Law No. 8 of 2007, for Distinctive Marks, Geographical Indications and Industrial Designs and Models, will enter into force on April 12, 2007.

According to the law, a trade mark shall be registered if it is distinctive, and may consist of words, letters, numbers, figures, colours, or other signs that are visually perceptible. The law provides protection for collective, certification and service marks, and recognises internationally well-known trade marks even if they are not registered in Syria. The law introduces opposition proceedings for the first time, where a period of 90 days from the publication date will be given during which any third party can oppose a trade mark application. 

The law also brings in developments in the Intellectual Property (IP) field including, improved customs measures, a specialized court to settle IP cases and the regulation of IP agents in Syria.

With respect to the duration of protection, a registered trade mark is valid for 10 years from the date of filing the application, renewable for similar consecutive periods. Non-use of the trade mark for continuous three years without a legitimate reason makes it subject for cancellation by any interested person.

We have been advised that the new law introduces a single class registration system for trade marks which is something of a retrograde step and will cause additional expense for many trade mark proprietors. However, this has yet to be confirmed, as have the fees applicable under the new law. Full details of the new law have yet to be clarified, but further information will be posted on our website as and when it is received.