Changes in Albanian Industrial Property Law

Published on: 22 October 2014
by Tomislav HADZIJA, Attorney at Law at Dennemeyer & Associates, Croatia & Mr. Eno Dodbiba, European Patent Attorney

Albanian Law Nr. 9977 dated 07.07.2008 on Industrial Property was amended in May 2014. The amendments in the law aim to improve the legal framework for the protection of industrial property in the Republic of Albania and to bring it in line with EU standards and acquis communautaire, as well as with the requirements of the European Patent Convention. Further, the changes reflect the needs identified in law enforcement in practice and fulfill the recommendations made by the European Commission Progress Report on Albania in 2013.

The amendments bring Albania’s IP legislation more in line with the requirements of the European Patent Convention and make it fully compliant with EC directives such as:

  • Directive 98/44 / EC “For the legal protection of biotechnological inventions”;
  • Directive 98/71 / EC "For the legal protection of designs";
  • Directive 2008/95 / EC "trademark";
  • Directive 2004/48 / EC "On protection of industrial property rights".

The most interesting change for all European patent holders is the applicability of the EPC, namely extension of EPs. A whole new chapter is introduced in the law regarding the EP validations in Albania according to the EPC: note that a translation of the claims into Albanian must be filed with the Albanian Patent Office.

In addition, the amended regulation introduces use of the article 141 paragraph 2 of EPC mutatis mutandis, meaning that any patent annuity fees falling due within two months of the publication of granted European patents in the European Patent Bulletin shall be deemed to have been validly paid if they are paid within that period. Any additional fee provided for under national law shall not be charged.

For trademark owners, interesting amendments are made in the trademark procedure, namely establishing an open list of distinguished signs that can be registered as trademarks, including better definitions of absolute and relative grounds of trademark refusal.

Relevant articles that govern the right of the trademark registration, respective limitations and the revocations are also amended accordingly. Finally, the procedures for the registration of certifying trademarks and collective trademarks are introduced.

Other regulation amendments are made on issues regarding:

  • Non-prejudicial disclosures of novelty;
  • Description of the invention when the invention involves the use of or concerns biological material which is not available to the public and that cannot be described in the application;
  • The right to priority (request for restoration of the priority right);
  • The rights conferred by a patent on a biological material, on a process that enables a biological material and on a product containing or consisting of genetic information;
  • Compulsory licenses for patents on plant varieties;
  • Extension of time limit to file the translation of claims;
  • Design protection by design right registered in accordance with copyright protection as from the date on which the design was created; cases when the industrial designs are refused on relative grounds as well as the principle of protecting the unregistered industrial designs for as long as protection of such design is not accurately defined in the law (namely lifetime and the aim of the granted right);
  • In order to better harmonize with EC directive 2004/48/CE and improve the law structure, provisions on execution of rights deriving from patents, trademarks, designs or geographic indicators are all concentrated in one chapter at the end of the law.

Our local office Dennemeyer & Associates in Croatia is ready to provide further information or assist you in meeting all the necessary requirements imposed by the new law. Contact us at: