The Yemeni General Department for Intellectual Property Protection of the Ministry of Industry and Trade issued on November 22, 2010 Law no. 23 regarding trademarks and geographical indications. This law will come into force on February 23, 2011. 

The Ministry of Industry and Trade pointed out that this law was drafted in response to the changing economic variables on the local, regional and international level. The continued attention to improving intellectual property protection is integral to the country’s joining the World Trade Organization, expanding its involvement in the Gulf Cooperation Council, as well as providing an environment that encourages investments, trade, technology transfer and innovation.

We list for you the most important features of this law:
– The opposition period has been shortened from six to three months from the publication date (Article 14)
– The new law recognizes famous marks even in the absence of registration (Article 6)
– The new law introduces severe penalties against violators (Articles 41 to 60)
– The grace period for late renewal is extended to 12 months instead of three months as per the provisions of the previous law (Article 17)
– The new law introduces clear provisions regarding the recordal of assignments and licenses (Article 25 to 29)
– The new law introduces clear provisions on the protection of geographical indications and the circumstances a registration of a trademark bearing a geographical indication is admissible (Article 32 to 40)

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