When creating a business or similar venture, one important aspect of marketability is how recognizable the brand is. A “swoosh” brings to mind a certain sportswear manufacturer, and golden arches go hand in hand with fast food. These symbols or designs are trademarks, which are protected by law in nearly every country, including Lebanon.
The Lebanese laws provides protection to trademarks that have been registered at the Office of Intellectual Property in the ministry of economy. When such a trademark has been registered, any encroachment upon that property may bring criminal action against the perpetrator. An experienced Lebanese lawyer can help you find registered trademarks to avoid legal complications when applying for a new trademark.
In order to ascertain the legitimacy of the trademark, the Office of Intellectual Property must hold that a new trademark is neither generic nor likely to be confused with an existing trademark. Their decision is allowed to be opposed on the basis of unfair competition, and an attempt to register a trademark may be met with a legal court battle. If a trademark is found legitimate and registered, it will remain valid for fifteen years from the filing date and may be renewed for another fifteen. There are certain restrictions on a trademark. For example, it must not use national or foreign emblems or any design that may breach the public standard of morality.