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Enforcement of IPRs in Lebanon


Enforcement of IPRs
IPR enforcement is weak in Lebanon. Also, enforcement by Lebanon’s Internal Security Forces (ISF) and Customs is relatively ineffective.
Alcoholic beverages, cosmetics, apparel, luxury consumer goods, CDs/DVDs, and pharmaceuticals are the goods that most often face counterfeiting and piracy in Lebanon.
They are as follows:
  • The Patent Law n° 240 of 2000
  • The Trademark Law of 1924 amended in 1946
  • The Law on Copyright 1999
  • The Law n°4 on Patents, Designs, and Industrial Models of 15th May 2005
  • The Criminal Code: Law No. 340 of 1 March 1943
Patents, Trademarks, Designs, Copyright, and Industrial Models are the different types of IPRs protected by IPR enforcement in Lebanon.
All proceedings and supplementary documents should be in Arabic. There is no choice of language for either of these aspects. Therefore, preparation should in accordance to the same. Also, domestic legal support may be needed since parties are represented by Lebanese lawyers only.
Legal support from duly qualified Lebanon based lawyers might be needed.
A) Government Authorities - No
B) Police Officials - Yes
C) Judiciary - Yes
D) Customs - Yes
A) Injunctions - Yes
B) Monetary Compensation -
C) Raids - Yes
D) Seizures - Yes
E) Destruction - Yes
The duration of trademark proceedings varies on a case-by-case basis. However, most infringement proceedings can be handled in a speedy manner. Therefore, the time-frame of cases cannot be predicted, and it is not possible to agree on a binding time table.
There are no specialised or IP centric courts in Lebanon.
A) Responsible Authority - Courts
B) Imprisonment Term - 03 months to 03 years
C) Monetary Fine - LBP5 million to LBP50 million
Since the system is not stringent enough, strong court decisions with punishments prohibitive enough to deter future infringements are warranted and much needed.
There are no court-related ADR programs; however, the parties can undertake to resolve the disputes through amicable ADR methods.
The Customs can seize goods on discovering infringing goods and communicate the same to the registered owner of trademarks. The case is then transferred to a public prosecutor and the customs are to take such action as is concluded from the said proceeding.
Court Proceedings
The understanding of IPRs within the Lebanese judiciary has improved in recent years, but gaps remain in awareness of the economic repercussions of IPR violations, judicial prosecution of IPR cases, and strong court decisions with punishments prohibitive enough to deter future infringements.