Trade and Service Marks
– Liberia Intellectual Property Act, 2016, in force since July 22, 2016.
Membership in International Conventions
– Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), since March 8, 1989.
– Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, Stockholm Act, since August 27, 1994, but no enabling local law yet.
– Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks, since December 25, 1995.
– The Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents (Apostille), since February 8, 1996.
– Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks, since December 11, 2009.
– ARIPO, Banjul Protocol on Marks, since March 24, 2010.
– WTO’s TRIPS Agreement, since July 14, 2016.
Applicant: anybody (firm, company, corporation or private person).
Service marks: registrable.
Collective and certification marks: registrable.
Classification: International Classification of Goods and Services.
Multi-class applications: can be filed.
Filing requirements for an application (to be sent to authorized agent):
1. Power of attorney, legalized by a Liberian Consulate;
2. A statement that the applicant believes himself or the firm to be the proprietor of the trademark or service mark sought to be registered;
3. A description of the mark;
4. A drawing of the mark;
5. A declaration setting forth the goods or services to which it is intended to affix the mark and the mode or manner in which the mark is used or proposed to be used in connection with such goods or services;
6. An oath or affirmation on the information and belief of the applicant that such trademark or service mark was not in use by any other person at the time of the adoption;
7. A combined power of attorney, oath and declaration, authenticated and containing the information listed at (1), (2), (5) and (6) above.
Examination: purely formal, as to correctness of documents lodged. Very seldom are trademarks examined for anticipation.
Opposition: provided for.
Duration: ten years, renewable for like periods.
Renewal: application for renewal must be filed within the last month prior to the expiration of the registration. Grace period for payment of the renewal fees: six months on payment of the prescribed surcharge.
The effect of a registration is to secure to the proprietor the exclusive right to use such mark for the term of the original registration or renewal.
Use: compulsory, within three years from registration.
Nominal use: may be effected by the owner through his attorney, by publication once a week for two consecutive weeks, in a newspaper having national circulation in Liberia. Same is required for renewals and assignments.
Modification of Protection after Registration
Alterations: non-material alterations to a registered trademark are permissible, while material alterations require a new application and cancellation of the original registration.
Assignment: a registered trademark may be assigned with or without goodwill.
Licensing: permitted under effective control by the owner. Registration is not compulsory, but recommended in case of litigation.
Incontestability: a mark which has been legally registered in accordance with the Liberian Trademark Laws is incontestable.
Infringement and remedies: provided for; includes injunctions, damages, and the destruction of goods. Provisional measures to preserve evidence are available. Border measures and seizure measures by the customs authorities are provided for.