QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
How should the capital of a Lebanese joint stock company be paid?
The capital of a joint stock company should be paid as follows:
• At least a quarter of the value of each share should be paid upon subscription. The balance of shares should be settled on the dates set by the board of directors.
• Amounts paid by shareholders should be deposited at any recognized bank in a special account opened in the name of the company followed by the expression “under establishment” with a list of the names of the subscribers and the amount paid by each
What is the minimum number of directors in a holding company's board of directors?
The board of directors of a holding company should be composed of a minimum of three members and a maximum of twelve.
What are my rights as the owner of a patent?
As a patent owner you have an exclusive right to your invention which grants you the right to:
• Manufacture the product subject of the invention and display it
• Market the invention, utilize it, offer it for sale, import it and hold it
• Exploit the method, subject of the invention, and offering it to third parties
• Offer the product, market it, utilize it, offer it for sale, import it and hold it
How much does it cost to register as a merchant in Lebanon?
It costs you approximately LBP 1,500,000 (excluding legal fees) to be registered as a merchant.
Can the board of directors of a Lebanese holding company convene outside Lebanon?
Yes, it can.
How can I increase the capital of my Lebanese joint stock company?
Once the entire capital of the company is paid, shareholders may increase the capital of the company in an extraordinary general meeting by issuing new shares having the same nominal value per share as the existing shares.
How can I draft a patent application?
The patent should include the following:
• Title of the invention: it should reflect the main art of the invention. It should be precise, meaningful and should be normally within 15 words. A title can be used for more than one invention.
• Field of the invention: it should clearly describe the scope of the invention and subject matter of the invention on which it relates.
• Background on object of the invention: it should describe the state of the art in the particular technical area to which the patent relates and what problems remain to be solved or disadvantages accompanying the prior art solutions. In this section, you should clearly reflect the advantages of the invention. Each and every object and advantages of the invention should be described in a separate sentence. In a nutshell, this section is a comparative analysis between your invention and the existing technology.
• Summary of the invention: it should give a broad overview of the invention (e.g., the purpose of the invention, problems solved, advantages offered, etc.).
• Drawings: it should include one general figure describing the patent as a whole and a separate figure for each part of the invention that has a technical role.
• Brief description of drawings: it should include a written description of the invention explaining explains how to make it and how to use it.
• Detailed description of the invention: it should describe in detail what the invention is and how it is made and used. It should reflect the whole picture of the invention and be sufficient for a person skilled in the art to perform the invention by developing necessary technical know‐how.
• Claims: the claims are the heart of a patent, in that they define the limits of exactly what the patent covers and what it does not cover. You have the right to exclude others from making, using or selling, only those things which are described by the claims. Make sure you use your words correctly. It is recommended that you start with the broadest claims of your invention and then progress to narrower claims. You can precede your claims with a short statement such as “I/We claim: …”. Each claim should consist of an introduction, linking word, and body.
How can I protect my trademark internationally?
If you wish to use your brand internationally, then protection through the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Madrid system covering up to 92 countries would be the most feasible avenue. The remaining countries not members to the Madrid Convention will then have to be tackled independently through national or regional filings.
Can my trademark include national or foreign emblems?
No, it cannot.
How many members should be appointed to the board of a joint stock company?
The board of a joint stock company should be constituted of a minimum of 3 members and a maximum of 12 members.
Can foreigners own shares in a joint-stock company?
Yes, they can. The majority of shares of a joint-stock company can be owned by foreigners.
What is the law that regulates the SACEM in Lebanon?
The Protection of Literary and Artistic Property (Copyrights Law) Law No. 75/99 Issued on April 13, 1999 regulates the SACEM in Lebanon.
What is a design or an industrial design?
As defined by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), "an industrial design is the ornamental or aesthetic aspect of an article. The design may consist of three-dimensional features, such as the shape or surface of an article, or of two-dimensional features, such as patterns, lines or color. Industrial designs are applied to a wide variety of products of industry and handicraft: from technical and medical instruments to watches, jewelry, and other luxury items; from housewares and electrical appliances to vehicles and architectural structures; from textile designs to leisure goods. To be protected under most national laws, an industrial design must appeal to the eye. This means that an industrial design is primarily of an aesthetic nature, and does not protect any technical features of the article to which it is applied."
Can I retain my patent rights in case it lapsed?
Yes, you can.
What are the steps to be undertaken after registering the sole proprietorship in Lebanon?
After registering as a merchant or a sole proprietorship, a person should register at the Chamber of Industry and Commerce in order to benefit from services offered such as extended contact lists and further protection to her business. The registration fee is approximately LBP 300,000.
Every end of April, the person should file taxes through an account or online on the website of the Ministry of Finance: https://eservices.finance.gov.lb
Does a registered domain confer any legal right?
No. A registered domain name does not confer any legal right or ownership to that name. It simply represents a technical label to be used on the Internet.