Lebanon.

Legislation

Intellectual property legislation in Lebanon includes Law of Patents No. 240 of August 2000, Law of Trademarks, Decree No. 2385 of 1924 as revised by the law of January 1924, and the Copyright Law No. 75 of April 1999.

Lebanon is a signatory of the Paris Convention as of September 1, 1924, Madrid Agreement as of September 1, 1924, Nice Agreement as of April 8, 1961, Berne Convention as of September 30, 1947, the Rome Convention since 1999, the PLT (Patent Law Treaty) as of June 2000. Lebanon has ratified WIPO Convention as of December 30, 1986.

Lebanon Patents Registration.

Patent law embraces new plant varieties which are different from well recognized species. Such varieties are patentable provided that patentability terms and conditions as prescribed under the law are satisfied. A specimen of the new plant variety is required to be lodged with the Central Laboratory at the Ministry of Health within a period of 15 days subsequent to the Lebanese filing date. Priority for a patent could be claimed within a period of 12 months, in the event earlier filing has been made, in a country member of the Paris Convention. An applicant may be asked by the examiner to amend the specification, claims and/or drawings, however if a new matter is incorporated, it will be subject to patent of addition. Divisional applications are allowed, if the Patent Office declines to endorse unity of the patent. In case the application is rejected, an applicant may within 30 days appeal to Civil Court whose decision may be appealed to the Appeal Court.

In the event, an application is accepted; the letters patent is published in the official Gazette, together with an abstract in Arabic. No opposition can be entertained. Infringement procedures are available with criminal and civil sanctions. A patent is valid for twenty years as from the date of filing and is renewable on the eve of each anniversary year. However, a grace period of 6 months is allowed for late annuity payment subject to payment of a fine. Compulsory license may be granted, if the applicant failed to utilize the patent within a period of three years as from the date of grant. On the other hand, if the licensee failed to comply with terms and conditions as prescribed under the license arrangement, for a period of three consecutive years from the grant of the compulsory license, any interested party may apply for cancellation of the patent or for granting of a compulsory license in lieu.

Formal filing requirements are as follows:

  1. Power of attorney simply signed.
  2. A duly certified certificate of incorporation if the applicant is a legal entity or an extract from the Commercial Register.
  3. Three copies of the specification and claims in English. It is preferable to arrange a division in the following sequence: title of the invention, summary of the invention, description of the invention, method to execute the invention and industrial application.
  4. Three sets of the formal drawings, if any.
  5. An abstract of the invention in English or French and Arabic.
  6. A duly executed deed of assignment if the applicant is not the inventor.
  7. Priority document, if priority is to be claimed.

NOTE: Patent applications must be filed within a period not exceeding 12 months from the earlier filing date. Documents other than in English or Arabic require to be accompanied with their English translation.

Designs.

The international Classification of Industrial Designs is maintained. Examination is confined to form. Once an application is accepted, the Certificate of Registration is issued and a notice of acceptance is published in the official Gazette. No opposition can be considered. Protection extends for a period of 25 years as from the date of filing and it is renewable for a further period of 25 years. However, at the beginning of the second period, the design or model must be made available to the public. A grace period of three months is permitted for member states of the Paris Convention. An assignment is required to be recorded within a time span of six months, and its publication is mandatory for the purposes of being effective against third parties.

Formal filing requirements.

  1. A power of attorney simply signed.
  2. A duly certified copy of the certificate of incorporation or an extract from the Commercial Registrar if the applicant is a legal entity.
  3. Three copies of the design.
  4. Three sets of formal drawings or photos clearly showing the design for which protection is thought.
  5. A duly executed and legalized deed of assignment if the applicant is not the proprietor.
  6. Priority document, if priority is to be claimed.

NOTE: Documents other than in English or Arabic must enclose an English translation.

Patent annuities.

  1. Power of attorney simply signed.
  2. Particulars of the applicant.
  3. The number and date of filing of the patent.

Changes.

  • Change of the owner’s name.
  • change of the owner’s address
  • assignment
  • licensing contract
  • mergers

Requirements:

  1. A duly executed Deed of Assignment legalized by a Lebanese Consulate
  2. Power of attorney simply signed.
  3. A duly executed contract of licensing.
  4. A duly certified merger instrument.
  5. A duly certified instrument of change of name and/or address.
  6. Original letters of patent for endorsement purposes.

Trademarks/service marks.

Lebanon is a signatory state of the Paris Convention, and the Madrid Agreement for the Repression of False or Deceptive Indications of source of Goods, and the Nice Agreement for the International Classification of Goods and Services. Under Lebanese law Collective Marks are permitted registration. Once an application is accepted, it will be registered and then published in the official Gazette. An opposition would not be considered, however, the Registrar’s decision as regards any observation; limitation may be appealed within 30 to the competent court. The time span required to consummate processing till the stage of issuing the Certificate of Registration is relatively short, which is in the range of one or two months period. Cancellation may be triggered by instituting a suit, within a period of 5 years from the date of filing, by any interested party, on the premise that the mark prior to being registered has been utilized by that third party. Infringement action may be raised to the competent court whether the cause of action is criminal or civil as the case may be.

Formal filing requirements are as follows:

  1. Name and address of the applicant including his nationality, his domicile and the address of his place of business.
  2. A power of attorney simply signed. .
  3. A duly certified certificate of incorporation or an extract from the Commercial Register if the applicant is a legal entity.
  4. 12 prints of the mark for each class and a printing block.
  5. A complete list of goods and services to be covered by the registration.
  6. A certified copy of the priority document if priority is to be claimed.

NOTE: All documents may be filed together with the application form or later within a period preferably not exceeding a three months period…

Changes.

  • Alteration of goods and services.
  • Alteration of a registered trademark.
  • Voluntary cancellation of a registration.
  • Change of name and / or address of the owner.
  • Assignment of the registration.
  • Licensing contract.

Requirements:

  1. A power of attorney simply signed.
  2. A duly certified instrument of change of name and/or address.
  3. Original certificate of registration / renewal as the case may be.
  4. A deed of assignment duly executed and certified.
  5. A duly executed and certified licensing contract.

Copyright.

Range and extent of protection.

Copyrights are governed by copyright law No. 75 of April 1999. 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. Registration is made at the Office of Protection of Commercial, Industrial, Literary, Artistic and Musical Property at the Ministry of Economy and Trade. Such registration is not mandatory; however, it stands as a reliable reference as regards copyright information.

Protection under the copyright law ends fifty years after the death of the author. However, if the copyrighted substance is owned by a legal entity rather than a natural person, the fifty 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 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 are as follows:

  1. A simply signed power of attorney.
  2. A deed of assignment if the applicant is not the author. This document must be legalized by a Lebanese Consulate.
  3. The particulars of the author or authors if the work is a joint work.
  4. Three copies of work for which protection is thought.

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