Trademark Law No. 36 was issued on April 17, 2001, in Tunisia. This law replaced the Tunisian Trademarks and Trade Names law Dated June 4, 1889 and its amendment of 1936. The International Classification of Goods and Services for the Purposes of the Registration of Marks under the Nice Agreement is followed in Tunisia, and the revision of class 42 with the creation of classes 43 to 45 has been adopted as of January 1, 2002.
The law addresses several aspects, some of which follow the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement. These aspects include protecting colour, sound, and collective marks, acknowledging well-known trademarks, as well as allowing the examination by the Tunisian authorities of trademarks published in the Trademark Office Official Gazette.
Following the publication, a period of 2 months is given, in which an opposition maybe filed by any party. Once the opposition period is completed and no opposition has been filed, then the trademark may mature into registration and a certificate of registration will be issued.
Protection under the law has been reduced to 10 years from the filing date instead of the designated 15 years currently being implemented. Also, fines by court decisions on infringers maybe levied from 5,000 Tunisian Dinar ($3,700) to 50, 000 Tunisian Dinar ($37,000).
Use of a trademark within a period of 5 years is a must by law. All trademarks registered before the issuance of this law must be used within 5 years from its issuance date. Otherwise, the trademark will be vulnerable to cancellation due to the non-use.
Tunisia Joined the Madrid Protocol for the international registration of trademarks and can be designated for the new applications as of October 17, 2013. Also, any previous international registration prior to the said date can be extended to include Tunisia.
The International applications will be published in Tunisia and the opposition period is for 60 days from the publication in the Trademark Gazette issued by the Tunisian Trademarks Office.