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Amendments to Trademark Laws

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Feb 01, 2011 (Newsletter Issue 2/11)
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Opposition and Renewal Period Changed

The Yemeni Ministry of Industry and Trade issued on November 21st, 2010 Law No. 23 for the year 2010 relating to Trademarks and Geographical Indications. The new law is effective from February 22th, 2011.

The main important points of this new law are as follows:
- The opposition period has been decreased to 90 days calculated from the publication date. (Article 14)
- The grace period for the renewal of a mark registration has been increased to 12 months, noting this would be subjected to the payment of lateness fine. (Article 24)
- Any mark cancelled by the request of its owner can not be registered by any other interested party for the same or similar goods or services unless after three years from the date of cancellation. (Chapter 05)
- The registration fees can be paid within 12 months from the expiry of the opposition period.
- As indicated in Article (06), well-known marks are now recognized as per the following:
1- Any mark application filed for goods or services identical or similar to a well-known mark would be rejected by the Registrar if the well-known mark is not registered in Yemen.
2- If the well-known mark is registered in Yemen, then any mark application in any class would be rejected for being similar or identical to a well-known mark.

- As per Chapter (04), the new law indicates clear provisions for recording of license agreements and recording of assignments, such as the following:
1- The possibility to record the license agreement for some or all the products covered by a mark registration.
2- It is now compulsory to record the license agreement, as the license will not be affected unless it is recorded with the Trademark Office.

- As per Section (03), Chapters (32-40), the new Law has indicated the protection of geographical indications, and also clarifies the relation between trademarks bearing a geographical indication/ geographical indications.
- The new Law has clearly indicated the possibility of claiming priority within six months calculated from the filing date in any member country of Paris Convention, in this case the filing date in Yemen will be the same as the filing date in the original application. (Article 54)
- The new Law has also indicated the penalties against infringement of marks through legal action with the relative court.