News & insights

Libya: A New Law is Born

May 29, 2010

A new trademark law has recently been introduced in Libya after being ratified by the Libyan Parliament. The law will come into force in the country upon its publication in the local Gazette but will only be effective once the implementing regulations are issued. The new law, once enacted, will replace existing Law no. 40 of 1956 on the protection of trademarks.

The salient features of the new law are listed below. The major updates are underlined for your kind attention.

1. The definition of a trademark has been broadened to include trade names, sound marks, and color marks.
2. Collective and certification marks may be registered.
3. Claim of priority, based upon an earlier-filed foreign application, is possible.
4. A trademark is subject to cancellation by any interested party within 5 years from registration date unless the mark was registered in bad faith, in which case, there is no time limit.
5. A trademark is vulnerable to cancellation by any interested party if there has been no effective use of the mark for a period of 5 consecutive years.
6. Trademark applications accepted by the Registrar will be published for opposition purposes. Also, trademarks which have successfully passed the opposition period will be published for a second time for confirmation of registration.
7. Appeals against the Registrar’s notices of rejection may be filed within 30 days of notification.
8. 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.
9. The Law shall recognize famous trademarks that are well-known in Libya and shall ensure protection even if the marks are not registered.
10. The Law gives the right to trademark owners to initiate civil and criminal actions against any infringing party. Penalties include a maximum of two-year imprisonment and payment of fines of up to US $ 7,500.

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