Trademark Registration in Afghanistan

BlogIntellectual Property RightsTrademark    December 13, 2019
Trademark Registration In Afghanistan Posted On

The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, in recent years, has increasingly interested not just domestic but also foreign businesses, including companies from the post-soviet nations. A vital thing to consider when planning to do business in Afghanistan is acquiring rights to trademarks. And it is possible only by ensuring successful Trademark Registration in Afghanistan. As trademarks help in protecting a business’ reputation and goodwill, they are essential for creating a remarkable brand.

Under the Trademark Law of Afghanistan, natural persons or their legal representatives can protect a trademark by registering it at the Afghanistan Central Business Registry and Intellectual Property (ACBR-IP) Directorate of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce (MoIC). In this nation, registering a mark as a trademark is mandatory to get ownership rights on the same, as it’s a “first to file” jurisdiction. An unregistered trademark can be protected but only in some exceptional cases.

Information about Trademark Application

The Trademark Application in Afghanistan must be filed with ACBR-IP. Once received the application, ACBR-IP evaluates it in terms of its substance, design, and compliance with provisions of the trademark registration law. It takes the time of 30 days to approve or reject the application.

If any foreign company or person wants to register a trademark with ACBR–IP, then the same needs to provide the following documentation:

  • A Power of Attorney (PoA) that authorizes the relevant person(s) to register the trademark on the person’s or company’s behalf;
  • A Board Resolution to direct the trademark registration and authorization to legal representatives.

Remember that all the PoAs and Board Resolutions submitted from abroad should be legalized, notarized, and attested by relevant diplomatic channels. Furthermore, these documents need to be validated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kabul before the presentation of the Trademark Registration Application to the ACBR-IP.

Once this administrative step of the process of trademark registration is completed, ACBR-IP conducts a record check of applicable archives for the new application.

Trademark Registration Procedure

Since Afghanistan is not a party to the Madrid Agreement or its Protocol and other international to regional organizations, it is only possible to register trademarks in this nation according to the national procedure. Note that the national procedure is the only way to obtain Trademark Protection in Afghanistan. As per the rules in Trademark Registration Law of Afghanistan, the process includes a range of stages, like:

  • Filing trademark application with the national patent office;
  • Examination of the application;
  • Making application approval or rejection decision as per the outcomes of the conducted examinations;
  • Publication of status related to the application in the official bulletin;
  • Issuance of the title of trademark protection, i.e., trademark certificate.

Some Additional Things to be Considered

If you are planning to register a trademark(s) in Afghanistan, then it will be beneficial to get aware of some more information in addition to the above-given. And the statistics say that:

  • In the application for registration of your trademark, you must indicate all products and services for which you want to use the mark in Afghanistan. It is because the exclusive rights can apply to only those assets (items) that are specified in the registration certificate.
  • Trademark registration in Afghanistan is not allowed for alcoholic beverages.
  • If you register a combined trademark that includes both word and figurative elements, then the exclusive right to use the registered trademark is limited to some extent. It means though you own a Registered Trademark in Afghanistan yet it is essential to use the mark in the exact way in which it was filed and registered.
  • If you wish to use the logo of your trademark separately from the word element or vice-versa in countries like Afghanistan, then it is better to register another trademark, including only the word or figurative elements that you want to use and protect independently.
  • If any third party intends to register a trademark for similar products or services encompassing a part or portion of your trademark, you possess the right to oppose the application based on confusing similarity.
  • Opposition application can be filed within one month from the date of publication of trademark application in Afghanistan’s Official Gazette.
  • Registered trademarks in Afghanistan are valid for ten (10) years from the day of application. Besides, they can be renewed indefinitely for further periods of ten years.
  • Even if your trademark has expired, you can still get it renewed within six month grace period with payment of a late renewal fee. The concept of a grace period of six months within which you can renew your expired trademark is really beneficial.

If your application meets all the requirements as per the Trademark Law, the entire process from applying for a trademark to obtaining a registration certificate will be successful. And, after going through this article, you hopefully are familiar with almost everything required to register a trademark in Afghanistan. So, leave all the worries aside and fasten up your belt to enjoy the trademark protection in Afghanistan. For more visit: 

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