Requirements for trademark license recordal are worthy of examination by businesses considering an expansion into the markets of the Middle East, North Africa, and their neighboring regions. License recordal is compulsory in Iraq, Libya, Oman, Qatar, and Syria, whereas the common practice and the implementing regulations of the trademark laws of our region do not require the recordal of trademark licenses, and there are no penalties for failure to record. Nonetheless,
recording is advisable in order for the license and the rights of the licensee to have effect against third parties.
Failure to record an agreement may undermine attempts by the licensee to enforce rights against infringers that are claiming to be using the mark in good faith. However, this does not mean that the licensee will not be able to bring a Court action against a counterfeiter or another party who infringes a mark in bad faith. It may also undercut attempts by the licensee to enforce rights against any cancellation action brought by a third party based on non-use. In principle, ineffective use of a trademark within a specified period of time in the countries of the Arab region may subject a trademark registration to cancellation on the grounds of non-use.
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