Patents of Invention

– Law No. 152 / L R of July 19, 1939.
– Law No. 240 of August 7, 2000.

Membership in International Conventions

– Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, London Act, and Articles 13 to 30 Stockholm Act.
– Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), since December 30, 1986.


Types of patents: patents of invention; (patents of addition have been abolished).

Applicant: the inventor or his assignee may be any physical person or body corporate.

Foreigners and nationals not living in the country: must appoint a representative residing in the country.

Naming of the inventor: compulsory.

Novelty: the invention should not have been available to the public at any place or date, whether by written or oral description, by use or by any other way, before the filing date or the priority date.

Inventive activity: the invention shall be considered as implying an inventive step, if it is not obvious for a man skilled in the art to discover the invention on the grounds of the prior art.

Industrial application: the invention is capable of industrial application if it is possible to manufacture or use the subject matter thereof in any kind of industry.

Exceptions to protection: scientific discoveries and principles; abstract mathematical methods having no industrial application; principles and methods pertaining to the exercise of purely intellectual activities, of games or economic and financial activities; therapeutic and diagnostic methods; inventions contrary to public order and morality.

Computer software: patentable (see “VII. Computer software” below).

Pharmaceutical compositions and formulas: patentable.

Microorganisms: patentable. A culture of the microorganism must be deposited with the Central Laboratory at the Ministry of Health within fifteen days following the Lebanese filing date.

 Plant varieties: new plant varieties which differ from similar known species by one or more important and precise characteristic of little fluctuation, are patentable provided that they are homogeneous and stable and meet the other patentability requirements. A specimen of the new plant variety should be deposited with the Central Laboratory at the Ministry of Health within fifteen days following the Lebanese filing date.

Priorities: multiple and partial priorities permissible. Priority may be claimed at the time of filing or within a period of two months from the filing date.

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 specification and abstract, in Arabic, English or French;
3. 3 copies of drawings, if any;
4. Particulars of the basic patent application, and instructions whether the applicant requires the postponement of the publication/issuance of the Letters Patent (cf. “Granting” below);
5. A culture of the microorganism/specimen of the plant variety, if any;
6. A certified copy of the priority document in Convention cases; it must be filed within a period of three months from the filing date.

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.

Electronic filing: not available. 

Electronic signatures: are accepted.

For a change of name or address:
1. An original extract from the Commercial Register or Notary Certificate evidencing the change and its date, legalized up to a Lebanese Consulate;
2. Power of attorney, legalized up to a Lebanese Consulate.

Examination Procedure

Examination: as to the unity of the invention and exceptions to protection.

Division: if the application is refused because it lacks unity, the applicant has to limit his application to one invention only or alternatively to file separate applications for each of any of the inventions contained in the basic multiple application. Each of the separate applications will bear the date of the basic application. The deadline for filing a voluntary divisional application is before the issuance of the decision of grant.

Appeal: appeal against any decision of the Minister of Economy and Commerce refusing an application on the above grounds, may be filed before the Court of Appeals in Beirut (Civil Chamber), within thirty days from the date of notification.

Opposition: not provided for.


Issuance: the Letters Patent is issued (in paper format only) by the Chairman of the Department for the Protection of Intellectual Property within sixty days from the date of accepting the application. However, the applicant may request the postponement of the issuance of the Letters Patent until the lapse of eighteen months as from the date of the basic application, as defined in Article 4 of the Paris Convention; he may also request an earlier issuance. Annuities fallen due during the proceedings are to be paid at the date of issuance of the Letters Patent.

Publication: the Letters Patent is published in the Official Gazette with the abstract in Arabic language. The application file is available to the public after the issuance of the Letters Patent.

Beginning of protection: filing date.

Duration: twenty years from the filing of the application. All patents of invention, which were valid at the date of implementation of the new Patent Law, shall benefit from the twenty years duration.

Extension of duration: impossible.

Assignment, license, mortgage, and in general, any agreement involving a patent of invention: must be in writing, otherwise, it shall be null and void. Moreover, it should be recorded on the Patent Register to be effective against third parties. Late recordal entails heavy surtaxes. The Letters Patent should be returned and a new title shall be issued showing the name of the assignee.

Modification of Protection after Granting

Annuities: renewal fees are due by the anniversary of the patent filing date.

Annuity grace period: six months (with fine) as from the due date.

Restoration: if the annuity and the fine are not paid within the grace period, the patent shall lapse. However, the patentee may request, within a period of six months following the forfeiture of the patent, the restoration thereof on the grounds of a legitimate excuse. If the restoration is accepted, the annuity and the fine are to be paid in twofold within thirty days from the date of notification. Refusal of restoration may be appealed before the Court of Appeals in Beirut (Civil Chamber) within sixty days from the date of notification.

Compulsory license: any interested party may request the Tribunal of First Instance in Beirut (Civil Chamber) for a non-exclusive compulsory license in case of non-working of the invention within three years following the date of grant, or in case of the cessation of working for more than three years, without a valid reason.

Ex officio license: may be imposed: (1) for the purpose of protection of public health, food security and the preservation of public interest in fields of vital importance for the economic, social and technological development, whenever the patented products are not made available to the public in a quantity or quality that satisfy the needs of the market or are offered at an abnormally elevated price; (2) for the needs of public defense.

Revocation: an action for revocation may be instituted by any interested party at any time during the term of protection of the patent on any one or more of the following grounds: lack of novelty, lack of inventive activity, lack of industrial application, ambiguity, and exceptions to protection. The patent shall also be revoked when the subject matter of the invention exceeds the scope of the specification filed with the application, or in case the patent has been issued on the grounds of a divisional application, when the subject matter thereof exceeds the scope of the basic patent application. The public prosecutor may intervene in the revocation action as well as he may ex officio request the cancellation of patents granted for inventions that are excepted from protection. In case the grounds for revocation only affect a part of the patent, the cancellation decision shall be limited to the claims concerned.

Infringement: is considered as patent infringement, any breach of the rights of the patent holder, whenever the patent has been duly published.

Descriptive seizure and precautionary measures: available.

Sanctions: penalties for infringement include heavy fines and imprisonment.