Pursuant to an official notification issued by the Ministry of Health on April 3, 2016, which was addressed to the Industrial Property Office, a revised set of requirements for trademark applications in class 5 (covering pharmaceutical and veterinary preparations and sanitary preparations for medical purposes) is now in effect. Under the new requirements, applicants are now required to provide the following information when filing an application in class 5:

  • International nonproprietary name;
  • Name of manufacturer;
  • Name of distributor; and
  • Product label.

This will apply to all new as well as pending applications that have not yet been examined. After submission of the above information, the Industrial Property Office is expected to obtain the approval of the country’s Ministry of Health before the underlying applications are examined. An application will be rejected on formal grounds if the applicant fails to provide all of the required information. It is still unclear whether the information must be provided at the time of filing or within a specified period of time from the filing date.

Syria is the only other country in the Arab region to impose filing requirements that are specific to class 5 (certificate of origin and list of ingredients). For the remaining countries in the region, the process remains standard regardless of class.

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