I. Trademarks

Trademark shall mean every sign or combination of signs presented graphically that serve to distinguish the goods or services of a natural or juridical person from those of another natural or juridical person. In order to enjoy national protection, a trademark should be registered at General Directorate of Industrial Property. At international level, an application can be filed for a trademark at trademark registration office of any country where protection is required or Madrid System can be used. The term of trademark protection shall be 10 years from the date of application filing. A mark may be renewed endlessly for ten-year periods, after the owner of the mark files a request at the GDIP and pays the respective tariff, in a period no later than six months from the end date of ten-year period of registration.

II. Patents

Patent shall mean an exclusive right granted for an invention, which could be a product or a process providing a new technical solution to any problem. Patents shall be issued for inventions provided that they are new, involve an inventive step and are applicable in industry, including agriculture. The term of patent protection shall be 20 years from the date of filing an application for a patent. Pharmaceutical patents and plant protection products shall be equipped with a supplementary protection certificate for a period of up to 5 other years. The issued patents have their validity only in the country where they have been issued, but thanks to the Cooperation Agreement in the field of Patents, inventors may apply for an international patent, and choose whether the protection of their right for a patent is extended in all countries or only in a part of them.

III. Industrial designs

Industrial design shall mean the characteristics of the external form of a product, in general the ornamental or aesthetic aspect of a product as a whole or of its parts, which give it a particular appearance. Industrial design may enjoy protection in the aspect of industrial and intellectual property. The registration of a design is valid for 5 years, beginning from the date it is filed for its registration. A registration may be renewed against a set payment for an additional period of five years, up to a total time period of 25 years from the date the application for design registration is filed.

IV. Origin and geographical indications

A geographical indication shall mean any sign used for products coming from an indefinite geographical and possessing a quality or reputation attributable to this origin. Product properties, characteristics or reputation shall be essential because of origin. The right to ownership over geographical indications is obtained through registration at GDIP. The owners, who have registered geographical indications, do not have the right to grant use licenses. The term for the protection of a geographical indication is indefinite and expires at the moment there is no more connection between goods properties and characteristics and geographical environment.

V. Goods counterfeiting

Although there is no unified definition of goods counterfeiting (the violation of trademark rights), in reference to TRIPS Agreement, is shall mean “any goods, including packing, bearing without authorization a trademark which is identical to the trademark validly registered in respect of such goods, or which cannot be distinguished in its essential aspects from such a trademark, and which thereby infringes the rights of the owner of the trademark in question under the law of the country of importation”

With regards to the counterfeiting, the Albanian legislation provides for that “If the owners or holders of the rights or authorized users submit a complaint about goods imported into the Republic of Albania or the goods inside the market that violate their rights, the customs authorities or the State Inspectorate of Market Surveillance, accordingly, shall be obliged to conduct the necessary inspections and based on conclusions drawn they shall decide not to release the goods from the custom regime or to remove them from the market, and to store them in a secure place, except when the importer or seller attests by documents of goods origin that they are not counterfeit goods.  The customs authorities and inspectors of State Inspectorate of Market Surveillance shall act ex officio when provided for by the legislation in force regulating the activity of these bodies” (Article 188 of Law “On Industrial Property”)