Syria.

Legislation

Intellectual property legislation in Syria includes Patents, Trademark and Industrial Design law of October 1949 modified by Law No. 28 as of April 1980. However, legislation as to Copyright Law is not yet enacted. Syria is a member of WIPO Convention as of November 2004. Syria is a signatory of the Paris Convention as of September 1924, the Madrid Agreement (False or Deceptive Indications of Source on Goods) as of September 1924, the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) as of June 2003, the Madrid Protocol (International Registration of Marks) as of August 2004, the Berne Convention as of June 2004. Industrial Property matters are administered by the Directorate of Commercial and Industrial Property Protection (DCIP) under the supervision of the Ministry of Economy and Trade.

Syria Patents Registration.

Priority for a patent could be claimed within a period of 12 months, if the earlier filing has been made, in a country member of the Paris Convention. The Directorate of Commercial and Industrial Property Protection will examine the application to ensure that formal requirements have been complied with. When this is satisfied, the application is referred to a committee who acts to obtain a report from a group of scholars well conversant in the area of the invention. The decision of the committee whether to grant the patent or not would rely on the said report. 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 the competent court whose decision may be appealed to the Appeal Court. If 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 15 years as from the date of filing and is renewable on the eve of each anniversary year for a period not exceeding five years. A utility certificate is valid for a period of 10 years; however, a patent of addition shall obtain validity for the outstanding term of the original grant. A grace period of 6 months is allowed for late annuity subject to payment of a fine. In the event, the patentee elects to pay annuities in advance, a discount would be made in proportion to the number of years covered. For the first five years a discount of 5%, for ten years a discount of 7.5% and for the whole term a discount of 15% is allowed. 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. Yet, the act of importing a product under the patent is considered exploitation.

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. An assignment requires to be recorded in the Official Gazette within 6 months from the date the assignment deed has been executed and duly validated by a Syrian Consulate. The patentee has an unfettered right to pursue legal measures to obtain an injunction suspending any infringement act; and to claim damages for loss sustained, in addition to any other relief such as confiscation and destruction of infringed products.

Formal filing requirements are as follows:

  1. A power of attorney duly legalized by a Syrian Consulate.
  2. A copy of the certificate of incorporation or an extract from the Commercial Register duly certified if the applicant is a legal entity.
  3. International Classification of the patent is required.
  4. Four copies of the specification and claims. It is preferable to be arranged in the following sequence: title of the invention, summary of the invention, description of the invention, method to execute the invention and industrial application.
  5. Four sets of the formal drawings, if any.
  6. An abstract of the invention in English or French with an Arabic translation…
  7. A duly executed deed of assignment if the applicant is not the inventor.
  8. Priority document, if priority is to be claimed. It may be filed within 3 months from the date of filing.
  9. A certified copy of the applicant patent letters, if it is available, it is required for application processing.
  10. A declaration by the applicant showing boycott of Israel duly legalized by a Syrian Consulate. This document is to be adduced when in fact required. Again, this applies to an applicant company which applies for the first time. The operating procedure requires the Israel Boycott Department to undertake a search so as to issue a clearing approval. The declaration is a response to a questionnaire including eight points. The ultimate object is to show that the applicant has no business relationship with Israel in any form whatsoever.

     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:

Once an application is filed, it will be examined to ensure that formal requirements have been complied with. If the application is approved, it would be published in the Official Gazette and hence a Certificate of Registration would be issued. Opposition would not be considered. The term of validity is for 5 years from the date of filing, renewable for two similar periods of five years each. A grace period of 6 months is permitted for late renewal. An assignment must be published and recorded in the register within a period of 6 months. The proprietor of the design has an unfettered right to pursue legal measures to obtain an injunction suspending any infringement act; and to claim damages for loss sustained, in addition to any other relief such as confiscation and destruction of infringed products.

Formal filing requirements.

  1. A power of attorney duly legalized by a Syrian Consulate.
  2. If the applicant is not the proprietor, a duly executed and legalized deed of assignment is required.
  3. A duly certified copy of the home or foreign registration for each design.
  4. 6 photographs of each design showing all dimensions.
  5. Three copies of the design description with supporting drawings if any.
  6. Three sets of formal drawings if any.
  7. 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 Syrian 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.

Syria 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. A duly authenticated and legalized certificate of origin is required as regards trademarks filed in class 3 for soap or in class 5 for pharmaceutical products. The certificate must indicate the ingredients or composition of the pharmaceutical product. Such certificate must be duly stamped by the applicant company. Under Syrian 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. 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 ten months period. The validity term is for 10 years from the date of filing, and is renewable for similar periods. A grace period of 6 months is permitted for late renewal subject to payment of a fine. An assignment must be published and recorded within a period of 3 months; however, a grace period of 3 months is permitted for late recording subject to payment of the prescribed fine. A trademark registration can not be invoked on the ground of non-user; however a registered owner could request cancellation of his mark which cannot be registered for another person before expiry of three years from the date of cancellation. 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 duly authenticated and legalized by a Syrian Consulate.
  3. A copy of the certificate of incorporation duly certified or an extract from the Commercial Register if the applicant is a legal entity.
  4. 10 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.

Formal 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.

At present there is no copyright law in Syria. Comprehensive copyright legislation is in the final stages of preparation. However, copyright matters are addressed by Chapter 7 of the Penal code, Legislative Decree No. 148 of June 1949, Publication Act No. 53 of October 1949. Copyright and related matters are under the supervision of the Ministry of Culture. The Syrian copyright Office has started to consider copyright applications.

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 Syrian 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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