Cyrus Pouyan
Tehran Local Time
General Information about Iran and Intellectual Property in Iran
General Information about Iran and Intellectual Property in Iran
Iran is the cradle of one of the world’s ancient civilizations. With a population of about 64 million inhabitants and an area of 1648195 sq. kms, it is situated in the Middle East. The language of Iran is Farsi and its capital is Tehran. It is one of the touristic countries of the world and is considered as the bridge between Europe and Asia. The political and economic importance of Iran as a stable bridge in the area has doubled after the disruption of the former USSR.
Although since 1305=1926 trademarks have been practically registered through directives, the first law in this respect was adopted in 1310= 1931, and has not changed since. This law, along with its Regulations for the Implementations thereof and its addendum in 1337=1958, is the basis for the protection of trademarks and patents, their registrations and the procedures for legal or penal litigation.
In 1328= 1949, the regulations on the compulsory use of trademarks on pharmaceuticals, edibles and cosmetics have been adopted by the Iranian National Assembly. Thus, appropriate legislative rules have been created for the protection of Industrial Property in Iran. At the same time, Penal Laws prescribed regulations, and implemented sanctions for counterfeiters, infringers and unfair competition.

In 1337=1958 the National Assembly of Iran voted a single article authorizing the Iranian Government to adhere to the Paris Convention, the Lisbon Act. This decision led the Iranian Government to enter into a series of international commitments for the protection of the rights issued on Industrial Property matters. Considering the potentials of the Iranian Market, it has played an important role since that day onward. Actually, this convention is now part of the codified law included in the Commercial Law. In addition on 17.08.1377 = 8.11.1998, the National Assembly passed a law for the adherence of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the modification of the Paris Convention dated 1967 and 1979 in Stockholm. According to ratification dated 26 September 2001, by the Islamic Consultative Assembly (Parliament) Iran adhered to World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

Being aware of the need to protect Industrial models and designs, the legislator has permitted the government to adhere to International Conventions for the protection of Industrial designs and models, but up to now, no action has been taken in this field.

Due to several facts, including the Islamic Revolution of 1979 and the eight-year-imposed war, the laws related to Industrial Property matters, especially the protection of designs and Industrial models, have faced shortcomings which have not been rectified as yet. In the recent months a special commission has been elected to amend these shortcomings. We hope that new laws and regulations will be submitted to the Iranian Parliament in the coming months.

Although the Act of Law was passed for the protection of copyrights, it now provides the protection of Iranian citizens only, and cannot be applied to defend foreigners against Iranians.

The constant increase in the use of computers and computer software throughout the country clearly highlights the existing lacuna in the law in this important field.

The competent authorities are well aware of this gap and, therefore, the Information Services Council has held several seminars on this subject in the past years. It has come up with a draft bill for the protection of the rights of software producers. This draft bill is still under study in the Iranian Parliament and we hope that it will be voted in a near future.

Besides, despite the absence of specific laws, our courts are conscious of the necessity to observe Intellectual Property Rights. Following the spirit of existing laws, such as copyright, in several recent cases, the courts have ruled against the unauthorized users of software programs belonging to others.

IRANLAW cannot be held responsible for all the changes in the evolution of the practice of the Iranian Laws. It is suggested that callers should contact Law Offices of Pouyan, Aghababian & Co. concerning Iranian legal matters.

The present information only concerns Iran. For more information on the registration of trademarks and patents in Afghanistan and the other Middle East and Central Asian countries, please contact our office.

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