Once an application for the grant of a patent is filed, it is examined with respect to compliance with the formalities and patentability provided for under the patent law in Libya. The Patent Office may require whatever amendments may be necessary to bring the application into conformity with the law. In the event the applicant does not comply with the requirements of the Patent Office within a given grace period of 6 months, a patent application will be treated as renounced.
An applicant is entitled to appeal the requirements and conditions of the Patent Office by means of submitting a petition to the competent committee within 30 days as of the receipt of the notice served to him by the Patent Office. Approved applications are published in the Official Gazette and are rendered open for public inspection. Any interested party may oppose the grant of a patent within 2 months as of the date of publication. The opposition notice is submitted to the competent committee. Should no opposition against the grant of a patent be filed, a decision granting the patent is issued and published in the Official Gazette.
The provisions of the patent law stipulate that an application should be filed before the invention has become known through publication or use in Libya. Patent applications are examined closely as to form only.
A patent is valid for 15 years starting from the date of filing the application. Such validity is subject to the payment of the prescribed annual fees. All annuities for the 15-year protection period are to be paid after the publication in the Official Gazette. After the 15-year period, a patent can be renewed for further 5 years provided that the patent is of special importance, or if the patentee has not been sufficiently rewarded for his invention. Annuities should be paid until the protection period expires.
The rights to a patent may be assigned or transferred through succession. The assignment of patent applications and granted patents must be made in writing. An assignment shall have no effect against third parties, unless it has been published in the Official Gazette and duly entered in the relevant records of the Patent Office.
Working of patents in Libya is an official requirement. In the event that the owner of a patented invention in Libya does not satisfy the stipulated working requirements within 3 years as of the date of grant, the patent will become null and void. A compulsory license may be granted to governmental bodies in order to use the patent for reasons relating to the public interest or national defense.
The rights conferred by a patent on the registered patentee expire on the elapse of the protection period as prescribed by the law, lawful assignment of the patent rights, final court decision to this effect, or nonpayment of a due annuity within 6 months after the respective due date. Infringement of the rights of a patentee is punishable under the provisions of the current patent law.