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Document Type

Article

Publication Date

Summer 8-1-2020

Publication Citation

27 Indiana J. Global Legal Studies 269 (2020)

Abstract

In 2016, Afghanistan formally acceded to the World Trade Organization (WTO) to improve its worldwide trading prospects. However, this journey began much earlier. To join the WTO, one of Afghanistan's commitments was to reform its then-existing trademark laws. Intellectual property (IP)-related laws are, in general, one of the fields that countries must reform prior to joining the WTO, so as to be in accordance with the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). While Afghanistan has enacted some IPrelated statutes, including the 2009 Law on Trade Marks Registration, it continues to fall short of conforming to TRIPS because it is silent on licensing trademarks, and is ambiguous on both trademark validity and use requirements. Consequently, these kinds of deficiencies will create opportunities to misuse a legal loophole, perpetuate corruption, and discourage foreign investment in Afghanistan. This paper suggests that the Afghan government should fix the deficiencies in TRIPS by modeling the Turkey Industrial Code and the Law of the Republic of Indonesia on Marks, in order to decrease corruption and increase trust by foreign investors. The first part of this paper will briefly introduce the structure of the WTO, then cover the process of Afghanistan's accession to the WTO. The second part will introduce both the old and new Law on Trade Marks Registration of Afghanistan as well as TRIPS. The final part will show the deficiencies of the Afghan statute in relation to TRIPS, the consequences of those deficiencies, and the possible solutions and recommendations for this problem.

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