Region: Albania

Competence to hear IP-related disputes

The law provides that administrative courts are competent to decide on disputes arising from individual administrative acts issued by a public body in the course of its administrative activity. However, an issue arises with respect to IP-related disputes between private entities in which the Albanian Patents and Trademarks Office is involved as a defendant or a third party.

08 October 2014

Recent amendments to Industrial Property Law

Parliament has adopted certain amendments and procedural changes to the Industrial Property Law, with the aim of harmonising Albanian law with EU legislation and reflecting Albania's accession to the European Patent Convention. The IP rights affected by the amendments are industrial designs, patents and trademarks.

09 July 2014

Non-use cancellation actions: ambiguities regarding burden of proof

Albanian IP law requires that a trademark be used in order to protect its validity. If the mark owner does not use its trademark for the goods or services for which it was registered for an uninterrupted period of five years, the trademark is subject to cancellation. Recent case law reflects the complexity of non-use cancellation actions, particularly with regard to the burden of proof.

07 May 2014

Examining the new draft Law on Copyright

A group of European experts has worked to compile the new Albanian draft Law on Copyright, based on EU copyright law, in an effort to make it simpler and more practical to determine the responsibilities of copyright protection institutions. The draft law fills gaps in the existing law and sets out new rules for the circulation of copyright products within the digital environment.

12 March 2014

Protecting international marks in a non-designated country

Under the Madrid Agreement and Protocol, the Albanian courts give the same protection to international trademarks which have Albania as a designated country as to marks filed locally in Albania. Further, the courts have admitted that even international marks without Albania as a designated country are not necessarily excluded from legal protection.

05 February 2014

Courts become more involved in examining IP disputes

A recent case before the Tirana District Court and the Court of Appeal has shown that Albanian judges are beginning to develop a genuine interest in IP matters. Until recently, judges simply used to adopt the recommendations of the Albanian Trademark Office without examining the disputes before them in detail. The recent decision in <I>Arseni Shpk v Bavaria NV</I> appears to signal a new era for IP litigation in Albania.

20 November 2013

Protecting well-known marks

Albanian law and jurisprudence specify no particular thresholds or other requirements as to how much use is needed for an unregistered mark to qualify for protection as a well-known mark. This issue arose recently in a case involving four word and device marks that had been used for cigarettes manufactured by the Albanian state-owned companies at the time of the centralised economy in Albania (before 1990).

24 April 2013

Coca-Cola wins back 'coca-cola.al' domain name

Under the Law on Intellectual Property, registered mark owners, as well as holders of well-known unregistered trademarks, enjoy protection against unauthorised use of their trademarks as domain names. To date, the Albanian courts have not dealt extensively with the unauthorised use of trademarks as domain names; therefore, a recent court victory for Coca-Cola on this issue is noteworthy.

17 October 2012

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