|INDUSTRIAL PROPERTY PROTECTION
Iran is a member of the Paris Union International Convention for the protection of Industrial Property and world Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Citizens of member countries are entitled to receive patent and trademark rights identical to those of Iranian nationals. Also under the Convention, if a foreign national makes application for a patent in his own country and within twelve months makes similar application in Iran or another convention country, the filing date shall be considered the same as that of the original application.
Non-residents desiring to file patent and trademark applications in Iran must do so through an attorney or other representative in residence here who must be given full power of attorney for that purpose . Applications must be prepared in the Persian. General inquiries regarding patent, trademark and copyright procedures in Iran may be addressed to Director, Registration Office of Company and Industrial Property, Tehran, Iran. The investor should refer to the law on Registration of Trademarks and Patents of June 1931, and implementing regulations effective July 15, 1958.
Patents are granted for 5, 10,15 or a maximum of 20 years at the option of the inventor. Fees are levied annually for the duration of the patent. Additions or improvements may later be included and are protect able for the duration of the basic patent. An inventor holding an unexposed patent registration in a foreign country can apply for a corresponding patent in Iran. The validity period shall be the same as the original patent. However, if a person or firm in Iran has completely or partially exploited, or made preparations to exploit the said invention prior to application , the inventor will not have the right to oppose the actions of said person or firm.
Patent applications are examined only for correctness of documents and compliance of the subject matter with patent ability specifications . A paten table invention must be novel and capable of practical use in industry or agriculture . The novelty is prejudiced, if it is given publicity in Iran or abroad before application procedures are completed . Unfavorable decisions on an application may be appealed to the courts.
Financial plans, inventions which may be contrary to public order, health or good morals, and medicinal formulas or compounds are not paten table. Processes for the manufacture of pharmaceuticals are paten table.
If a patent is not exploited within five years from the effective date of grant, any interested party may apply for its nullification. Persons who believe their interests are being adversely affected by a registered patent , may file for cancellation with the courts. Patents and trademarks may be licensed or assigned, but such action must be recorded with the Registration Office to be effective.
Trademark registrations are effective for ten years following the dated of filing the application and may be renewed for similar periods. Applications are made public so that interested parties may inspect and contest them. If another party wishes to contest on grounds of prior use, he must do so within three years after the time the registered mark becomes incontestable on these grounds.
The application is examined for format and consistency for register ability . If the Registrar rejects an application , the applicant may appeal to the courts. According to existing regulations , all commercial and industrial products are classified into 36 categories. The following are not register able as trademarks :(1) those containing Governmental insignia or emblems of official institutions such as Red Crescent and revolutionary foundations ; (2) those containing a picture of the Leader or the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran ( except by special permission ) ; (3) those conveying an impression of a connection with the high ranking officials of the Government; (4) those contrary to public order or good morals; (5) those likely to mislead the consumer as to origin or quality of goods.
If a trademark has not been used within three years of its registration, any interested party may apply for cancellation.
Although there is no copyright law in Iran, Articles 23 through 31 of the Law for the Protection of the Rights of Authors, Composers and Artists of January 1st 1970 may be invoked in favor of an author if it is determined that his work has been published without his or his heirs permission . Under these provisions , owners of intellectual works are also entitled to protection of publication rights and against infringing import practices.