Afghanistan

Summary

Afghanistan is a member of the Paris Convention, WIPO and Madrid Protocol for the Protection of Industrial Property; and hence an applicant may file their applications with claiming priority based on their home applications/registrations. The latest edition of the Nice Classification will be automatically applied in terms of Goods and Services for the purposes of the Registration of Marks. However, the goods under Class 33 are prohibited in Afghanistan.

Persons, either of private of legal status, who want to register trademarks may approach the Intellectual Property Department at the Afghanistan Central Business Registry, Ministry of Commerce and Industries (ACBR-IP) and apply for registration. Immediately upon the receipt of the prescribed application form at the ACBR-IP, its contents are entered in the books of the ACBR-IP and provide the applicant with the Payment Tariff to pay the registration fees at the authorized bank. The Examiner in-charge of the ACBR-IP shall accept or refuse the application within 15 days from the receipt of the payment. In case that the application for registration of a mark is refused by the ACBR-IP, the reason for it should be clearly stated. In that case the applicant may refer to the Review Committee within 10 days of the notification.

If the application for registration of a mark is accepted by the ACBR-IP or the Review Committee, the ACBR-Ip will issue a Payment Tariff to pay the publication fees and upon the receipt of the payment receipt of the publication fees paid, the application will proceed to the Official Gazette publication department within the Ministry of Justice to publish the details of the accepted trademarks in the Official Gazette for the awareness of the public. The following parties may file opposition notices against pending applications and registered trademarks:

1) Those who claim the ownership of the trademark and
2) those whose trademark is so similar to the applied/registered mark and that could create confusion among the users.

If an opposition is filed prior to the registration of the mark, it is required to notify the applicant within 15 days. If the applicant did not withdraw the application, the opponent may contact the Review Committee within 60 days. During this time the registration process shall be suspended. Otherwise, i.e., if the opponent did not approach the Review Committee or follow-up on his opposition; thereafter, the trademark shall be registered in the name of the applicant. When there is an opposition is filed, the applicant may also contact the Review Committee to substantiate his claim on the mark. The Review Committee shall issue its verdict on such complaints on the basis of submitted documents. The decisions of the Review Committee may be challenged at the Commercial Court.
The statutory limitation for hearing of any claim against a registered trademark shall be three years from its registration. The claim of those who do not file an objection within the said three years shall be invalid.
A trademark registration is valid for 10 years as of the date of filing the application (or from the priority date in case priority is claimed) and the owner of the trademark may apply for an additional 10 years upon expiration of the initial 10 years. A renewal application may be filed within the last 6 months of its protection period and no grace period is allowed.
Use of marks in Afghanistan is not compulsory for filing applications or necessary for maintaining registrations in force. However, if a registered mark is not used for a continuous period of three years from the date on which the trademark is actually entered in the Register of Trade Marks, its registration becomes vulnerable to cancellation on submission of an application by any aggrieved party.

In case of a cancellation action on the ground of non-use, it would be the responsibility of the owner of the trademark to prove the use of the mark in Afghanistan. The use of the mark can be proved by submitting copies of the bills/invoices issued with regard to the product bearing the trademark to or by Afghan distributors. Further, advertisement of the products bearing the trademark in any journal or any other medium may also be considered as use of the mark.

Unauthorized use of a trademark registered under the law or an imitation of such trademark applied on goods and services of the same class, or sale, storing for the purpose of sale, or exhibiting for sale of goods and services bearing a counterfeited mark, or using a mark duly registered under the law by another person to serve the purpose of unauthorized promotion of goods or services of the same class are offenses punishable under the law.


 

Head Office

AGIP Building 104 Mecca Street, Um-Uthaina, Amman, Jordan
P.O. Box: 921100, Amman 11192, Jordan
Telephone: (00 962-6) 5100 900
Email : agip@agip.com

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