Issuance of first trademark registration
The Libyan Trademark Office has just issued the first registration certificate in 30 years. This development comes as a result of the Ministerial Resolution No. 316 of May 2009 to modify the form of the trademark registration certificate. The Trademark Office has started issuing certificates on a priority basis according to the filing dates.
The reason for the delay in issuance of certificates of registration was that the Trademark Office was not settled on the form of the certificate. Further, the Trademark Office was receiving a huge number of trademark applications and it was not fully equipped to deal with the high volume of work. The long period of economic sanctions further impacted on the situation.
In light of the current developments, all pending trademark applications that have been published and are awaiting issuance of registration certificates will mature to registration shortly.
New Trademark Laws
Further, a new trademark law has recently been introduced in Libya after being ratified by the legislature. The new law will only be effective upon its publication in the Official Gazette and once the implementing regulations are issued. Some of the main features of the new law are:
- The scope of trademark protection has been expanded to include sound marks, color marks, collective marks and certification marks.
- Trademarks that have successfully withstood the opposition phase will be published a second time in the Official Gazette for confirmation of registration.
- The grace period for late renewals has been extended from 3 months to 6 months.
- There are new provisions for protection of famous trademarks that are well known in Libya.
- Penalties for trademark infringement have increased, most notably in the amount of fines.
The new law, once effective, will replace the existing trademark law No. 40 of 1056.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.