Afghanistan had a very advanced legal system, based on a mixture of Islamic and Roman Laws. In 1992, the Mujahedeen parties came into power in Afghanistan. Due to political instability, continuation of war in the country, and especially the appearance of the Taliban group, some of the previous laws were suspended. A strict Shariit Law (Islamic law) was in force in some parts of the country which were under the control of the Taliban movement.

A new Law for National and Foreign Private Investment came into force in 2002. According to this Law, a foreigner has the liberty to establish and register industrial and commercial companies jointly with Afghans or individually. A foreigner can invest in any field up to 100% of the capital and has the right of tax exemption up to eight years and a lot of other facilities like bank loan, etc. Since September 2016 the two previously requested licenses -Investment License from Afghanistan Investment Support Agency (AISA) and Business License from Afghanistan Central Business Registry & Intellectual Property (ACBRIP)- are no longer required in order to do business or to invest and establish a company in Afghanistan, but only one license, issued by ACBR & IP Directorate.

2004 saw the legalization of a new constitution and the presidential election in accordance with the new constitution. A new judiciary system has been established and parliamentary election could take place. Although the legal system of the country is still in some part affected from the Shariit Law, it is being modernized to correspond with international laws and regulations.

So far, the Law for Patents of Invention has not come into effect and actually, there is a legal vacuum in this field. However, it is common to publish a cautionary notice in the English newspaper in Kabul as precautionary measures for an invention. The Laws on Designs and Models, Computer Software, Copyrights, and Domain Names are similarly not yet enforced. In accordance with these new laws, patent matters have been assigned to the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, and copyright and design registrations to the Ministry of Information and Culture. It is anticipated that patent applications will be accepted in a near future.

In 2009 a new Trademark Law came into force as part of the government’s effort to modernize the IP system. As part of the process of improving the effectiveness of the trademark system a new Trademark Department was set up in 2012. This new department is part of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce and replaces the previous trademark department which was part of the Commercial Courts. Since 2012 the trademark department has continued to implement various changes to the trademark rules and processes that has helped improve and modernize the trademark system of Afghanistan.