The Intellectual Property Office, based on a resolution issued on 1 October 2010 by the High Council for Legislation in Syria, announced on 3 October 2010 that a legalized power of attorney up to the Syrian Consulate / Embassy abroad must be submitted retroactively as of the first of January 2010.
According to the current Trademark Law, the grace period to submit the power of attorney is six months with penalty for late filing, bearing in mind that legalization by the Ministry of Foreign Affair in Syria (local legalization) takes about two months.
The practical effect of the above announcement will be on three major categories of trademark applications as follows:
Any trademark application that has been filed and not accepted yet without a power of attorney or at least with a notarized copy for a period of more than six months will be considered officially lapsed and therefore a new application needs to be filed.
Any renewal application filed and not accepted yet, the legalized power of attorney must be submitted within 6 months (with penalty for late filing of the POA). In case of shortage of time and the grace period for late renewal is still available (six months after expiration date), then we may file a new renewal application to avoid cancellation of the original renewal application.
This will give us six months to submit the power of attorney from the date of the second renewal application. By this, the client will have to pay additional official fees for renewal applications with penalty for late filing of the POA.
Oppositions or appeals submitted against provisional refusal of international applications filed through WIPO. Appeals which were also filed without power of attorney for more than six months are considered as abandoned.
The other concern is that any of the above applications, which were filed for more than 3 months, is expected also to be legally invalid since legalization of POA up to the Syrian Consulates abroad needs about one month and another two months for local legalization which brings the total to 6 months or more.
It is worth mentioning here that the above decision will apply also to any patent application filed and yet to be accepted.
What is good about this new development is that trademarks owners are required to submit the legalized power of attorney for one time only, and the said power will be kept at the Notary Public Office after legalization and a certified copy thereof will be obtained for each new trademark application to be filed in the name of the said owners.