Worldwide: IP Regional Update – October 2015

Last Updated: 30 October 2015
Article by Clyde & Co LLP

Market updates and insights from around the region. This month we report on news from Libya, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia & the UAE.

Global

WIPO has released the Global Innovation Index for 2015

The Global Innovation Index for 2015 has been released by WIPO. This report measures the impact of innovation-oriented policies on economic growth and development. Please see the following link for more information: http://www.wipo.int/econ_stat/en/economics/gii/.

It is encouraging to see the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia listed as third in the top performers in the MENA region, and the UAE noted as a leader in cluster developments.

Libya

Libyan Trade Mark Office to resume issuing registration certificates

The Libyan Trade Mark Office has announced that it will resume issuing trade mark registration certificates for the first time since 2003.

The renewal due date will fall 10 years from date of filing which means that, for many applications, the renewal will fall due at the same time as (or shortly after) the certificate of registration is issued.

 "We understand that the officials are currently issuing certificates for applications numbered around 5,500, which covers filings around the year 2006.  Accordingly, there is a significant backlog to be cleared, but this is still welcome news for rights holders who have an interest in Libya.  It is also important to ensure that the renewals are carried out to prevent a loss of rights." Jon Parker, Head of Trade Marks

Jordan

Amended enforcement law in Jordan

Law No. 38 of 2015 has been issued in Jordan, amending the Standards and Metrology Organisation Law.

The amended law no longer differentiates between counterfeit goods seized at the point of importation and those found onshore.  As a result, the authority of the Jordan Standards and Metrology Organisation (commonly known as JSMO) has expanded to include the power to confiscate counterfeit products found onshore, including:

  • to raid outlets suspected of selling or manufacturing counterfeit products; and
  • to destroy products which have been proven to be counterfeit (regardless of where the products are seized).
Saudi Arabia

Saudi Trade Mark Office expands online services

The online services available at the Saudi Trade Mark Office are set to expand shortly, with the addition of renewal applications.  This move to online services is welcome.

However, it will be interesting to see how the online renewal process will be implemented in practice.  Currently, the renewal process in Saudi Arabia requires the original certificate of registration to be submitted. It is unclear whether the Trade Mark Office will no longer require the original certificate of registration to be submitted in light of the move to an online renewal system.

Also, it remains to be seen whether the expansion of this service to include trade mark renewals will also be accompanied by an increase in the publication fees for trade mark renewals.  In late 2013, when the Saudi Trade Mark Office started to accept the electronic filing of trade mark applications, this was accompanied by a substantial increase in publication fees.

Tunisia

Tunisia makes changes to Trade Mark Law

Tunisia has introduced procedural changes to its Trade Mark Law. These changes follow its signature to the Madrid Protocol on 16 October 2013.

These changes affect not only trade mark applications, but also trade mark oppositions, where an EU-style conciliation process now exists. These changes are set out in Decree No. 2015-303, which has replaced Decree No. 2001-1603.

UAE

UAE Trade Mark Office trials online system

from 13 to 19 September 2015, a limited number of trade mark agents (including Clyde & Co) were provided with the opportunity to beta-test the new system by filing a limited number of trade mark applications and renewals through the system.  The Trade Mark Office has asked (and received) feedback on the system, so that final tweaks can be made before implementation.

It is not yet known when the new system will be ready for launch.  However, both the new system and the Trade Mark Office's initiative to arrange for it to be beta-tested are to be applauded.

UAE

DED seizure of AED 195 million worth of counterfeit goods

The National newspaper has reported that the Dubai Department of Economic Development has seized a record value of counterfeit goods, including smartphones and sunglasses.  The report states that counterfeit goods worth AED 195 million were seized in raids of a number of warehouses in Dubai over a period of 26 hours.

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.

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