Tunisia

Country Data

Official Name: Republic of Tunisia
Capital: Tunis
Area: 163,610 sq km
Population: 11,708,370 (2020 estimate)
Official Language: Arabic
GDP: US$ 159.707 billion (PPP, 2020 estimate)
Currency: Tunisian dinar (TND)
Work Days: Monday – Friday

Conventions/ Treaties

  • Paris Convention (since July 7, 1884)
  • The Berne Convention (since December 5, 1887)
  • Madrid Agreement (Indications of Source) (since July 15, 1892)
  • Hague Agreement (since October 20, 1930)
  • Nice Agreement (since May 29, 1967)
  • Lisbon Agreement (since October 31, 1973)
  • WIPO Convention (since November 28, 1975)
  • Nairobi Treaty (since May 21, 1983)
  • Vienna Agreement (since August 9, 1985)
  • Cultural Charter for Africa (September 19, 1990)
  • WTO/TRIPS Agreement (since March 29, 1995)
  • Patent Cooperation Treaty (since December 10, 2001)
  • UPOV Convention (since August 31, 2003)
  • Budapest Treaty (since May 23, 2004)
  • Madrid Protocol (since October 16, 2013)
  • Marrakesh VIP (since December 7, 2016)
  • Beijing Treaty (since April 28, 2020)
  • Trademark
  • Patent
  • Industrial Design
  • Copyright
National Legislation
  • Law No. 2001-36 of 17 April 2001 on the Protection of Trademarks & Trade Services as amended by Law No. 2007-50 of 23 July 2007
Basic Information
Creation of rights: First-to-file jurisdiction (subject to occasional exceptions)
Basis for filing: Intent to use acceptable – prior use is not a prerequisite
Well-known marks: Special protection may be available. Nevertheless, local registration of the mark is recommended
Types of marks: Trademarks, Service Marks, Collective Marks
Priority: 6-month priority claim under the Paris Convention
Madrid System: Available – Tunisia is a member of the Madrid Union
Filing system: Multiple-class filing system is available; a single application may cover any number of classes of goods and services
Classification: Nice Classification 11th edition
Who can be Applicant: (1) Individuals; (2) Corporate entities
Examination: On formal and absolute grounds
Publication: In the Trademark Official Gazette
Opposition period: 2 months from the date of publication
Duration of registration: 10 years from the filing date – renewable for further periods of 10 years each upon request of the trademark owner within six (6) months preceding the expiry date
Renewal grace period: No provision. However, it is possible to request the restoration of the prior rights
Use requirement: A trademark registration becomes vulnerable to cancellation upon the request of an interested party in case of non-use of the mark for a period of 5 consecutive years
Registration timeframe (straightforward case): 14 to 16 months (approximately)
Search
Official Search: Available for i) word marks; and ii) device marks
Scope of search: Includes all applied-for and registered marks
Turnaround time: 3 working days
Ways to obtain protection
  1. Filing of national application with or without priority claim under the Paris Convention
  2. Applications under the Madrid System

Filing Requirements

New Applications
  1. A simply signed power of attorney from the applicant.
  2. A certified copy of the priority document, if priority is claimed.
Renewal of Registration
  1. A simply signed power of attorney from the trademark proprietor.
Change of Name / Address Recordation
  1. A simply signed Power of Attorney in the new name/ address of the owner.
  2. A certified copy of Certificate of Change of Name/ Address of the owner.
Assignment Recordation
  1. A simply signed Power of Attorney from the Assignee.
  2. Assignment document, duly notarized.
Merger Recordation
  1. A simply signed Power of Attorney from the surviving entity.
  2. Merger document, duly notarized and legalized up to the Tunisian Consulate.
License Recordation
  1. Simply signed Powers of Attorney from the Licensor and the Licensee.
  2. License agreement, duly signed by both the parties and notarized.

Note: French or Arabic translation is required if the documents are in other languages.

National Legislation
  • Law No. 2000-84 of August 24, 2000, on Patents
Ways to obtain patent protection:
  1. National Filing in Tunisia
  2. PCT national phase application
Basic Information
Claims admissible for: 1) Process; and 2) Product
Novelty requirement: Absolute
Convention priority: Available (12 months)
PCT national phase entry deadline: 30 months
Search: Possible by title, name of the patentee, and priority numbers
Examination: With respect to form only
Publication: Post-allowance publication
Opposition period: 2 months from the date of publication
Protection term (patent): 20 years from the filing date and in case of the PCT national phase applications, from the international filing date
Annuity payment: Becomes due annually on the anniversary of the date of grant. For patents granted under the PCT, annuity payment becomes due on the anniversary of the international filing date. Annuities are payable prior to grant
Grace period for late annuity payment: 6 months with a surcharge.
Working/ Compulsory License: If the patent is not fully exploited by the patentee within three years from the date of grant or four years from the filing date, whichever comes later, the patent will be subject to compulsory licensing in accordance with the provisions of the Patent Law
Patent grant timeframe (straightforward case): 18 to 24 months (approximately)
Filing Requirements
  1. Patent specification, claims, drawings, and abstract in English, French or Arabic.
  2. Simply signed Power of Attorney from the applicant. If the applicant is a corporate entity, corporate seal thereof is also required to be stamped.
  3. Assignment of Invention and priority rights, executed by the inventor(s) if the applicant is not the inventor.
  4. Certified copy of the priority document, if applicable.

For PCT national phase application in Bahrain, the following items would also be required:

  1. A copy of International Publication with Patent specification, claims, drawings, and abstract.
  2. A copy of International Search Report.
  3. A copy of International Preliminary Examination (if available).

Note: Arabic or French translation shall be required for any documents that are in any other languages.

National Legislation
  • Law No. 2001-21 of February 6, 2001 on the Protection of Industrial Designs
Ways to obtain protection for design:
  1. National filing in Tunisia with or without priority claim under the Paris Convention
Basic Information
Types of designs: (1) Drawings; and (2) models
Novelty: There is no express provision in the Law in respect of novelty However, it has been sated in the Law that “The publicity given to an industrial design, prior to its sale, through an offer for sale or by any other means, shall not lead to the loss either of the right of ownership or of the protection granted by this Law”
Multiple figures: A design application may be filed with multiple figures
Convention priority: 6-month priority may be claimed
Locarno Classification: Not applied
Examination: Industrial design applications are subjected to examination as to form only
Publication: Post-allowance publication
Opposition: There are no provisions for opposition filing in the Law
Protection term: Protection may be granted for a term of 5 or 10 or maximum 15 years, starting from the date of filing the application, in accordance with the request of the applicant
Renewal: If the initial protection period is 5 or 10 years, a request may be filed for renewal of the design registration within the last six months preceding the expiry of the protection period
Renewal grace period: No grace period is allowed for late renewal
Registration timeframe (straightforward case): 6 to 8 months (approximately)
Filing Requirements
  1. A simply signed Power of Attorney from the applicant.
  2. Certified copy of the priority document, if priority is claimed.
  3. Representations (drawings/ photographs) of the design.
  4. Description of the design.
National Legislation
  • Copyright Ordinance, 1962, as amended by the Copyright (Amendment) Ordinance 2000, read with Copyright Rules 1967.
Basic Information

Works protected: The copyright protection under Pakistan Copyright Law is available to original, literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works; cinematographic works; and records – “literary work” including works on humanity, religion, social and physical sciences, tables “compilations and computer programs, that is to say programs recorded on any disc, tape, perforated media or other information storage device, which, if fed into or located in a computer or computer-based equipment is capable of reproducing any information”; “dramatic work” including any piece for recitation, choreographic work or entertainment in dumb show, the scenic arrangement or acting form of which is fixed in writing or otherwise but does not include a cinematographic work; “musical work” including any combination of melody and harmony or either of them, printed, reduced to writing or otherwise graphically produced or reproduced; “artistic work” including paintings, sculptures, drawings (including diagrams, maps, charts or plans), engravings or photographs, whether or not any such work possess artistic quality, architectural works of art, and any other work of artistic craftsmanship; “cinematographic work” including any sequence of visual images including video films of every kind, recorded on material of any description (whether translucent or not), whether silent or accompanied by sound, which, if shown (played back, exhibited) conveys the sensation of motion; “records” include any disc, tape, wire, perforated roll or other device in which sounds are embodied so as to be capable of being reproduced therefrom, other than a sound track associated with a cinematographic work.

No copyright except as provided in the Copyright Ordinance: As per the Copyright Law, “No person shall be entitled to copyright or any right in any work, whether published or unpublished, otherwise than under and in accordance with the provision of this Ordinance, or of any other law for the time being in force, but nothing in this section shall be construed as abrogating any right or jurisdiction to restrain a breach of trust or confidence.” 

Duration of copyright: Copyright protection term is 50 years, starting from the first day of the year following the death of the author, in addition to the lifetime of the author.

 Registration timeframe:  11 months (approximately).

Filing Requirements
Artistic Work
  1. Power of Attorney, duly notarized.
  2. 3 copies of Artistic Work.
  3. NOC/ Affidavit for transfer of copyright from Artist/Creator.
  4. Undertaking/Affidavit for original creativity of the work.
  5. Two original Newspaper in which the Artistic Work is advertised.
  6. Trade Mark number of the Artistic work if it used as a Trade Mark.
Literary Works
  1. Power of Attorney, duly notarized.
  2. 2 copies of Literary Work
  3. Undertaking/Affidavit for original creativity of the work.
  4. NOC / Assignment of copyright from the copyright owner / writer of the work in favor
  5. of applicant if any.
Cinematographic work
  1. Power of Attorney, duly notarized.
  2. 2 copies of Cinematographic Work in the form of Video VCD/DVD / CD/ USB.
  3. Undertaking/Affidavit for original creativity of the work.
  4. NOC for assignment of copyright from the all contributors (performers / singer / lyric writer / musician etc.) of the work.
Record work
  1. Power of Attorney, duly notarized.
  2. 2 copies of Records Work in the form of Audio VCD/DVD / CD / USB.
  3. Undertaking/Affidavit for original creativity of the work.
  4. NOC for assignment of copyright from the all contributors (performers / singer / lyric writer /
  5. musician etc.) of the work.

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