Lebanese patent application

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Release time:2016-05-31

Lebanon is a country in West Asia (Middle East) and has a relatively complete legal system of intellectual property rights. It is not only a member of WIPO, but also a party to the following conventions or treaties: the Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization, the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (1928), the Madrid Agreement for the Suppression of Indications of Origin for Counterfeit or Deceptive Goods, the Nice Agreement Concerning the International Classification of Goods and Services for the Registration of Marks, and the Rome Convention for the Protection of the Rights of Performers, Recorders and Broadcasting Organizations (1961).

 

Patent Law

Lebanon's new Patent Law was promulgated on August 7, 2000 and formally implemented on August 14. The Patent Law of 2000 expands the scope of patent protection and extends the duration of patent protection, which is more in line with the requirements of the TRIPS Agreement. The Patent Law also provides clear provisions on the rights of patentees and compensation in the event of infringement.

 

(1) Scope and duration of patent protection

The Patent Law provides that an inventor may obtain a patent for his or her invention. The conditions for patentability of an invention are novelty, inventiveness and industrial applicability. The application for a patent shall be filed no later than the publication or use of the technology in Lebanon or abroad. Inventions that can be authorized include:

new industrial products;

New methods of obtaining known industrial products or results;

New applications of known industrial products or processes;

New combinations of known procedures or methods;

Microorganisms;

In cases specifically provided for in this Act, new or rediscovered plant varieties.

The validity period of the patent right was originally 15 years, but after the amendment, it was extended to 20 years from the date of application. The granting of a patent does not necessarily mean that the invention is the result of creative activity, or that it is valid, valuable, or can be applied in industry, or that the specification is correct or even accurate. In addition, any interested party may request the revocation of the patent to the Patent Office in accordance with the circumstances of invalidity provided for by law.

 

(2) Rights of the patentee

The patentee has the exclusive right to use the invention, that is, the right to do the following:

the publication, manufacture, use, sale or importation of the products to which the patent relates;

use or permit a third party to use the method covered by the patent;

Allow third parties to obtain the product directly obtained according to the method referred to in the patent, and allow them to disclose, use, sell or import the product.

If the subject matter of the patent is an industrial process, the protection of the patent right extends to the product obtained directly according to the process. There is no mandatory provision in the law that the patentee must issue a patent license to others, nor is there any restriction on how the patent right should be licensed. However, the patent must be implemented within a certain period of time, otherwise the patentee will be ordered to issue a license to another person. In order to monitor patent enforcement, the patent assignee must register with the patent office.

 

3) Penalties for patent infringement

Infringement of patent rights may constitute the crime of imitation (counterfeiting crime), and the patentee may be compensated for the infringement damage. In such cases, the patentee bears the burden of proof. The following factors must be taken into account when estimating damage:

material and moral damage;

loss of profits;

The profit realized by the counterfeiter.

In order to prevent infringement, the patentee may take the following measures:

When the patentee believes that an infringement is about to occur, he may apply to the court or procuratorate with the jurisdiction of the first instance to take necessary preventive measures. The relevant functional authority will notify the Customs to implement its decision.

The patentee may also apply to the judge who has the power to deal with urgent matters to prevent the above-mentioned measures by imposing a fine on a daily basis, regardless of whether there is a mortgage or not, and the patentee may request the relevant department to seize the infringing product. The patentee must file a lawsuit within 15 days after the seizure, otherwise it must bear the losses that may result.

In addition, intentional infringement of patent rights is punishable by a fine of 5 million to 50 million Lebanese pounds (about 3,340 to 33,330 U.S. dollars) and three months to three years in prison. The accomplice, abettor and repeat offender will be subject to criminal punishment.