just under 3 million

GDP per capita
$ 6 494

Main industries
energy, mining, metallurgy, agriculture, and tourism

Interesting & distinctive information in the IP regulations

Industrial property in Albania has its beginnings in the early 20 century, when the Albanian IPO has founded, and since then it has been constantly developing.

Albania is a member of international organizations and agreements such as WIPO, PCT, Nice agreement on the international classification of goods and services, Hague agreement, Madrid Agreement of the International trade mark registration, and EPO.

Non-traditional marks such as pattern, pure color/color combination, and shape marks are explicitly allowed to registration – the new regulation adopted in 2018 more clearly defines different types of trade marks providing definitions for the word, figurative, pattern, color, and shape marks. As of March 25, 2017, the graphical representation requirements are no longer required.

Interestingly, during the substantive examination process of the trade mark application, the IPO will refuse the application when the dominant element is considered to be non-distinctive, even if the applicant requests a disclaimer of such element.

If the IPO issues a Provisional Refusal citing that a part of the mark should have a disclaimer, if the applicant does not reply to the Refusal, the IPO will automatically apply it. However, from our experience, if the applicant does not reply, the IPO is slow to send decision on grant to WIPO, often taking a year to do so.

In Albania, official fees for trade mark applications and renewals, are filed in one class; for each additional class new official fees are applied, versus almost all other jurisdictions (apart from Croatia), where the basic official fees always cover 3 classes.
However, registration fees are the same regardless of the number of classes.

In Albania, a trade mark registration may now be divided into two or more registrations which used to be the case only with applications.

Trade marks can be renewed 6 months before the renewal deadline at the earliest, and the grace period is usual 6 months long.

In Albania it is possible to file a utility model – 10 claims maximum are allowed. The applicant may file a request for the conversion of such an application into a patent before the IPO issues a Granting decision.

SPC protection is available.

Patent annuities can be paid 1 year before the deadline and the grace period is up to 8 months (if the annuity is paid in a grace period within 6 months the official fees will be increased by 50%, and if the annuity is paid in grace period between 6-8 months, the official fees will be 100% increased).
In case when the annuity fees fall on any day of the month indicated as the deadline for payment, the annuities can be regularly paid by the end of that month with no surcharge for late payment.

Renewal of designs falls every 5 years, for a total of 25 years.

Designs can be renewed 6 months prior to the renewal deadline at the earliest, and the grace period is the same as for trade marks.

Electronic filing is available – the POA can be submitted electronically during the filing process and in original at a later date.

In Albania, all documents/certificates are now received in electronic forms and the Albanian IPO is the only one which issues certificates of the patent renewals.

In Albania, POAs in all IP matters must be signed with a mandatory company seal/stamp. In case when the owner is a natural person, the company seal would not be required but the POA has to be notarized.

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