Now that Iran, the P5+1 (China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, United States—plus Germany), and the European Union have agreed to a landmark comprehensive nuclear agreement, a significant impact on both the economy of Iran and global markets is expected. Not only will the energy sector be particularly affected, but it is also anticipated that the economic impact of a partial lifting of sanctions will perpetuate the energy sector into a wide range of industries including consumer products, food and beverage, apparel, pharmaceuticals, tobacco, etc… Iran is a strong emerging market with over 80 million consumers, and is ranked the 2nd largest economy in the Middle East and North Africa region behind Saudi Arabia. The resulting boom is expected to create billions of dollars worth of business for both local and foreign companies.

What are the implications of the prospective lifting of sanctions on IP?

Although the US and EU sanctions programs currently in place allow individuals and entities to perform IP-related transactions, with the lifting of sanctions in Iran, many businesses will look to expand their operations into the country with a growing need for establishing tailored local IP protection strategies.  Therefore, in the coming weeks and months, brand owners should start reviewing and assessing their existing trademark portfolio in the country in order to ensure that their portfolio management strategies are aligned with the overall business strategy.  A trademark audit in Iran should now be a priority for different reasons including: (1) revealing significant gaps in protection so that remedial steps may be taken, (2) identifying applications and registrations that are no longer aligned with the business and determining the appropriate actions to take, and (3) uncovering potential risks, such as infringement, before they materialize.  Now is also the best time to monitor the marketplace to identify third party infringements which were difficult to control during the boycott.

Read more about IPR in Iran here.

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