19 March 2013

Pragmatic help from the Syrian Trade Marks Office

I regularly present on 'Notarisation & Legalisation' for the Institute of Trade Mark Attorney's Trade Mark Administrators' Course and I think it would be almost an understatement to say that we consider legalisation to be a real headache in the West.

Nevertheless, appreciation of other legal cultures is important especially in the globalised world of trade marks and we need to comply with these requirements.

Therefore, we are very grateful when notices are issued by Trade Marks Offices requiring legalised documents that recognise the difficulties - particularly with respect to turnaround times - in providing legalised documents. One such notice has just been issued by the Trade Marks Office in Syria in relation to Madrid Protocol designations of their country.

The Syrian Office works well with the Madrid Protocol system regularly sending out acceptance notices and Statements of Grants to holders via WIPO. Examination is also robust and Provisional Refusals are not uncommon.

With the Syrian Civil War ongoing for over two years now it is perhaps remarkable that the Office continues to function relatively efficiently. Of course, this may change if the situation escalates nearer to the Office, which according to my maps is located in a part of Damascus not so far away from Douma, a major flashpoint city of the War to date.