Intellectual Property Newsletter - January 2015

Author:Mr Rob Deans and Joycia Young
Profession:Clyde & Co
 
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MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA REGION

A Happy New Year to all our readers, wherever you may be around the world!

During 2014, we saw a number of key developments throughout the region. Highlights have included Yemen, after 13 years of negotiation, acceding to the World Trade Organisation and thereby becoming party to the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). We have also seen Kuwait acceding to the Paris and Berne Conventions and the Libya Trade Marks Office re-opening following closure as a result of the civil unrest.

2015 promises to be another interesting year, with further developments in the IP landscape likely across the MENA region. The highlight of the year may be the introduction of a Unified GCC Trade Mark Law (as reported in the November issue of our IP Newsletter), which may potentially come into force during the second half of 2015.

Other major developments for 2015 may include the introduction of more developed Competition Laws, which could have a significant impact on IP owners looking to commercialise their rights in the MENA region.

We can also expect the further development of IP laws and practices across the region, particularly in relation to patents, as governments continue their path to diversifying their economies from oil-based to knowledge-based. The recent fall in global oil prices has highlighted the need for continued diversification, and we can expect this trend to continue.

Whatever 2015 holds in store for you, we hope that the year is a healthy, happy and prosperous one for all our readers.

No safe harbour for IP licences in the UAE

This month we report on the impact of the UAE Competition Law on the commercialisation of intellectual property rights in the UAE, with a particular focus on IP licensing. The article summarises the notification requirements that can apply in relation to IP licences, and the steps that should be taken in relation to both existing and future licences in order to ensure compliance with the Competition Law. See below for the full article.

Market updates and insight from around the region

See below to read all updates.

UAE Trade Mark Gazette

The latest edition of the UAE Trade Mark Gazette was published on 4 January 2015. This month's opposition deadline is 2 February 2015.

See below for the UAE Trade Mark Gazette and further information.

If you identify any marks that are of potential concern, or if you have any queries, then speak to your usual contact in the Clyde & Co IP team.

The timeframe for arranging the legalisation of a Power of Attorney (which will need to be filed at the same time as any opposition) is generally around three weeks. With this in mind, please contact us as soon as possible if you identify any marks which you may wish to oppose.

MARKET UPDATES AND INSIGHT

Bahrain Bahrain Trade Mark Office to speed up examination process The Bahraini Trade Mark Office has issued a Circular stating that the examination process for trade mark applications submitted from March 2013 will be completed within a shortened timeframe. The Trade Mark Office requires any documents which are missing from applications to be submitted by 18 February 2015. Any applications that remain incomplete at this date will be deemed abandoned. Kuwait Claiming priority now possible As reported in our October issue of our IP Newsletter, Kuwait became a member of both the Berne and Paris Conventions with effect from 2 December 2014. The Kuwaiti Trade Mark Office has now announced that it is accepting new trade mark applications with priority claims. All priority claims are required to be supported by a certified and legalised copy of the priority document which should be submitted within three months from the date of filing. Libya Current situation in Libya In previous editions we have provided updates from our colleagues based in our Tripoli office as to the operations of the intellectual property offices in Libya. Although the Trade Mark Office re-opened on 7 December 2014 and is accepting new trade mark applications, we understand that this work is still being undertaken with caution. We are continuing to monitor this situation. Syria Official publication and search fees to rise Pursuant to Decision No. 1999 by the Syrian Ministry of Interior Trade and Consumer Protection, the official publication fees and search fees in Syria will overall increase by 15%, effective from 1 January 2015. The new fees will differ...

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