
On 13 March 2007 the new law which was published in the Tshreen Newspaper No. 9817 will be effective within 30 days, i.e. 11 April 2007. The implementing regulations are assumed to be issued immediately.
While the Trademark Office has ceased to receive any new applications as of 26 March until 11 April 2007, renewal applications are received using the new fees, and subject to the new provisions of the law.
The new practice has brought forward the following significant changes:
New Trademark Applications
- Any natural person or legal entity can apply for the registration of a trademark.
- Multi class applications are not allowed anymore.
- New applications are now subject to substantive examination, changing from filing to examination system.
- Recognition of well- known trademarks and geographical indications during conducting the substantive examination.
- Protection period remains 10 years but is valid as of the filing date, and no payment of publication fees.
- Creation of Trademark Journal to publish all accepted applications, while it is still not clear if publication in official Gazette will continue.
- Increase in official fees for filing and registration from $50 to $300.
- Opposition is now possible within 90 days from the date of publication before the Committee.
- The committee decision is subject for appeal before the First Instant Court.
Renewal of Trademarks
- Any renewal application will be subject to substantive examination. This will apply on the first time renewal application after the implementing of the new law; however, in case of any conflicting trademark appearing, the renewal will be rejected.
- Renewal application, for the first time after the new law implementation, will be subject for opposition after publication within 90 days.
- Increase in official renewal fees from $50 to $300.
- Late renewal fees $60.
- Renewal of multi-class registration will be subject to full official fees for each class.
- The applicant may request delay of publication of his/ her design for 12 months.
- New design is subject to substantive examination.
- Duration of a design is 5 years from the date of filing, renewable for two periods of 5 years each.
- Increase in official fees from $40 to $240.
- Late renewal fees $60.
Renewal of Industrial Designs:
- Any renewal application will be subject to substantive examination. This will apply on the first time renewal application after the implementing of the new law; however, in case of any conflicting design appearing, the renewal will be rejected.
- Renewal application for the first time after the new law will be published and subject for opposition.
- Grace period of 6 months for late renewal is possible after payment of penalties of $60.