National legal legislation includes Decree No. 93-17, December 1993, concerning the Protection of Inventions, Decree No. 66-60 of March 1966 concerning patents and Inventors Certificates, Decree No. 66-57 on trademarks of March 1966, Decree No. 66-86 of April 1966 on Industrial Designs, Law No. 97-10 of March 1997, on Copyright and Related Rights and Decree No. 76-65 of July 1976 on Appellations of Origin/ Geographical Indications/Indications of Source. Algeria is a member of WIPO since April 1975. In an effort to bring domestic legislation in conformity with TRIPS, new intellectual property laws are enacted. Algeria is a signatory of the Paris Convention as of March 1966, the Madrid Agreement (International Registration of Marks) as of July 1972, the Madrid Agreement (False or Deceptive Indications of Source on Goods) as of July 1972, NICE Agreement (Appellations of Origin) since July 1972, the Berne Convention as of April 1998, the PCT (Patents) as of March 2000, and PLT (Patent Law Treaty) as of June 2000
Applications for a grant of a patent or design are filed with the Patent Office administered by the National Algerian Institute for Industrial Property which operates under the supervision of the Ministry of Industry. If the Patent Office declines to accept the unity of the patent, the applicant had to respond within 6 months. In the event of a response a two months period is permitted to rectify irregularities. Divisional applications are considered. Appeals against the decision of the Registrar of Patents as regards applications are made by a petition to the competent court within 30 days from the date of notification. Once a patent application is accepted, it will be published and recorded in the Official Gazette. Validity term is twenty years from the date of filing subject to payment of annuity fees within the last month of each year. The patentee had to put the patent into operation within a period of 4 years as from the date of filing or 3 years as from the date of grant. Assignment must be recorded within a period of 6 months from the date of grant. Infringement proceedings can be pursued on civil or criminal basis as the nature of the case may be. Relief would be granted including confiscation and destruction of infringed produces or compensation in damages for losses sustained.
Formal filing requirements for a non-PCT application are as follows:
NOTE: Documents required for mandatory formal filing are: particulars of the applicant, title of the invention in French, specification, claims, formal drawings and an abstract in French, Arabic or English. Details of the priority document may be presented within a three months period. Other documents may be presented within a time span no exceeding two months.
Formal filing requirements for filing a PCT application are as follows:
NOTE: Documents required for mandatory formal filing are: Particulars of the applicant, title of the invention in French, copy of the specification, claims, formal drawings, and an abstract as published by WIPO. Other indicated documents may be filed within a two months period.
(a) A simply signed power of attorney in French.
(b) Particulars of the applicant.
(c) The number and date of filing of the patent.
Algeria Trademarks Office, administered by the National Algerian Institute for Industrial Property Office under the supervision of the Ministry of Industry will examine the application to ensure formal compliance. Once formal compliance is secured, the application will be published in the Official Gazette, and hence the Certificate of Registration will be issued. The International Classification of Goods and Services is followed (Nice Classification). Collective marks could be registered. The term of validity for a duly registered trademark is 10years as from the date of filing, and is renewable for similar periods subject to payment of the prescribed fee; nonetheless a period of 6 months grace is allowed. A trademark may be assigned with or without goodwill; however an assignment must be recorded as provided for under the law. A trademark may be cancelled, if an interested third party established cogent grounds showing non-use for a period of one year as from the date of registration. A cancelled trademark cannot be registered in the name of a third party unless three years had passed from the date of cancellation. Infringements proceedings may be raised to the competent court as the situation dictates. Infringement actions of a criminal nature shall be presided over by a criminal court where confiscation and destruction of the infringed goods is required. On the other hand, civil actions are raised before a civil court where a claim for compensation for losses and damages is required.
Formal filing requirements are as follows:
The international Classification of Industrial Designs is maintained. Examination is confined to form. Once an application is filed it will be examined as to form and it will be provided with a filing date. Accepted applications will not published during the first year unless the proprietor so requests. During the first year the design will be kept secret. Normally, applications will be published after expiry of the first year. At this point of time, the Certificate of Registration will be issued and a notice of acceptance is published in the official Gazette. No opposition can be considered. Protection extends for a period of 10 years divided into two terms. The first term represents the first year; the second term represents the succeeding nine years. An applicant must indicate his desire for the nine year extension either upon filing or within the first year, otherwise the registration will be deemed as cancelled or expired. However, a grace period of 6 months is permitted. An assignment is required to be recorded and its publication is mandatory for the purposes of being effective against third parties. The owner of the design is entitled to seek legal means as when an infringement act has been committed in a manner as would be adverse to his rights in the design.
Formal filing requirements.
Copyrights are governed by copyright law No. 97-10 of March 1997 on Copyright and Related Rights. The moral rights are granted to the author, irrespective of the owner whether a legal entity or a natural person. Registration is processed at the National Copyright Office, under the supervision of Ministry of Culture and Communications. Registration is not obligatory; however registration shall be looked upon as a reliable reference to copyright information. The copyright law provides protection, among other things, for original intellectual works in arts; literature and science whatsoever their value, the underlying purposes behind their creation or the manner of expression, insofar, as the prescribed provisions called for under the law have been observed. The protection embraces a wide spectrum including, inter alia, written literal works, computer software and translations of original works.
Protection under the copyright law ends 25 years after the death of the author. However, if the copyrighted substance is owned by a legal entity rather than a natural person, the 25 years protection shall begin on the date the material was first published. The author may assign the rights granted to him subject to prescribed terms and conditions.
The law provides for permitted use in a clearly defined situations such as using the work of art for the user’s private or personal purposes, utilizing the works for illustration or explication purposes including quoting paragraphs from the work, and reproduction of the work for academic purposes by public libraries, universities, and other educational institutions, and non-commercial documentation centers, and cultural and scientific institutions, provided however that the copies reproduced shall not exceed reasonable needs. The Ministry of Culture and Communication has the right to publish the copyrighted work, if the author or his heirs failed to publish the copyrighted work within one year after being notified thereof, however a fair compensation shall be paid to the author or heirs.
The author has exclusive wide latitude to commercially utilize his work within the bounds prescribed by law. Again, he has the right to maintain his copyrighted works by means of infringement actions to deter others from encroachment as to his rights. He may trigger a criminal action or a civil action as the facts of the infringement act warrant.
Formal filing requirements.