Patents of Invention

– Law No. 18 of 2012 on Patents of Invention, Utility Models, Layout Designs of Integrated Circuits and Undisclosed Information, regarding granting, registering and publishing patents, and the rights arising from registering the patents, in force since June 1, 2012.
– Executive Regulations of 2012.

Membership in International Conventions

– Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, Stockholm Act.
– Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), as of June 26, 2003.
– Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), as of November 18, 2004.


Applicant: applications for the registration of inventions may be submitted to the Directorate of Commercial and Industrial Property Protection (DCIP) by the interested firm or person or through an appointed attorney.

Non-resident inventors, companies or firms must appoint a resident attorney for this purpose.

Boycott Declaration: all foreign first-time applicants are no longer required to submit the Boycott of Israel Declaration, provided that they are not listed on the Boycott Office Black List.

Patents of addition or supplements may, under certain circumstances, be changed into independent or principal patents with a duration limited to that of the principal patent.

Novelty: an invention is considered new provided it has not been registered for protection by anyone nor offered for exploitation by a nominal working announcement in a newspaper.

Filing requirements for an application (to be sent to resident agent):
1. Power of attorney, legalized up to the Syrian Consulate in home country. The power of attorney may be lodged at local Notary Public and used as a general power for an indefinite period of time; further approval procedures involve a longer period for obtention;
2. Specification in quadruplicate in Arabic, French or English language unsigned; a fifth copy for agent’s file. Specification in foreign languages must be accompanied by a legalized Arabic translation to be submitted in support of the application;
3. Drawings in quadruplicate, original on Bristol board, the others on tracing cloth or paper; size 33 x 21 or 42 cm with marginal line 2 cm from edge of sheet all around; a set of prints for agent’s use, to be submitted within three months of the application date;
4. In case of priority: certified copy of basic application as filed, signed by home Registrar, must be furnished within three months after filing; priority may be claimed upon filing of application or within two months; if assignee applies, legalized assignment is required. Partial and multiple priorities allowed. Complete Arabic translations of these documents are required.

Electronic filing: not available. 

Electronic signatures: are not accepted (only wet signatures). A scanned copy of a signed document is acceptable instead of the original, in case it is authenticated as a true copy.

PCT applications: time limit for entering national phase under both Chapters I and II: 31 months.

For a change of name or address:
1. A legalized change of name or address document;
2. Power of attorney in the new name/address (legalized).


Examination: applications are subject to examination as to novelty, industrial applicability and inventive step of the invention. If any confusion, incoherence or complexity is observed in the specification, or if an objection is brought against the application, a delay of three months will then be granted to the applicant to enable him to make the necessary corrections and possibly split his application into two or more units. If a multiple application is split, all the individual units will be given the same date as that of the basic application.

Appeal: two stages of opposing Registrar’s decisions before the Registrar Committee and before the specialized Objection Committee is possible within thirty days each.

Exceptions to protection: no application will be accepted if the invention contained in it is considered to be contrary to national security, public order or good morals, environment, human/animal/plant life or health.

Also not patentable: (1) scientific discoveries and theories, curriculums of mathematics, database and pharmaceutical compositions and codes; (2) plants and animals, no matter how much its rarity or strangeness; as well as methods originally biological to produce plants or animals, except micro-organisms; and micro-biological/and non-biological methods to produce plants or animals; (3) designs, bases and curriculums regarding: (a) pure intellectual activities, (b) economic activities, (c) informatics programs, (d) methods of treating/surgery of human or animal bodies, as well as methods of diagnosing diseases used for checking human or animal bodies. Such provisions are not applicable to the preparations, namely the materials and compositions used to apply one of those methods, (e) natural organs, tissues, cells, biological materials, DNA and genetics.

Novelty: any new industrial product can be regarded as an invention and consequently granted a patent of invention. 

Opposition: any interested party may object in writing to the Directorate within six months from the date of publication of the application.

Granting, Protection

Delivery of document: the patent certificate is issued in paper format.

Duration: protection begins as from the date of the application. The validity of the patent is twenty years; extension is not possible; patents of addition are granted for the unexpired term of the principal patent.

Annuities: are due as of the beginning of the second year following the application filing date. The annual fee incur on or before the anniversary of the filing date and until termination of the life of the patent. Annuities may be paid in advance for five, ten or fifteen years. In such cases a rebate of 5%, 7.5% and 10% respectively, will be allowed. Failure to pay the annuities exposes the patent to invalidation. In the case of delay in settling the annuities, a specific fee (penalty) will be collected, but after six months, the patent in question loses its validity.

Reinstatement: reinstating a lapsed patent is possible within six-month post grace period against certain fees.

Working: is compulsory within three years of the date of grant of the patent except in the case of patents filed under the Convention, i.e. patents with priority, for which the term is three years instead of two. The commissioner of patents can revoke the patent at any time for non-compliance with the working requirements. A nominal proof showing that the patentee has already established connections with manufacturers in other countries capable of working the invention may be accepted in certain cases where there is no working, provided the patentee did not refuse, without good reason, a request for a license for his invention if such a request was made to him on reasonable terms. Nominal working by publication of an advertisement offering to license the patent is considered as a safeguard against revocation.

Modification of Protection after Granting

Refusal of protection: can be obtained by interested parties by court action only.

Forfeiture: the patentee shall forfeit his rights also if he should introduce into Syria, products similar to those guaranteed by his patent unless international conventions to which Syria has adhered permit otherwise.

Compulsory license: now available.

Assignments: total or partial assignments of registered inventions must be filed within three months of the date of the deed. The legalized deed, or an authenticated copy thereof, is required. A notarized power of attorney from the assignee is necessary and may be embodied in the deed of assignment if required.

Utility Models

Notion: utility models are granted in accordance with the provisions of this Law for each new invention, which is industrially applicable, but not resulting from enough inventive activity to grant a patent for; the Executive Regulations will specify the conditions that must be available for granting. 

Conversion: the applicant may change his application into a patent application; a patent application may also be changed into a utility model application and the effect of registration in both cases starts at the date of submitting the original application. The DCIP may spontaneously change the application of a utility model into a patent application and vice versa whenever the conditions are available.

Duration: the protection period for a utility model is ten years (not renewable), starting from the date of submitting the utility model patent application to the DCIP.

General provisions: provisions for patents of invention are applicable, where appropriate, without prejudice of the above special provisions.

Layout Designs of Integrated Circuits

Notion: upon applying the provisions of this Law, integrated circuit means: each product in final status or medial status including elements, at least one of which is an active element fixed on a piece of isolated material and forming by some connections or all connections an integrated composition which aims to realize certain electronic functions. Layout design means: each three-dimensional disposition intended for integrated circuits for manufacturing purpose.

Duration: the protection period for a layout design of integrated circuits is ten years starting from the date of approving the registration in the Syrian Arab Republic or from the date of first commercial exploitation in Syria or abroad, whichever is earlier. The protection period, in all cases, will expire by the lapse of fifteen years from the date of making the design.

Protection of Undisclosed Information

The protection which the provisions of this Law provide extends to cover undisclosed information, which is a result of great effort, and which is provided to competent authority upon request for the allowance of marketing chemical, pharmaceutical, or agricultural products which use new chemical compositions required to conduct obligatory tests to allow marketing. However, no Implementing Regulations are issued yet.