News & insights

Libya: Frequently Asked Questions

October 31, 2012

Many questions have been raised on trademark registration processes and current developments regarding this subject. Below are answers to these two subjects along with the required phases for the registration of a trademark.

What important structural developments have taken place following the recent events in Libya?
                     
The Libyan Trademark Office is currently in the process of issuing trademark certificates of registration. This development is an explicit recognition by the authorities in Libya of the growing importance of trademark protection. This means that the registration certificates of all pending trademark applications (that have been accepted and published) are expected to be issued in the near future.

It is also worth noting that Switzerland has recently established formal relations with Libyan Transitional Government after a 3-year breakdown of  Diplomatic relations. The implication of this is that it will be possible to file new trademark applications for Swiss applicants in Libya once the Libyan Trademark Office is fully operational.

In addition, in coordination with the Libyan Trademark Office, we will review all applications that have passed the opposition period and notify clients of the records that will be considered registered.

What is the registration process in Libya?  
                                                                                                                                           
The registration process in Libya entails several steps prior to a trademark receiving its Certificate of Registration.
A summary of these steps is outlined below:

1. An application is filed to register the trademark.
2. The application is placed for examination.
3. Following a period of 10 to 12 months, the application is reviewed by an examiner to make sure that it complies with all requirements in order to be available for registration.
4. After the examination of the mark has concluded with no issues to be addressed or an applicant has responded adequately to an office action, the application will be published for opposition.
5. In the absence of an opposition or in case an opposition is decided in the applicant’s favor, the trademark will be registered.

 
What are the filing requirements of a trademark?

1. Power of attorney, legalized. A general power may be used for subsequent filings.
2. Certificate of incorporation or extract from the commercial register, legalized, with sworn Arabic translation.
3. Copy of priority document, if priority is claimed, certified
4. 10 prints of the mark for each application.

Items 1, 2 and 4 must be submitted at the time of filing. Document 3 may be submitted within 3 months from filing date.

Is the Trademark Office fully operational?

The Office is still not operating normally. It is currently only examining pending applications. All new applications and search requests are kept on hold until further notice.

Is a home registration certificate still required?

Effective February 3, 2011, the requirement for a certified copy of the home registration certificate was dropped.

Is trademark use a registration requirement in Libya?

Use of a trademark is not required for registration or renewal of a mark. However, a trademark is vulnerable to cancellation if there has been no effective use of the mark for a period of 5 consecutive years.

How are trademark applications classified?

The eighth edition of the International Classification of Goods and Services is followed. However, class 33, alcoholic goods in class 32, as well as Christmas trees and related products in class 28 can not be registered.

Can a trademark application include several classes or is a separate application required for each class?

A separate application is required for each class.

How long is the protection term for trademarks in Libya?

In Libya, 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.

Documents required for renewal: Power of attorney, legalized.

Should you have any questions, or require any additional information, please do not hesitate to contact us at info@sabaip.com