Geographical Indications

– Geographical Indications Law No. 8 of 2000, effective since May 2, 2000.
– (No regulations will be issued, as the Law does not include registration procedures.)


Definition: any indication which identifies goods as originating in the territory of a specific country, or a region or locality of that territory, where a given quality, reputation or other characteristic of the good is essentially attributable to its origin.

Prohibited acts: any person is prohibited from the following (1) the use of any means in the designation or presentation of a good that indicates that the good in question originates in a geographical area other than the true place of origin, in a manner which misleads the public as to the geographical origin of the good; (2) the use of any means for identifying wines or spirits that indicates that the wines and spirits originate in a geographical area other than the true place of origin, including the use of a geographical indication that is translated or accompanied by expressions such as “kind” or “imitation” or the like; (3) the use of a geographical indication, which, although literally true, falsely represents to the public that the goods originate somewhere other than the true place of origin; or (4) any use of a geographical indication which constitutes an act of unfair competition contrary to honest practices in industrial or commercial activities.

Trademark rights: the Trademarks Registrar may refuse to register any trademark if it consists of or contains a geographical indication with respect to goods originating from somewhere other than that indicated by the use of such geographical indication, and in a manner, which misleads the public.

Opposition: may be filed with the Trademarks Registrar for registering a trademark as stated above. These provisions shall apply, although the geographical indication is literally true, if the geographical indication falsely represents to the public that the goods originate somewhere other than their true origin. These provisions shall apply even if the geographical indication in a trademark identifying wines or spirits does not mislead the public.

Cancellation: a request for cancelling such trademark from the Register may also be filed without restriction to the period related thereto, which is determined in the trademarks law in force. For the purposes of opposition and cancellation the procedures and periods provided for in the trademarks law in force shall be applied. The decision of the Registrar in any of the cases stated above may be subject to appeal to the Administrative Court within sixty days from the date of its notification. The decision of the Administrative Court is subject to appeal to the Higher Administrative Court.

General provisions: the protection determined in this law shall be accorded to homonymous geographical indications for wines, provided that equitable treatment of the producers concerned is ensured, and that consumers of such products are not misled. The practical conditions under which homonymous geographical indications for wines will be differentiated from each other, shall be determined in instructions issued by the Minister for this purpose. Such instructions have not yet been issued.

Permitted acts: the following acts shall not be considered in violation of the provisions of this law: (1) the acquisition through use, in good faith, of a trademark which is identical or similar to a geographical indication, before the provisions of this law came into force, or before the geographical indication has been accorded protection in its country of origin; (2) filing an application for registering a trademark in the Kingdom, identical or similar to a geographical indication, or registering such trademark in good faith; (3) using a geographical indication, of any other country, by any means, for which the indication is identical to the common Arabic term, for such goods or services in the Kingdom; (4) using one’s name or that of one’s predecessors, in the course of trade, in a way that would not mislead the public; and (5) using a geographical indication which is not, or has ceased to be, protected in its country of origin, or which has fallen into disuse in that country.

Infringement: committing any of the prohibited acts stated above shall be considered an infringement upon the geographical indication and shall be subject to legal liability. The interested party, when filing a civil lawsuit to prevent the infringement upon the geographical indication, or during the course of the hearings, may petition the competent court that (a) the infringement cease; (b) a provisional seizure be placed on the goods which are the subject of infringement, wherever they are found; or (c) the relevant evidence of the infringement be preserved, always provided that the petition is attached with a bank guarantee or a cash deposit accepted by the court.