QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
What happens I don't raise the targeted funds for my startup?
If the minimum funding is not met then there are options for how to proceed based on the situation:
• Adaption of original business plan to function with less funding
• Extending the financing round
• Closing of the finance round with no funds transferred
Can I include an arbitration clause in the commercial representation agreement?
No, you cannot.
In the Lebanese law, can I initiate an opposition to a trademark application?
The Lebanese Law does not provide for opposition to a trademark application. However, an opposition can be initiated against an infringer through a court action. A cancellation action can be instituted by a lawyer. A trademark remains vulnerable for the five years following the filing/ registration date.
If I am using my trademark on one product, is it sufficient to protect all other goods covered by the registration of this trademark?
Yes, it is.
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 much does it cost to establish a sole proprietorship in Lebanon?
It costs you approximately LBP 2,350,000 (excluding legal fees) to register a sole proprietorship in Lebanon.
If a person wishes to appoint a lawyer to finalize the registration of the sole proprietorship, she should account for approximately USD 800.
If a person wishes to complete the registration process on her own, the total cost would be around LBP 2,500,000 (or USD 1,667).
How can I register sales contracts of industrial machinery?
In order to register sales contracts of industrial machinery, you should adopt the following steps:
• Filling a request
• Enclosing the contract subject of registration
• Providing a clearance from the Social Security
• Filing the request with the Industrial Administration (whether in Beirut or in the Provinces)
The request is then signed by the director of the Industrial Administration.
Does the foreign chairman of a Lebanese offshore company need a work permit?
No. The chairman of a Lebanese offshore company and her legal representatives do not need a work permit if they are non-Lebanese and reside abroad.
What are the restrictions imposed on foreign investments?
Restrictions on foreign investments are very few: all economic sectors are open to foreign investments, except those related to weapons and media, and in some cases real estate ownership and some types of activities related to national security and commercial representation. Foreigners have also the right to participate in public tenders without the need for a local partner.
Can I make assign a trademark without the goodwill of the business?
Yes, you can.
Are there any advantages of filing more than one design in the same application?
Yes, you pay less official fees by filing more than one design in the same application.
How can I examine the status of a company in the commercial register?
In order to examine the status of a company in the commercial register, you should fill a request and submit it to the clerk at the commercial register, including:
• Registration number and type of the entity
• Additional information that may be required (i.e. number of partners, share capital (if any), incidences)
What document do I need to renew my trademark?
You need the following documents to renew a trademark
• If a representative is acting on your behalf, a duly notarized power of attorney (and legalized if you do not have a legal local presence in Lebanon)
• The number and date of the trademark
What can be the minimum value of the trademark assignment?
One dollar is enough to assign a trademark.
What are the requirements to file a joint trademark application?
In order to file a joint trademark application, you just need a power of attorney signed by the number of applicant companies.
How do I determine the nationality of a joint stock company?
A joint stock company formed and duly registered in Lebanon is automatically considered Lebanese even if the majority of shareholders are not Lebanese.