A look into Jordan’s Intellectual Property laws

Ala'a Al - Rawashdeh

May 2011

Human thought is the most significant development of the human mind and the human mind is the source of both knowledge and the spirit of creativity.  The human mind reflects originality and highlights a person’s personality, and it is the standard that distinguishes humans from other living and non-living entities on Earth.  It also allows people to be both individuals and part of society. Accordingly, the development of any society depends largely on the degree of creative-minded citizens who, day and night, work on the development and prosperity of their communities, through what they have to offer in terms of creativity and ideas that contribute to the evolution of life in the areas of science, literature and art.  This in turn requires the provision of effective protection of their creations, which consequently reflects the continuation of this creativity and its development in serving society and its prosperity.

Creators have struggled since ancient times to achieve recognition of their rights and protection for their intellectual property productions. It is human nature to try and satisfy cultural needs only once financial needs are satisfied; so that intellectual prosperity for humans has become the highest expression of their self-realization.

Intellectual property (IP) enforcement has an important and effective role in the protection of creativity and in encouraging creative people, through the preservation and protection of their distinguished and creative works from infringement.

In Jordan, intellectual property is protected through an array of different legislative acts, including copyright law, trademark law, patent law, law of industrial designs, law of trade secrets and unfair competition law; as well as the related ministerial regulations and instructions. Together they help to establish a complete system of intellectual property rights.

Jordan’s experience in the field of trademark protection began as early as 1952, with the establishment of the first Trademark Law in Jordan. However, the first law which came to deal with modern intellectual property issues as we know them today, was the 1992 Copyright Law. Following Jordan’s accession to the Berne Convention in 1998, the Copyright Law has been amended on several occasions to ensure better compliance with international standards of protection. As for the full package of legislation, it began in 1999 coincided with Jordan’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2000 to become 136 th member of WTO.  In response to the Intellectual Property Organization IPO Convention, Jordan has issued all laws relating to intellectual property including the law of industrial designs, industrial designs and unfair competition.

Copyright, however, remained at the forefront of intellectual property protection in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan for several years. In particular, the National Library has continued the efforts in the development of laws, regulations, instructions, and in line with international conventions, to create an environment which is managerially and technically able to keep pace with global developments.  One which is able to focus on the implementation of the law and respond to complaints, and the application of sanctions contained in the Copyright Protection Law of 1992, as amended, which is a modern law. Along with this, Jordan is a member of the “Berne” Convention, since 1999 and a member of the Paris Convention.
It is worth mentioning that Jordan is a member of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), which has managed intellectual property conventions since 1984. Jordan also joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) after the completion of all requirements.  The Jordanian government has issued a number of laws, regulations and instructions relating to intellectual property and passed through the constitutional stages and published in the Official Gazette. These Law are follows:

  • Copyright Law No. (22) for the year 1992.
  • Patent Law No. (32) for the year 1999.
  • Trademark Law No. (33) for the year 1952.
  • Unfair Competition Law and Trade Secrets No. (15) for the year 2000.
  • Goods Marks Law No. (19) for the year 1953.
  • Industrial Designs and Models Law No. (14) for the year 2000
  • Integrated circuits Law No. (10) for the year 2000
  • Geographical Indications Law No. (8) for the year 2000.
  • Law for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants No (24) for the years 2000

The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan has observed the importance of intellectual property for a significant period. Given the importance of intellectual property to the country’s economy, Jordan signed several international conventions for the protection of these rights and to implement the IP Laws to the point where an investor feels confident to invest in Jordan.  The Government is working very hard on this issue, especially with regards to Trademark registration and copyright and as a firm with a great strength in this area, we look forward to contributing to the work being done.