News & insights

Iran: Review of Trademark, Patent and Industrial Design Protection

April 27, 2011

ECONOMY

Iran is one of the world’s ancient civilizations. With a population of about 73 million inhabitants and an area of about 1648195 sq. km, it is situated in the Middle East. The official language of Iran is Farsi and its capital is Tehran.
Iran relies mainly on the oil sector that provides most of the government revenues. It ranks second in the world in natural gas reserves and third in oil reserves. However, the private sector is limited to small workshops and farming.

Iran has a leading manufacturing industry in the fields of car-manufacture and transportation, construction materials, home appliances, food and agricultural goods, armaments, pharmaceuticals, information technology, power and petrochemicals.

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY FRAMEWORK

Although since 1926 trademarks have been practically registered through cautionary notices, the first law in this respect was adopted in 1931. The present Patents, Industrial Designs and Trademarks law, along with its implementing regulations, in force since March 2009, is the basis for the protection and enforcement of trademarks, industrial designs and patents. It is worth noting that there are no enforced statutory laws on Copyright and Related Rights in Iran.

TRADEMARKS BASICS

Classification
The International Classification of Goods and Services (8th Edition) is followed. However, class 33 and alcoholic goods in class 32 can not be registered in Iran. A single application may include several classes.

Filing Requirements
1. Power of attorney, legalized. A general power may be used for subsequent filings.
2. Copy of priority document, if priority is claimed, certified.
3. 15 prints of the mark for each application.
All documents must be submitted at the time of filing, but foreigners are allowed a 60-day period from notification date to file the documents.

Opposition
Trademark applications accepted by the Registrar are published in the Official Gazette. Oppositions may be filed within 30 days from publication date.

Protection Term
Trademark registrations are valid for 10 years from filing date and are renewable for like periods. There is a grace period of 6 months for late renewals with payment of a surcharge.

Extension of Time
Extension of time for oppositions/counter oppositions or for responding to office actions is not possible.

Use Requirements
Use of a trademark is not required for registration or renewal of a mark. However, a trademark is vulnerable to cancellation by any interested party if there has been no effective use of the mark for a period of 3 years from registration date.

Search
An official search may be conducted for word marks and devices. It takes approximately 2 weeks for the results to be available. A single application is required for the search in all classes. The search report discloses similar and identical trademarks.

Assignment
Trademark applications and registrations may be assigned with the goodwill of the business concerned.

Licensing
License recordal is compulsory in order to be effective against third parties.

Marking
Marking is not compulsory.

Cancellation
Cancellation proceedings must be brought within 3 years from registration date unless the mark was registered in bad faith, in which case, there is no time limit.

Registration Time Frame
The time frame for completing the registration process is 10 months.

Three Dimensional Trademark Applications
Admissible.

PATENTS

Filing Requirements
1. Power of attorney, legalized.
2. 3 copies of the specifications in either English or French.
3. 3 sets of drawings.
4. Deed of assignment from the inventor(s), legalized.
5. Copy of the priority document, if priority is claimed, certified with English translation.
Items 2 and 3 must be submitted at the time of filing. Documents 1, 4 and 5 may be submitted within 60 days from notification date.

Opposition
Granted patents accepted by the Registrar are published in the Official Gazette. Oppositions may be filed at any time.

Search
It is possible for granted and published patents in the Official Gazette to be searched by their corresponding patent number, title, and patentee name.

Examination
There is no preliminary examination, with the exception of independent patents, which are referred to a special commission within the Trademark and Patent Office.

Annuities
A maintenance fee is due annually on the anniversary of the filing date and is payable before the granting of a patent. There is a 6-month grace period for late payment with a surcharge.
Protection Term
The term of protection is 20 years from filing date.

Compulsory License
A patent has to be worked. If the patent is not being fully exploited by the patentee within 5 years from the date of grant, the patent will be subject to compulsory licensing under the provisions of the law.

Novelty Requirements
Absolute novelty is required.

 

DESIGNS

Filing Requirements
1. Power of attorney, legalized.
2. Drawings, photographic or similar representations of the design.
3. Description of the design.
4. Specimen of the actual design.
5. Deed of Assignment from the designer(s), legalized.
All the above documents must be submitted within 60 days from notification date.

Duration
5 years from filing date.

Examination
As to form and novelty.

Renewal
For two consecutive terms of 5 years each.

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