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Intellectual Property

COPYRIGHT

A new and modern Copyright Law was enacted on April 3, 1999, and entered into force on June 6, 1999. The copyright protection originally available to literary and artistic works is now extended to computer software, video films and all kind of audio-visual works. The law now provides stiffer penalties for offenders and better compensation to the persons whose rights have been infringed. The manner in which the copyright is breached has also been extended.

RIGHTS ENJOYED BY COPYRIGHT HOLDERS

  • The copyright holder shall enjoy economic and moral rights.
  • The copyright holder shall have the exclusive right to exploit the work commercially and, accordingly, shall have the right to authorize or prohibit the following:
  1. Any copying, printing, recording and reproduction of the work in any manner or form including photography, cinematography, sound or visual recordings of any kind or any other form.
  2. Any translation, adaptation, alteration, transformation, summarizing, reworking of the work or rearrangement of the music.
  3. The sale, distribution or rental of the work. The importation of copies of the work manufactured abroad.
  4. The public performance of the work.
  5. Communication to the public of the work by wire or wireless means, including the rebroadcast of normal television or radio broadcasts or satellite transmissions by any means of diffusion of sounds and images.
  • The economic rights of the author shall be considered as movable rights and may be transferred in whole or in part.
  • Any contract for the exploitation or assignment of economic rights shall, whatever its subject, be drawn up in writing, otherwise it shall entail nullity of the contract. It shall set out in detail the rights covered by the contract and indicate the time and location. The contract shall also require that the author gets a percentage of the exploitation revenues and assignment proceeds. If such a contract does not set a time limit, it shall be valid for 10 years only from the date of signature of the contract.
  • The assignment by the author of any of his rights must be limited in all cases to that right only and copyright contracts shall be construed in a restrictive manner.
  • The author shall also enjoy the following moral rights:
  1. The right to disclose the work and to determine the way and method of such disclosure.
  2. The right to claim authorship of the work and to have his name mentioned on every copy of the work each time the work is used in public.
  3. The right to use a pseudonym or to remain anonymous
  4. The right to object to any distortion, mutilation or modification of the work which would be prejudicial to his honor, reputation, fame or artistic, literary or scientific position.
  5. The right to rescind contracts for the assignment of economic rights even after their publication if rescission is necessary to safeguard his person and reputation or is due to a change in his beliefs or in the circumstances, provided that third parties are compensated for damage resulting from such rescission.

TERMS OF PROTECTION

  • The term of protection granted under this Law to the economic rights of the author, shall be the life of the author and 50 years after his death, to be computed from the end of the year in which the death has occurred.
  • In the case of a work of joint authorship, the term of protection shall be the life of the joint authors and 50 years after the death of the last joint author, to be computed from the end of the year in which the death has occurred. Should one of the authors die without leaving heirs, his share shall pass to the co-authors or to their heirs, unless stated otherwise.
  • In the case of collective and audiovisual works, the term of protection shall be 50 years to be computed from the end of the year in which the work has been made available to the public or, failing such event, 50 years from the making of such work, to be computed from the end of the year in which the work has been completed.
  • In the case of anonymous or pseudonymous works, the term of protection shall expire 50 years after the work has been lawfully made available to the public.
  • However, if the pseudonym adopted by the author leaves no doubt as to his identity, or if the identity of the author of an anonymous or pseudonymous work is disclosed before the expiration of the 50- year period starting from the end of the year in which the work was lawfully made available to the public, the provisions of Article 49 of this Law shall apply. In the case of posthumous works or works published in the name of a legal person, the term of protection shall be 50 years to be computed from the end of the year in which the work was published.
  • All moral rights of authors or performers shall enjoy perpetual protection that shall not be subject to prescription. They shall be transmitted to third parties by testamentary disposition or under inheritance laws.
  • All economic related rights of performers shall enjoy protection for a period of 50 years to be computed from the end of the year in which the performance has been carried out.
  • The term of protection granted to producers of sound recordings shall be 50 years, to be computed from the end of the year in which the first fixation of sound on tangible material has taken place.
  • The term of protection granted to broadcasting organizations shall be 50 years, to be computed from the end of the year in which the broadcasting of their programs has taken place.
  • The term of protection granted to publishing houses shall be 50 years, to be computed from the end of the year in which the first publication has taken place. back to top

DEPOSITS

Works, sound recordings, performances, and radio or television programs shall be deposited with the Intellectual Property Protection Office at the Ministry of Economy and Trade:

  • The deposit shall constitute a presumption as to the ownership by the depositor of the work, the sound recording, the performance or the radio or television program. Such presumption may be refuted by all available means.
  • Copyright holders, holders of related rights or their particular or universal successors who wish to make a deposit must submit to the Intellectual Property Protection Office an application signed by them or their agent containing the following information:
  1. The title and the type of work, sound recording, performance or radio or television program.
  2. The name, title and address of the author or the holder of related rights. If the author or the holder of related rights does not make the deposit personally, the foregoing information must be given in respect of the depositor as well.
  3. If the depositor is a person other than the author or the holder of related rights, the type of document on the basis of which the depositor has submitted the application for deposit
  4. Where necessary, the name and address of the person responsible for the physical execution of the work (the printer, the molder, etc.)
  • The application for deposit shall not be accepted unless it is accompanied by the prescribed fee. The fees charged by the Intellectual Property Protection Office shall be as follows:
  1. Deposit of a printed work, LBP 50,000.
  2. Deposit of a motion picture, video film or sound recording, LBP 175,000.
  3. Deposit of a daily or periodic publication, (for one year) LBP 75,000.
  4. Deposit of a picture, drawing, map, post card, photograph or daily or periodic publication, (1 copy), LBP 25,000.
  5. Deposit of any other material not mentioned above, LBP 50,000.
  6. Recordation of a contract of deposit with the Office, LBP 50,000.
  7. Facsimile copy of a certificate of registration, LBP 25,000.
  • The application for deposit shall be registered at the Intellectual Property Protection Office. A certificate shall be delivered to the applicant mentioning the information stated in the application and it shall be accompanied by one of the three copies deposited with the Office.
  • The certificate shall be dated, sealed and signed by the head of the said Office. The first certificate shall be granted free of charge and the Office shall charge the prescribed fee referred to in the previous Article for subsequent requested copies of this certificate.
  • Any contract concluded with regard to any work, sound recording, performance or radio or television program registered at the Intellectual Property Protection Office may also be recorded with the said office. back to top

TRADEMARKS

Trademarks are provided protection under the "Regulations and Systems of Commercial, Industrial, Literary, Artistic and Musical Property in Lebanon" (the 1924 law). The 1924 Law does not explicitly protect notorious trademarks and geographical indications. However, those are provided protection via Lebanon’s membership to the Paris Convention and the Madrid Agreement respectively. Moreover, Geographical indications are provided protection under the provisions of the new Law on Customs, the Law on Fraud Control and the Criminal Law.

FILING, DURATION AND FEES

Filing

  • Personal ownership of a trademark shall not be claimed unless such a trademark has been previously filed in the Protection Bureau.

Duration

  • Filing duration shall be fifteen years, which may always be renewed for subsequent duration of fifteen years each provided that the payment of the fees mentioned here under is made. The owner of the trademark or his proxy or agent shall submit a handwritten application on which duty stamps are affixed to the Director of the Bureau including all the following explanations; otherwise the application shall be considered null and void.

Fees

  • Any filing application of any kind shall not be accepted unless the depositor pays the prescribed fee for, at least the first fifteen years. In case the depositor wishes to secure protection to his trademark for thirty, forty five or sixty years or for any other period he shall expressly state that in his application and pays the corresponding fees thereof.
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Last Update: 03 April 2012

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