A Special Committee has been established recently in Syria, pursuant to Presidential Resolution no. 47/2009 and Ministerial Resolution no. 2167/2009, with the sole purpose of looking into objections raised against the registration of marks which constitute a reproduction, an imitation, or a translation, liable to create confusion, of marks that are considered by the competent authority of Syria to be well-known. Objections can be raised by owners of well-known trademarks against identical or similar trademark registrations with identical or similar goods or services, as well as identical or similar trademark registrations with dissimilar goods or services, regardless of whether the well-known mark is registered in Syria or not. The Committee is comprised of ten experienced trademark lawyers and highly trained professionals.
Assessing whether a mark is famous or not in Syria should be decided in line with Article 44(b) of Syrian Trademark Law no. 8 of 2007. According to this Article, determining the fame of the mark depends on the extent to which the mark is considered famous among the public concerned. This includes looking up into a number of factors such as the reputation of the mark within the relevant trade and consumer groups in Syria, as well as the duration, extent, and geographical area of any promotion of the mark in the country.
It is worth noting that Syria is a member of the Paris Convention. Article 6bis of the Paris Convention requires member countries to afford certain protection to well-known marks. Specifically, member countries must refuse or cancel the registration, and prohibit the use, of a well-known mark when applied for or used by an unauthorized party, when its use or registration would likely cause confusion.
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