On 25 July 2000 the Lebanese Parliament enacted a new Patent Law which will enter into force within weeks. The new law overhauls Lebanon's decades old law on intellectual property protection and brings the law into compliance with TRIPs. Absolute novelty of the invention before the filing or priority date is required of an application. Software, pharmaceutical compositions and micro-organisms are all patentable. Specifications may be in English or French. The term of patents under the new law will be 20 years as from the date of filing, and all patents which are in force on the date of implementation of the new law will benefit from the 20 year duration.

The law also provides for the issue of certificates of registration of semiconductor topographies, having a term of 10 years from the filing date.

We will be pleased to advise clients of the filing requirements under the new Act.