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AB for IP

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AB for Intellectual Property

Watchmen of Innovation

Latest IP Updates and News

Libya: Implementation of New Document Submission Formalities from 01 May 2024

In a recent circular posted on 14 February 2024, the Libyan Ministry of Economy & Trade has communicated essential updates for trademark-related procedures: 1. Power of Attorney Validity: The Power of Attorney (POA) for trademark prosecution actions is valid for one year from the date of signing. 2. Legalization of Documents: Documents legalized abroad must undergo local attestation by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Collaboration to validate consulates' legalization. 3. Company Registration Requirement: For filing new trademark applications, it is now mandatory to submit an extract of the entry of the applicant company in the commercial register, a certificate of incorporation, or any document proving the legal existence of the applicant company. The document should be issued within one year from initiating the trademark action, along with its Arabic translation. 4. Post-Registration Recordal Actions: Applications for trademark assignment and other post-registration recordal actions must include the original required documents along with their Arabic translation. These updates will come into effect on 01 May 2024. Until then, trademark owners are strongly advised to utilize existing powers of attorney and trade licenses with the trademarks office, especially if executed before 01/05/2023. Failure to do so may necessitate the execution of a fresh set of documents as outlined above.

Resumption of Operations at the Sudanese Trademarks Office: A New Beginning

On 11 February 2024, the Sudanese Trademarks Office marked a significant milestone by resuming its regular operations. This comes after a hiatus of nearly 10 months due to the socio-political unrest in the country. The reopening signals a return to normalcy, and the TM Office is now actively accepting new trademark applications, renewals, recordals, and more. However, it's important to note that certain procedural aspects, such as the examination of applications and supporting documents, are pending and will be addressed once the trademark database is updated. We have been closely monitoring developments at the Sudanese TM Office. We are committed to promptly addressing all pending instructions received during the closure period. As soon as the trademarks office completes the transition to regular operations, comprehensive filing reports will be shared with our valued clients and associates.

Qatar Takes Strides in Intellectual Property Governance

In a momentous development, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MOCI) in Qatar has established a long-anticipated Grievance Committee in accordance with the Minister of Economy and Trade Resolution No. (154) of 2018, dated 1 May 2018. This committee is tasked with reviewing appeals related to decisions on patent registration and licensing. The formation of this committee underscores Qatar's commitment to fostering a robust intellectual property environment, instilling greater confidence in applicants seeking protection for their intellectual property rights within the nation. Alongside the formation of the Grievance Committee, the Minister of Economy and Trade has issued two important circulars: Circular No. 2/2024: Patent Annuity Payment This circular addresses scenarios where the Qatari Patent Office does not examine or issue a decision on a submitted patent application within a consecutive three-year period. In such cases, the applicant or their representative agent has the option to suspend annuity payments from the fourth year until the Patent Office issues its acceptance or grant decision. Subsequently, all outstanding annuities must be settled, with the remaining annuities payable in their respective years until the end of the protection period. Circular No. 3/2024: Withdrawal and Amendment of Patent Application In alignment with Article 6 of Executive Regulation No. 153 of 2018 of the Patent Law No. 30 of 2006, patentees can withdraw their applications at any time before a final decision of grant or rejection is issued. Once a final decision is made, the recovery of submitted documents and official fees becomes impossible. Additionally, patentees retain the flexibility to amend their patent applications or submit supporting documents, provided no final decision has been reached. It's crucial to note that these amendments should not alter the essence or nature of the invention. This comprehensive regulatory framework signals Qatar's proactive stance in refining its intellectual property landscape, offering clearer guidelines and avenues for patent applicants and holders.

Commencement of Trademark Publication in Libya

In adherence to the recent executive regulations outlined in Ministerial Decision No. 26/2024 issued on 17 January 2024 (Article 11), the Libyan Trademark Office has initiated the publication of accepted trademarks through its newly launched official platform—the Libyan Trademark Office - Electronic Publication Platform. Effective 1 February 2024, the TM Office has officially commenced the publication of trademarks, with an initial batch, including filing numbers 22100-28699, set for release shortly. As of today's date, 6236 trademarks have already been published. It is crucial to note that, in alignment with Article 12 of the aforementioned executive regulations, the opposition period has been revised from 60 days to a non-extendable 30 days under any circumstances. This adjustment streamlines the opposition process and ensures a more expeditious resolution.

Libya: Increase in Official Fees

As of January 17, 2024, the Libyan Ministry of Economy and Trade has implemented New Executive Regulations No. 26 dated 2024, leading to an adjustment in official fees associated with trademark services. The new regulations also provide comprehensive definitions and provisions, addressing prior gaps in the trademark law, covering aspects such as registrable marks, registration procedures, expiry of marks, property and their mortgage, registration, renewal, and disputes related to trademarks.

Syria: Revised Fees for Trademark and Design Services

Subsequent to the decision by the Syrian People Assembly on 15/11/2023 to amend fees for various IP services, a new law (No. 23/2023, November 21, 2023) was issued, bringing forth modified fees for trademarks and design services. These changes came into effect in December 2023.

Saudi Arabia's Accession to the Madrid Agreement Protocol: A Strategic Step in Intellectual Property Protection

In a move that strengthens the framework of intellectual property rights, the Saudi Cabinet officially approved Saudi Arabia's accession to the Madrid Agreement Protocol. This marks a significant development in the Kingdom's economic, trade, and investment sectors under the supervision of the Saudi Authority for Intellectual Property. The Madrid Protocol is an international treaty that facilitates the registration of trademarks on both national and international levels. It allows citizens and residents of member countries, whether individuals or companies, to take measures to protect their trademarks in targeted countries. This is done by submitting a single application to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) through the national office, in one of the three official languages: English, French, or Spanish, with a specified set of fees in a single currency. The treaty offers various benefits, such as maintaining and renewing trademark registrations, registering the transfer of international registration ownership to others, or amending the name and/or address and other data. All of this is accomplished through a single procedure applicable to all member states. This decision aligns with Saudi Arabia's commitment to enhancing an effective legal framework for the protection of intellectual property rights.

Celebrating Excellence: AB for Intellectual Property Named "Best Patent & Trademark Law Firm 2023 - North Africa

We are thrilled to announce that AB for Intellectual Property has been honored with the prestigious title of "Best Patent & Trademark Law Firm 2023 - North Africa." This accolade is a testament to our unwavering commitment to excellence, innovation, and the highest standards of legal service. Receiving this award is not just a recognition of our accomplishments, but a celebration of the trust and confidence bestowed upon us by our valued clients and the legal community. It reaffirms our dedication to providing unparalleled legal expertise in the field of intellectual property. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to our clients, partners, and the esteemed awarding body for this recognition. It inspires us to continue our pursuit of excellence and to set new benchmarks in the legal landscape. Thank you for being an integral part of our journey.

Revolutionizing Intellectual Property: United Arab Emirates Introduces Innovative Fee Structure through Resolution No. 112 of 2023

In a landmark development, the Cabinet of Ministers has unveiled Resolution No. 112 of 2023, dated 13 November 2023, ushering in a new era for official fees related to patents, industrial designs, and utility models in the United Arab Emirates. The revised fee schedule introduces several key features, including the reinstatement of official fees for previously free-of-charge services. These services encompass a range of activities such as publications, annuities, recordals of assignments, amendments, restorations, and changes of agents. Notably, the updated structure acknowledges and supports small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and academic entities by incorporating them into a reduced fee scheme. This inclusive approach reflects a strategic move to encourage innovation within these sectors. The resolution further introduces new services, expanding the scope of possibilities for applicants. Now, entities can request changes to their size, add more claims to applications, restore lapsed applications, expedite examinations, and seek re-examination of minimal errors. Importantly, the calculation of official fees will now be based on the number of claims made. As per the official announcement, the decree is set to be published in the Official Gazette and will come into effect sixty (60) days from the date of publication, marking a significant step towards fostering a dynamic and progressive intellectual property landscape in the United Arab Emirates.

Saudi Arabia Embraces Innovation: Implementation of the 12th Edition of NICE Classification Reshapes Trademark Filing Landscape

In a forward-looking move, the Saudi Authority for Intellectual Property (SAIP) has officially adopted the 12th Edition of the International Classification of Goods and Services under the Nice Agreement. As of 5 November 2023, this significant update brings transformative changes to the process of registering marks through SAIP's online filing system. Notably, applicants are no longer able to choose class headings; instead, they are encouraged to select items from a predefined list of goods and services or opt for the comprehensive "all items in the class" option. This evolution in the classification system marks a strategic step towards enhancing the precision and efficiency of trademark applications in Saudi Arabia.

Bahrain Initiates Strategic Fee Reductions: Patent and Utility Model Costs Slashed for Individual Innovators

A pivotal move by the Minister of Industry and Commerce, outlined in Ministerial Decree number 67 of 2023, has ushered in a new era of innovation. Progressive adjustments have been implemented, strategically reducing official fees for patent and utility model registrations specifically tailored for individual applicants. These groundbreaking fee reductions came into effect on 22 September 2023, signaling a concerted effort by the Ministry to bolster the realm of innovation and streamline the process for individuals seeking to safeguard their groundbreaking ideas.

Intellectual Property Updates in Gaza: Temporary Postponement of Deadlines Amidst Ongoing Crisis

In Gaza, the landscape of intellectual property (IP) is undergoing a temporary shift as all associated deadlines face a postponement in light of the current situation. This article aims to provide insight into the latest developments while expressing solidarity with those affected by the tragic loss of loved ones and the destruction of homes. Amidst the turmoil, the IP community navigates through these challenging times, hoping for a swift de-escalation of the conflict and the restoration of normalcy. In a significant response to the prevailing circumstances, a decision has been made to temporarily defer all deadlines related to intellectual property matters in Gaza. This measure is a direct reflection of the impact of the ongoing crisis on the normal functioning of IP activities. Stakeholders and practitioners are urged to stay informed about any further updates regarding the resumption of deadlines. Beyond the realm of intellectual property, the heart-wrenching reality of the current situation in Gaza is acknowledged. The sudden loss of loved ones and the widespread destruction of homes have left communities in mourning. This article stands in solidarity with those affected, recognizing the profound challenges faced by individuals and families in the midst of this crisis. As we navigate these turbulent times, the intellectual property community in Gaza remains hopeful for a miraculous de-escalation of the conflict. The call for reason to overcome rage echoes not only within the IP landscape but also in the collective hope for a return to stability and peace. Despite the challenges, the resilience of the IP community shines through as it adapts to the evolving circumstances and anticipates a future where normalcy can be restored.

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