A new daft law on Trademarks, Geographical Indications, and Industrial Models and Designs was ratified by the Syrian Council of Ministers on June 06, 2006. Subsequently, the bill was forwarded to the Parliament for further review and approval. This new law, once promulgated, will replace existing Legislative Decree No. 47 of 1946 on Trademarks, Patents, and Industrial Models and Designs.

Below are the salient features of the new law which we re-iterate for clarity:

1. A separate application should be filed for each class of goods or services. For a multi-class trademark registered under the existing law, a renewal application will generate seperate renewal certificates according to the number of classes originally registered.

2. Applications filed will be published twice in a special Trademark Journal, a first time after acceptance for opposition purposes and a second time for confirmation of registration.

3. Forthcoming applications for renewal of trademarks that were registered under the existiing law will be examined and published for pposition within 60 days from publication. This procedure will not be applicable in the case of further renewals.

4. Oppositions against a published trademark may be filed before an Objection Committee within 90 days from publication.
5. Applications rejected upon examination by the PTO can be appealed before an Objection Committee within 30 days of notification.

6. An application for a change of address for service will henceforth be required upon payment of official fees.

7. The Courts shall recognize famous marks that are well known in Syria and abroad and shall ensure protection thereof even if the marks are not registered.

8. A special chamber/department shall be set up at the Courts of First Instance and Appeal for IP-related matters.

9. International applications filed under the Madrid Protocol and designating Syria will be treated as national applications and hence will be subject to the same examination and opposition procedures as national applications.

10. As a new border measure, the holder of a trademark right shall be entitled to request the Customs authorities to seize imports of goods with infringing trademarks. Customs will have the authority to seize suspected goods and give the parties concerned ten days to bring a lawsuit.

The new bill aims at keeping pace with the recent economic developments in Syria and is designed to bring existing national legislations in line with international agreements and IP-related conventions to which Syria is currently party. Further developments in this regard will be reported to you in due course.

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