The Jordanian laws concerning trademarks, patents and designs are applicable in the West Bank, with the exceptions that publication requirements are fulfilled by publishing notices three times in a local newspaper and that registration offices are located in the cities of Ramallah and Jericho. Copyrights are protected under Law No. 16 of 1924. In addition, autonomous cities are also governed by the Intellectual Property Laws of the West Bank.
In Gaza, the Palestinian Trademark and Patent Laws No. 35 of 1938, adopted during the British Mandate, are still applicable. The registration system under those laws is very similar to those prevailing in the West Bank under Law no. 33 of 1952. Despite the different authorizing legislation, the substantive differences between the laws governing intellectual property matters are minimal.
Furthermore, a side letter to the Paris Protocol provides that the parties to the agreement will hold discussions regarding mutual recognition and protection of patents, designs and trademarks, in addition to other intellectual property.
PatentsIn both Gaza and the West Bank, patent protection is granted for a period of 16 years from the date of filing the patent application. Furthermore, both systems allow for the compulsory licensing of a patented product if the "reasonable requirements" of the public under the applicable law have not been met.
In Gaza, the novelty requirement for patents may be met if the invention has not been previously published or used in the Palestinian territories. Likewise, the novelty requirement in the West Bank is met if there has been no prior publication, use or sale in the West Bank.
Trade and Service MarksTrademark protection is available for registered trademarks up to a period of seven years, a term that may be extended for additional periods of 14 years each. The prevailing laws in both Gaza and the West Bank prohibit the registration of a trademark that is contrary to public morals.
It is now possible to register service marks in Gaza and the West Bank. The Palestinian Minister of Justice in September 1996 issued a decision that amended Appendix No. 4 of the Implementation Regulations of the Trademarks Act of the Year 1940. Service marks can now be registered under the registration system applicable in Gaza. The International Classification of goods and services (classes 35-42) is used to classify services by enumerating the classes and class headings eligible for expanded registration.
DesignsNew and original designs that have not yet been published may be protected under the laws of both Gaza and the West Bank. Both applicable legal systems prohibit the registration of designs that are contrary to morality or to the public order. In Gaza, a registered design may be compulsorily licensed under certain circumstances. Compulsory licensing of designs is not permitted in the West Bank.