Computer Software

– Law No. 75 of April 3, 1999, effective as from June 13, 1999.
– Decision of the Minister of National Education No. 861/M/1999, dated November 25, 1999.
– Joint Decision of the Ministers of National Education and Culture No. 16 of July 1, 2002.

Membership in International Conventions

– Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (Rome Act), as from December 24, 1933.
– Geneva Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works of September 6, 1952, as from October 17, 1959.

General Remarks

Computer software can be protected through patents or copyrights. Patent protection may be sought for software that controls a new industrial process, as well as for machines and articles of manufacture involving software (see “II. Patents of Invention” above). The mode of expression may be protected on the grounds of the provisions of copyright law, which grants protection to all the manifestations of human intelligence.

Conditions of Software Protection

Right to protection: the author of a copyright on a computer software shall enjoy a right of absolute property over that work. Such right is not subjected to any formality and is granted to the author as from the date of creation of his work, without any need for an express reservation of such right.

Foreigners: protection shall be granted to Arab citizens, subject to reciprocity, as well as to nationals of the Berne and Geneva Conventions; it may also be obtained under the provisions of any of these two Conventions.

Employee’s software: the employer shall be considered as the copyright owner of the computer software created by the employee in the execution of his duties, unless agreed otherwise in writing.

Filing: optional, but advisable as it provides a prima facie evidence of ownership.

Applicant: the copyright application may be filed by the author or by his assignee.

Originality: in order to be eligible to copyright protection, the software should be endowed with the personal contribution of the author, irrespective of the merit or importance of the work.

Filing requirements for an application (to be sent to resident agent):
1. Power of attorney, duly legalized up to a Lebanese Consulate;
2. 3 copies of the software;
3. In case the applicant is not the author, a certified copy of the deed of assignment.

Note: as of April 10, 2015, any application related to IP matters cannot be accepted unless it is accompanied by a power of attorney duly legalized up to a Lebanese Consulate.


Duration: in case the author is a physical person and the work is published in his name, the protection shall run as from the date of creation to fifty years following the end of the calendar year of the author’s death. However, should the work be published in the name of a company, the duration of the protection shall run as from the date of publication of the work to fifty years following the end of the calendar year of the publication.

Assignment: should be made in writing. If the software has been already registered in Lebanon, an extract of the deed of assignment may be filed with the Office. The registration certificate should be returned and a new title shall be issued showing the name of the assignee.

Infringement: is considered as copyright infringement, any unauthorized reproduction or use of the computer software. However, non-profit educational institutions, universities and libraries shall be entitled, on the grounds of the implementing regulations issued by the Minister of Education, to make, without seeking the authorization of the author and without paying any compensation to him, a limited number of copies (not exceeding three copies per library or class of the educational institution or university) of any original educational software in their possession, for the purpose of their subsequent free rental to students, the latter being authorized by the law, but peculiarly prohibited by the implementing regulations, to make a private copy thereof.