Trade and Service Marks
– Law No. 8 of 2007 on Trademarks, Geographical Indications and Industrial Designs and Models, in force since April 12, 2007, as amended by Decree No. 47 dated August 16, 2009.
– Ministerial Resolution No. 1306 of 2009, in force since May 27, 2009.
Membership in International Conventions
– Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, Stockholm Act.
– Madrid Agreement for the Repression of False or Deceptive Indications of Source on Goods, London Act.
– Madrid Agreement and Protocol Concerning the International Registration of Marks, since August 5, 2004. Denunciation of the Madrid Agreement with effect from June 29, 2013.
– Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), since November 18, 2004.
– Nice Agreement Concerning the International Classification of Goods and Services for the Purposes of the Registration of Marks, since March 28, 2005.
Applications for filing: may be submitted by resident companies, individuals or by registered attorneys or agents of non-resident firms, companies or individuals.
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.
Registrability: the trademark must be perceived by sight; devices, distinctive names, initials, numbers, invented words, etc., may all be accepted for registration as trademarks, either individual or collective. Trademarks considered to be contrary to good morals or public order will be rejected.
Geographical indications: may not be used as trademarks (a separate law is currently being prepared).
Collective marks, certification marks and three-dimensional marks: may be registered.
Well-known marks in Syria and abroad are recognized even if they are not registered in Syria.
Non-registrable marks: marks identical or similar to a famous mark are not eligible for registration. Marks must not represent national or foreign decoration nor a word, image, sign or emblem of a seditious nature or be contrary to public order or morality. Sound marks and smell marks are not registrable.
Service marks: accepted.
The registration of all medical and pharmaceutical products to be offered for sale in Syria is compulsory under the Law Decree 115, which requires the translation into Arabic of all the names of the pharmaceutical products submitted to the Directorate of Commercial and Industrial Property Protection (DCIP) for filing, was amended in that respect and the writing of the trademark in Arabic letters with regard to foreign pharmaceuticals is no longer necessary.
Classification: international (the 11th Edition of the Nice Classification).
Multi-class applications: not possible.
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. 10 prints of the mark (5 x 5 cm); where color is a feature, this should be indicated on the specimens filed;
3. Electronic sample of the mark;
4. Copy of home or any foreign registration of the mark if available;
5. Mention of whether the mark is already in use or proposed to be used.
Note: late filing of documents is possible.
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.
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 of trademark applications is restricted to identical or closely similar trademark registrations covering the same goods.
Appeal: opposing Registrar’s decisions before the specialized Objection Committee is possible within thirty days.
Assignment of application: possible.
Letters of consent: can be accepted in certain cases only, must be notarized.
Third party opposition: possible within ninety days from the publication date.
Delivery of document: the registration certificate is issued in paper format.
Protection period: ten years counted from the application date (the filing date is now the same as the registration date).
Renewal: always made for terms of ten years each time. Note: trademarks registered under the old law shall become multiple registrations according to the number of classes; limitation of classes is possible. Renewal applications registered under the old law shall be subject to the examination and opposition procedure similar to the newly filed applications, but only for the first renewal under the new law. A trademark covering several classes is now subject to separate renewal fees for each single class. Grace period: six months, subject to payment of a fine.
Prior use of an unregistered trademark may be claimed provided authenticated proof is furnished.
Modification of Protection after Registration
Rights of prior user: prior use but not prior registration establishes right of ownership.
Annulment: refusal of protection can be obtained by interested parties through court action only; also, pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 47/09, an amendment to the law allows an ad hoc Committee, based on special application, to qualify a trademark as well-known and strike off all similar or identical trademarks from the Registry upon objections raised by the applicant (Decree No. 47/09 is no longer applicable and cancelling a well-known trademark should take place through a court action only).
Use: not compulsory. However, the trademark could be vulnerable to cancellation actions filed by a third party if not used for three consecutive years; intention to use is acceptable.
Definitive registration: the ownership of a trademark becomes conclusive after five years from the date of its registration, unless an injured party can prove the registrant knew at the time at which he effected the registration of the existence of a prior use.
Assignment of trademarks: is possible with or without the goodwill of the business and may be effected within a period of three months from the date of the actual transaction. Grace period of a further two months, with fine. Except for medical and pharmaceutical products, which cannot be imported into the country without prior registration, there is no other condition of any kind with regard to the registration of trademarks.
Licenses: must be registered within three months from effective date.
Re-registration of an expired trademark is only possible by a third party after three years counted from the expiry date.
Infringement: the penalties for infringement are a fine or imprisonment or both. Imprisonment can vary from three months to three years according to the judgment of the court.