Libya - New Trade Mark Systems

2002-12-01

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In our
Circular No. 357 we reported a substantial increase in official fees for trade mark matters in Libya. It was thought this might portend the re-activation of the Trade Marks Office which, for many years, had not processed any trade mark applications, renewals, etc. beyond receipt of the documents and issuance of receipts.

Additional information of a major restructuring is emerging, but not as quickly or clearly as we would have wished. For example:-

According to one account, it is alleged that a "new" Trade Marks Office has opened for business in a different location, and regards as void, all applications that have been kept in suspense under the previous system. If correct, this would be an outrageous denial of existing rights.

Alternatively, it is stated that the reorganisation is at a preliminary stage; that the authorities are only now considering a suggestion that existing, stalled cases may have to be re-filed (or "confirmed"); and that discussions are in progress between the authorities and other interested parties.

Spoor & Fisher Jersey are pressing those concerned for early clarification. Meanwhile, it appears that:-

The Decrees for reform affect only the structure and administration of the Trade Marks Office and there is no substantive amendment to the Trade Mark Law of 1956, as amended in 1962.

Until there has been full clarification, new instructions for trade mark applications, changes relating to subsisting (pending) trade marks and also renewals, should be kept in suspense: but

Any trade mark renewals that are already in the 3-month grace period that was strictly enforced under the "old" system, must be effected, if and wherever this may be found possible.

Click here for Libya Filing Requirements

Mac Spence
Spoor & Fisher



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