In the ever changing landscape of IP regulations in the MENA jurisdiction, JAH is pleased to update our readers and keep them abreast of the latest updates.
NO GRACE PERIOD FOR RENEWALS IN AFGHANISTAN
Please be advised that as per the Trademark Registration Law (2009) Article 20 (3) adopted in Afghanistan, a trademark which has not been renewed within the last six months of the ten years protection period stands expunged. However, the Trademark Office has been applying previously an arbitrary grace period of 6 months (sometimes more) to assist in maintenance of rights and allowing late renewal. Now, the said practice has come to an end as of December 2017 and consequently it is no more allowed to renew trademark registration after the expiry of the protection period. Hence the only possible means to preserve trademark rights would be to renew the registration within the last 6 months before expiry date as per the law.
ON-LINE FILINGS IN KUWAIT
Kuwait becomes the latest GCC country to adopt online system of filing of trademarks. It is expected that the new system (which is in its pilot stage) will facilitate and streamline the process of trademark registration with strict adherence to deadlines and requirements. The trademark office has undertaken the necessary procedures towards switching filing trademarks to a completely online system and as such the documentary requirements can be fulfilled online by uploading the same and originals of which should be submitted within a non-extendable three months from filing date and failure to comply therewith will result in the lapse of the filed trademark application. Also, trademark applications can still be filed electronically without the necessary documents at the time of filing. The earlier practice of filing trademarks using paper files has been discontinued. Thus, simple copies of colored copies of the legalized POA and priority document in case of priority claim shall fulfill the documentary formalities of filing of trademarks.
POA VALIDITY TERM DECLARED IN SAUDI ARABIA
The Saudi Trademark Office declared that the validity of the Power of Attorney is now five years from the date of execution, unless the duration on the POA is stated unlimited or the POA is revoked by a new POA. The above directives are put in effect subsequent to a memo of the Ministry of Justice on March 15, 2016, but was implemented recently by the trademark authorities. It is worth noting that a scanned colored copy of the POA will be sufficient at the time of filing in support of trademark application, the original of which may be submitted at a later stage with no time limit, but before the trademark matures into final registration. JAH has revised its POA format as unlimited.
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