Summary

Lebanon is a member of the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property. The nature of the Lebanese registration system is a deposit system. An application can include goods and/or services in any number of classes, but a separate sum of official fees is to be paid for each class.

The 9th Edition of the International Classification of Goods and Services for the Purposes of the Registration of Marks under the Nice Agreement is followed in Lebanon. One Power of Attorney, which must be filed with the application, can be used for filing several trademark applications.

As per the Paris Convention, any person who has duly filed an application for the registration of a trademark, in one country of the Paris Union established by the Convention, shall enjoy for the purpose of filing in Lebanon, a right of priority during a period of 6 months. In case of claiming a priority right, late filing of the Power of Attorney and the priority document is possible within 3 months from the registration date.

Once a trademark application is filed, it is examined as to whether it is contrary to the public order and morals or representing national or foreign decorations. Also, it is examined as to its registrability and existence of prior rights. If similar or identical trademark registrations exist under the same class, a Notice of Similarity has to be signed on behalf of the client as an acknowledgement of taking note of the existence of these conflicting registrations. When the trademark is accepted, the Registrar waits for the decision of the Israeli Boycott Department to check whether the applicant is on the boycott list or not. A trademark is deemed registered upon payment of the registration fees. There is no provision for opposition.

Under normal circumstances, the registration of a trademark is completed within a 2-week period; while the relevant registration certificate is issued within 2 weeks of the registration date.

A trademark registration is valid for 15 years as of the registration date and renewable for indefinite similar periods. Filing a late renewal application is possible through a grace period of 3 months from the date of expiration.

In order to be effective against third parties, the change of ownership of a trademark registration through an assignment or merger transaction should be recorded in the trademark register at the Lebanese Intellectual Property Protection Office. The assignment of a trademark is possible with or without the goodwill of the business concern. The recordal of assignment/merger must be made within a period of 3 months from the date of assignment/merger; otherwise, a late fine will be due against each trademark every 2 month-delay after the 3-month grace period for recording the related assignment/merger.

In Lebanon, the use of a trademark is not compulsory for filing applications, maintaining trademark registration in force, or for renewal or maintenance of a trademark. Prior use constitutes the main criteria in determining proprietorship of a trademark, and is never considered as a pre-requisite for registration, or even a requirement to maintain that registration valid and enforced in the future.

A trademark registration is cancelled only through a court action filed by a prior user, requesting such cancellation.

Unauthorized use of a registered trademark, an imitation of a trademark applied on goods of the same class, sale, storing for the purpose of sale, exhibiting for sale of goods bearing a counterfeit mark, or using a mark duly by another party in order to serve the purpose of unauthorized promotion of goods of the same class are all offenses punishable under the law.

Address:

Sanayeh, Anis Tabbara Street, Halabi Bldg. - 1st Floor

P.O. Box: 11-7381 Beirut, Lebanon
Telephone: (00961-1) 753222
Fax: (00961-1) 350548
Email: lebanon@agip.com
Contact: Nemer S. Shibly (Mr)

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