The Sultanate joined the World Intellectual Property Organization in September 1996. The sultanate is also applying for membership in the WTO, which would require a signing a number of agreements, including one on protection of intellectual property rights.In 1996, the country enacted a copyright protection law but did not begin enforcement until 1999, when the government destroyed pirated cassettes. In its attempt to gain acceptance to the WTO, the country is working to become TRIPS compliant.
The Omani trademarks regimes consists of Royal Decree 68/87, Decree Law No. 635/1991 and Royal Decree 33/91. Registrable marks consist of distinctive shapes consisting of words, signatures, letters, drawings, symbols, headings, seals, pictures, engraving or any other distinctive mark or combination. With the exception of alcoholic goods of Class 33, Oman has adopted all forty-two classes of the International Classification. Prior to registration, marks are published in the Official Gazette and in one daily paper. Opposition may be filed within thirty days from the date of publication in the Official Gazette. Upon registration, a ten year period of protection is granted, renewable for similar periods, and exclusive ownership of the mark is given. Marks which have not been used for five years or more may be challenged for lack of use. Marks unlawfully registered or which have not been effectively used for five consecutive years can be canceled upon a petition filed by the Registrar or any interested party. Violation of the law triggers criminal penalties including fines, imprisonment or both.
Authors possess the right to transfer all or part of their rights in the work free of charge. Publications of literary, artistic and scientific works which are published in Oman by means of reproduction, shall first be filed with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, and the works will be also published in the Official Gazette. Violation of the provisions of the Royal Decree 47/96 triggers criminal penalties including fine and imprisonment.
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