Protection of trade marks in the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, also known as East Timor

Located about 350 miles north of Australia, Timor is an island in the Indonesian Archipelago. This island is divided up into two territories: West Timor, which belongs to Indonesia, and East Timor.

Colonized by Portugal up until 1975, East Timor was subsequently occupied by Indonesia. The Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste became an independent state on 20 May 2002.

At present, this country has yet to adopt any trade mark legislation. However, whilst waiting for such legislation to be put in place, the East Timor authorities accept “provisional” filings in the form of cautionary notices, which are enforceable against third parties.

Furthermore, once a legislative framework has been put in place, it will be possible to convert these “provisional” filings into trade marks. These trade marks will in principle be protected with effect as from the initial date of the provisional filing. At present, multi-class filings are accepted. Brand owners are therefore well-advised to consider protecting their trade marks in this territory.

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