Intellectual property legislation includes the law of patents and Industrial Designs, law No.8 of 1959 as amended, the Trademarks Law, No.40 of 1956, as amended and the Copyright Law, No.354 of 1954. Libya is a signatory of the Paris Convention as of September28, 1976, and the Berne Convention as of September 28, 1976.
The International Classification of Industrial Design is followed. The patent application is examined as to form. In the event of rejection, the applicant is entitled to appeal within 30 days from the date of notification to the competent preliminary court whose decision may be appealed to the Appeal Court. If the applicant’s request for grant is accepted, the decision of grant would be published on the Official Gazette. Nonetheless, an interested party may file an opposition within a period not exceeding 60 days from the date of publication. A patent is valid for a term of 15 years as from the date of filing; and it is renewable for period not exceeding 7 years. However, patents granted for inventions such as drugs and pharmaceutical preparations shall be granted protection for a non-renewable 10 years period. An extension for ten years would be approved for patents of particular magnitude. Annuity fee must be paid within a period not exceeding the last month of each year.
A compulsory license may be granted to any interested party, if he is in a position to establish lack of exploitation of the invention for a period of three consecutive years from the date of grant. If priority is to be claimed, it must be based on the Paris Convention within 12 months from the date of the earlier application in a country member of the Paris Union. If an infringement act is committed, the patentee may institute a suit before the Industrial Property Tribunal or before the competent criminal law court as the case may be.
Formal filing requirements for a patent application are as follows:
Designs are examined as to form to ensure conformity with formal filing requirements. In the event, of acceptance, the notification of approval will be published in the Official Gazette. If the proprietor elects to assign his right in the design, a duly executed deed of assignment must be recorded within a period of six months and hence published in the Official Gazette. Validity term is for 5 years from the date of filing, renewable for two further periods of 5 years each.
Formal filing requirements.
The International Classification of Goods is adopted. There are 12 local service classes (classes from 101-112). A separate application should be made for each required class; however it could include any number of sub-classes subject to payment of the prescribed fee. In the event, the Registrar declines to accept registration or offers an acceptance subject to a condition; the applicant may within 30 days appeal to the competent court. An accepted application is published in the Official Gazette. Opposition is permitted, however it should be triggered by any interested party, within a period not exceeding six months. Registration of a trademark may be cancelled, if an interested party established that the mark had not been in operation for a period of five consecutive years. If it is cancelled as such, it would only be registered under the name of an interested person, only after expiry of a period of three years from the date of cancellation. Infringement proceedings may be initiated before civil or criminal courts as the case may be.
Formal filing requirements are as follows:
NOTE: All documents may be filed together with the application form or later within a period preferably not exceeding a three months period. The whole time span required to consummate the whole process of registration is in the range of 7 to 9 months.
Range and extent of protection.
Copyrights are governed by copyright law No. 7 of 1984 as amended. 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 optional, and if an applicant elects so to do, it will be made with the Copyright Protection Office at the Ministry of Culture & Information, where copies of the work for which copyright is sought must be lodged. A copyright is valid for a period covering the whole lifetime of the author plus 50 years after his death.
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 Information, after securing a civil court order, has the right to enforce compulsory publication, subject to payment of a fair compensation, if the author or his heirs unduly neglected to effect the envisaged publication. The copyright owner has the right to reproduce his work and to prepare derivative works and to undertake any other action authorized under the law, and concomitant to this, has the unfettered right to bring an infringement action as when his rights have been encroached on.
Formal filing requirements are as follows: