Libyan Trademark Office reopens for limited operations

The Libyan Trademark Office (TO) has resumed limited operations and is accepting new applications from Libyan nationals only. The TO suspended operations last year in order to reorganize and automate its procedures.

Since it reopened, the TO has substantially raised its filing fees and published a first list of new registrations. However, there is no indication of when it will start accepting applications from non-Libyan mark owners. Also, despite hints that it intends to disregard all past pending matters in favour of requiring trademark owners to file new applications, the status of applications, registrations and renewals filed or obtained prior to the temporary closure remains unclear.

It should be recalled that trademark owners subject to US laws are prohibited from transacting intellectual property matters in Libya without a licence from the US Office of Foreign Assets Control, in accordance with the provisions of Executive Order 12543.

Dennis Prahl, Ladas & Parry, New York

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